South Park - Preview Roundup and Video
A bunch of previews for South Park: The Stick of Truth have been released recently. Here a few of them and as a bonus a video interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
IGN - "How South Park: The Stick of Truth Farts its Way to Greatness"
Gameplay systems abound now; this isn't just the lightest of light RPGs. You have a full inventory of weapons (like Cartman's Mom's vibrator), including your personal special attack: farting. You can use the power of your a-hole to blast open vent shafts, then use the Underpants Gnome ability to shrink yourself down and fit through the small opening. You can fart at loose wires holding light fixtures over the top of your enemies, severing the frayed cord and dropping it onto your foes below, zapping them. You can fart near broken, exposed gas lines in order to create inferno waves. In fact, the demo ended with an epic ass-to-ass duel between you and Cartman, with each kid trying to overpower the flaming fart blast of the other.
Yes, this is still a Paper Mario-style role-playing game, but it just feels more fully fleshed out now. The show's characters and lore are so flawlessly married to the gameplay systems -- Stan gets enraged when you take out his dog Sparky in battle that he goes into a frenzy mode and attacks more furiously, for example -- that xxx. And the fan service is off-the-charts. The visuals are 100% dead-on with the show, such that if someone doesn't see you manipulating a controller, they will genuinely think you're watching an episode on Comedy Central.
Digital Trends - "The Stick of Truth’ offers a putrid waft of fresh air"
The game looks like a South Park episode – almost to the point that it is easy to mistake the gameplay for CGI. To be fair, the animation isn’t exactly high tech in the TV show, but it’s almost disorienting at first. If you are a fan of the show, the word “immersive” just doesn’t seem strong enough. The simple way to describe the game South Park: The Stick of Truth is that it feels like you are playing an episode of the show.
All the voices are present from the TV show as well, and the humor was both accurate for the show and bizarre. At one point, the person in charge of the demo changed the character’s outfit from a wizard’s robe to fishnet stalkings and a bustier. Oh, and they also gave him a new weapon that looked like a dildo.
“Like.” One of the more interesting conceits of the game is found in the upgrade trees. The personal menus are stylized to look like the new kid’s Facebook page. The more you do and complete, the more friends requests you will receive. These somehow tie in to your strength, but exactly how wasn’t clear.
The humor won’t be for everyone, and the JRPG mechanics might not win over some. But despite the traditional gameplay, you can’t deny the fierce creativity at work. It’s refreshing, and stands out in the sea of violent titles that dominate gaming today.
Leviathyn - "Come On Down To South Park"
One element that pleasantly surprised me was the emphasis on environmental puzzle solving. One scenario has multiple kids blocking your way through the school. No problem; Randy Marsh has taught you the secret of the Nagasaki fart (which you can see in the trailer below). Farting clears the path no problem, until a kid set-up with a fan bars your path. The player has a number of options here: they can walk around trying to figure out another solution, trigger the sprinklers to short out the fan or teleport up to the ducts to bypass the situation altogether.
During our time with The Stick of Truth, we saw more cameos than you could shake a Manbearpig at: Mr. Slave, the aliens, Jesus, Satan, hippies, the Underpants Gnomes, the Woodland Critters, Mr. Hanky and the Crab People all made appearences at some point. A long as Towlie gets included at some point, I’ll be happy.
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