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South Park: The Stick of Truth Hands On Impressions!


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IGN has posted an article and a few videos of the upcoming game and it actually looks promising. I was originally very skeptical about this game and it seems a lot of people were with me in that boat but from what I've been reading so far the game is actually pretty goddamn good. 



How happy does South Park: The Stick of Truth make me? Put it this way: I played it for two-and-a-half hours and didn’t even complete the first main story quest you’re given. Instead, I giddily wandered through the streets of the quirky Colorado mountain town as my custom-created “new kid,” talking to everyone I met, entering every house and building I could, and searching every nook and cranny for loot. And I didn’t even finish exploring. Not even close.

Every corner of this turn-based, Paper Mario-esque role-playing game is filled with fan service. Go upstairs at Cartman’s house, wander into our favorite fat-ass’s bedroom, open his closet door, and you’re faced with what is almost literally a treasure trove of references to classic episodes: the Awesome-O suit, a Faith +1 platinum album, the Coon costume, the Beefcake t-shirt, etc.



You’re looking at the sh*tty construction-paper style of South Park and you don’t expect a proper RPG to come out of it.


But the fan service isn’t limited to the occasional closet. Every bit of loot -- assigned a cash value so you can buy new weapons and items -- is contextually funny. Cartman’s bathroom has packets of Sea People, Cartman’s mom’s dresser drawers contain sex toys of various shapes, sizes, and colors, Father Maxi’s office desk holds a “boy-sized leash,” etc. I combed and examined everything I could without regard for the main story, and hilariously, the game even playfully chastised me for not making any critical path progress. At one point, party member Butters (you’ll eventually unlock other South Park kids to have in your two-person group) told me, “Seriously, we’re supposed to be playing the game, not just running around town.” The joke, of course, being the “game” is both a reference to the kids’ imaginative LARP-ing and the video game you’re actually playing.

Yes, the “role-playing” in this RPG comes from Cartman and his human friends, who are trying to protect the magical “Stick of Truth” from Kyle and the hated elves. The elevator-pitch version of it is presented as a funny 1970’s-style cartoon; it’s the first thing you see after you press Start. And for all of the absurdity of the South Park source material, the underlying gameplay is solid. Battles happen JRPG-style, where you approach (or get accosted by) an enemy. Fights happen in turns, with standard attacks blending with “PP”-powered special abilities against enemies in row-style formations. It quickly becomes apparent that you must learn to target mages and support classes first before focusing on the tanks. I played as a Thief (you can also choose a Warrior, Mage, or Jew).


Meanwhile, your attacks amplify or dull based on how well you do with timed button presses as you go on the offensive. For instance, one special hammer attack by Butters has you twirl the left thumbstick, then press A when you see a bushel of flames engulf the young Stotch. Take on the wrong enemy before you’re sufficiently leveled-up and you will die. I bit the bullet once during a brush-up with a herd of horse-riding Mongorians [sic] and, yep, another reference awaited me at the Game Over screen, as I found myself at Heaven’s pearly gates, greeted by a group of smiling Mormons. Collectibles abound, too, such as Chinpokomon. And you also earn a new Perk, such as Protect My Balls (take greatly decreased damage when critically injured), for every certain number of friends you make.

It all works, which is surprising only because you’re looking at the sh*tty construction-paper style of South Park and don’t expect a proper RPG to come out of it. It’s worth noting how dead-on perfect the visuals for this game are. Playing in 1080p on a PC with an Xbox 360 controller plugged in, it genuinely looks like you’re controlling an episode of the show -- a trick enhanced by the fact that there’s no HUD until you press Y, at which point your health and PP meters briefly appear.


It shouldn’t really be surprising how solid The Stick of Truth is when you remember that veteran RPG house Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege III, etc.) is doing the in-the-trenches development while series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone handle the writing and voice acting. All signs so far point to it being a perfect partnership. The studio’s unfortunate reputation for shipping buggy products is the only concern left to alleviate, though I can say that I encountered no quirks or problems during my 2.5-hour hands-on time.

If it’s not apparent already, I am a South Park superfan. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every single episode in the show’s 17-years-and-counting run. Does that color my initial enthusiasm for this game? Of course it does! It’s made for me. I’m purposely not writing about the funny dialogue because I don’t want to spoil any of it for you (though you probably won’t be able to resist watching the first 13 minutes of the game in the video at the top of this page). Regardless of how solid its under-the-hood RPG mechanics are, it’s unlikely to win over those who don’t find the show funny, but it certainly stands a good chance to at least lure in RPG fans who are new or neutral to Parker and Stone’s no-one-is-safe social satire. If its first couple hours are any indication, then we may one day soon look back on The Stick of Truth as the best and most authentic licensed game ever made.


For some pretty cool videos check out the article. They have the first 13 minutes of the game there as well as Gregg and Ryan discussing what they think so far. 
This has definitely shot onto my pre-order list.
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Why can't they make a kick ass Futurama RPG :( Imagine Mass Effect with Futurama characters :o


Anyways I used to like SP but haven't watched it in years, I will probably pick this up eventually but not a priority right now

That would be great Futurama is funny and would make a cool sci-fi game. I'm not into South Park at all, I watch the show once in a while, and some of it is funny, but most of the time it's disgusting. I won't be getting this game.
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