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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » Games Reviews & Comments » South Park: The Stick of Truth

Default South Park: The Stick of Truth

March 19th, 2014, 04:51
From the perilous battlefields of the fourth-grade playground, a young hero will rise, destined to be South Park's savior. From the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, comes an epic quest to become… cool. Introducing South Park: The Stick of Truth. You begin as the new kid in town facing a harrowing challenge: making friends. As you start your quest the children of South Park are embroiled in a city-wide, live-action-role-playing game, casting imaginary spells and swinging fake swords. Over time the simple children's game escalates into a battle of good and evil that threatens to consume the world. Arm yourself with weapons of legend to defeat crabpeople, underpants gnomes, hippies and other forces of evil. Discover the lost Stick of Truth and earn your place at the side of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny as their new friend. Succeed, and you shall be South Park's savior, cementing your social status in South Park Elementary. Fail, and you will forever be known… as a loser.

  • The Definitive South Park Experience Written and voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Stick of Truth brings their unique brand of humor to video gaming.
  • An Epic Quest To Become… Cool Earn your place alongside Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny, and join them in a hysterical adventure to save South Park.
  • Friends With Benefits Recruit classic South Park characters to your cause.
  • Intense Combat Arm yourself to the teeth with an arsenal of magical weapons and mystical armor.
  • South Park Customization Insert yourself into South Park with something like a billion character, clothing, and weapon combinations.

More information.
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March 19th, 2014, 04:51
First let's get the obvious out of the way. If you don't like South Park then you're going to hate this game. Move along, nothing to see here. If you don't really know much about South Park and its politically/religiously/everythingly incorrect humor then get over to Hulu or YouTube or whatever and check out an episode or five. If you like them, you'll probably want to watch a few seasons worth before playing the game.

Tastes like JRPG, talks like TV

Obsidian has nailed the TV show feel perfectly. The characters look and move like they do in the TV show, the voices are done by the same actors (mostly the series creators), and they even play a quick little bar of banjo music when you start from a saved game just like you came back from a commercial break. The humor is right on the money, too. You'll be thankful that you can't smell what's going on in the game.

It's also definitely an RPG. When a battle starts, you and your companion line up on the left and the enemies line up on the right then turn based battle begins - just like an old Final Fantasy. Enemies drop loot you can sell or use, inventory slots let you upgrade your armor and weapons, and slots on the actual items let you add some custom effects to the items you've gotten (e.g. strap a dead bird to your weapon to add 20 gross-out points).

Don't get your hopes up too much, though. This isn't a game of deep RPG strategy. Nor should it be, really. The game only takes about 15-20 hours to complete and a lot of that time is spent exploring or interacting with the NPCs. There wouldn't really be time to fully learn a deep RPG system before the game ended. It's a good RPG system for the size of the game, I think.

Difficulties in the Difficulty

I played in hardcore mode and only rarely found battles difficult, especially in the late game. You can change difficulty any time you want so you can always start at normal difficulty then crank it up when you find yourself nodding off. However, the game itself was actually quite difficult for me.

What's this? The combat is easy but the game isn't? Has Zloth been munching on psychedelic Dove Bars? No - the secrets to this mystery are found in the tutorials and mini-games. This is the first game I've ever seen where the tutorials are actually HARDER than the battles!

The problem is in how the game tries to explain commands. It manages to do these so poorly as to make them almost impossible to do without help! For instance, about a third of the way through the game you are taught how to cast magic spells. To explain how to do it on the keyboard, the game shows you an A and a D above a display with a pulsing line. You're supposed to hold down the left mouse button and do… something with those A and D keys. If you do it right, the line starts jumping around like mad and you click the right mouse button to fire the spell. All you get for a hint with the A and D keys, though, is circles animating around one then the other. Are you supposed to push the A when the circles are around the A key? Are you supposed the mash the A key when the circles are around it? Maybe you're supposed to mash both keys? Nope! There's actually a tiny little arrow on the edge of the display with the line in it. You can move that arrow right with the D key and left with the A key. Get the arrow to the right point on the display and the line goes mad. <sigh>

Other examples include a dancing game where you're suddenly supposed to use the arrow keys instead of WASD and some mash-the-key challenges that are quite impossible on many keyboards without setting up some sort of macro. Using a controller instead of mouse/keyboard will help with some of these but not all of them.

Overall

Once you get over your pride and look up how to get past those blasted tutorials and mini-games, though, the game is pretty fun. The humor was just OK at first but did eventually get up to the "laugh out loud" level as the situation became more and more ludicrous. I also really enjoyed the ingenuity of the kids' weapons made out of every-day items. (My hockey stick with an ice skate blade strapped to the end was a fearsome pole-arm!) The music worked and some of the scores were really excellent though they also got repetitive by the end of the game.

I'm not so sure about the price, though. $60 for a 20 hour game is steep. It's certainly fun but $3/hr fun? I think you'll get a better bang for your buck (hmm, not a real safe cliché with this subject matter) playing Saints Row the Third for half the price.

P.S. 3D Vision works perfectly with South Park! Everything looks like paper-cutouts at screen depth, just like on TV. There's NO crosstalk/ghosting at all!!
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March 19th, 2014, 12:45
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
P.S. 3D Vision works perfectly with South Park! Everything looks like paper-cutouts at screen depth, just like on TV. There's NO crosstalk/ghosting at all!!
Oh crap, I have 3d vision but never thought about using it with a 2d game like South Park
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March 26th, 2014, 06:44
a good WTF is… by Totalbiscuit on this game.

Looks like a South Park fan's wet dream come true!
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March 26th, 2014, 11:30
I played through it twice and I loved it. Then again, I'm a South Park fan, so that wasn't much of a surprise. Basically, anyone who likes South Park is likely to enjoy this, and anyone who dislikes South Park should stay away I'd say. More or less.
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March 26th, 2014, 11:45
I'm just happy it seems to be a reasonable success. As much as I like to bitch about Obsidian and their Q/A and polish issues - they're still among the very few non-indie developers who care about RPGs and rarities like C&C.

If I didn't despise South Park so much, I'd get this just to support them.
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March 28th, 2014, 03:37
Oh, something I didn't mention: it does NOT use UPlay even though it's from Ubisoft.

Jeez… that review is 40 minutes long! Oh wait, it's not a review, it's a first impression!!
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October 3rd, 2014, 10:55
RPGWatch Steam Curation:
Fun lightweight CRPG - very rude, very crude, and you also go to Canada at least once so it's definitely not for children. Recommended!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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