South Park: The Stick of Truth (Review)

South Park: The Stick of Truth (Review)

Being a massive fan of South Park for the past fifteen years or so, hearing last year that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were bringing out a current-gen console game had me giddy with excitement. Featuring the usual four rude, desensitised and somewhat emotionless Colorado children, the South Park game brings the same quality and visuals that South Park series fans have grown to love over the last 17 years.

As usual, Matt and Trey’s writing incorporates current events and plenty of hilarious references to previous South Park stories and characters, and features the usual insensitive, well thought out remarks that we know from the show. It’s not really everyone’s cup of tea (or Tweek Bros. Coffee perhaps?), but to me South Park is one of the best, most relevant and influential animated series of all time, and now that I finally got my hands on it and completed the story I’ve got a few thoughts about the game to share.

Humble Beginnings: South Park N64

South Park Nintendo 64
I can’t talk about the Stick of Truth without at least mentioning the original. In 1998, the first South Park game was released on Nintendo 64, later coming out on a couple of other systems. According to some online game reviewers now, it seems there are mixed reviews about this game, but as a 10 year old kid just getting into South Park, I thought it was the bee’s knees and definitely had its enjoyable and hilarious moments. Really, how can you not have fun while throwing snowballs at raging turkeys? As a standalone game in today’s standards it really wasn’t anything special and probably won’t get much play time at all these days, but if anything it gives us a point of reference to see where Matt and Trey have improved in the new Stick of Truth game.

The Truthiest Stick of All Sticks

The Stick Of Truth is a role-playing game that stars you as The New Kid (dubbed Douchebag throughout the game) along with the South Park usuals Cartman (The Wizard King), Kyle (The Elf King), Stan (a warrior), Kenny (the… princess), Butters, Craig, Token, and Jimmy. You battle against various enemies and are able to choose which of the different characters battle with you, which allows you to attempt different strategies and makes the game less tedious and repetitive. The visuals are almost completely identical to the television series, in that you walk sideways on a scrolling 2D map, making it look like the entire game was created on an animation desk similar to the show.

Beginning in South Park and eventually reaching Canada for a bit, you set off on the quest for the Stick of Truth, along the way completing various quests ranging from simple exploration missions to more aggressive battles. The enemies range from normal humans to insane monsters and even to ex-vice-presidents. Similar to other RPGs, you use potions, magic, weapons and defences in strategic ways to take down your enemies. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll it up to you to check out the rest.

Fart Jokes, Nazi Zombies, and Other Kids Bedtime Stories

South Park Stick of Truth Gameplay
If you’ve ever seen the South Park series, especially the more recent series over the past few years, you’ll know that it’s sometimes quite outlandish and random when it comes to the storyline, and the game is no different. Playing the game, you’ll find yourself battling against giant zombie fetus babies (seriously…), getting a helping hand from Jesus who sports a machine gun, and you may even find yourself shrunk down as a gnome, exploring characters’ revolting insides in order to defuse a bomb.

Okay, okay, so it’s obviously not a game for children. It’s been rated R in Australia for good reason, and has been censored in the most inappropriate or horrifying parts, instead displaying an Australian-themed message that describes what was meant to happen in that specific scene. This is the same for the European version, which I bought online hoping to outsmart the Australian censors, but unfortunately that failed and I was presented with European-themed censor messages instead. Sigh. But I will say this – the censored scenes did make me laugh quite a bit, so really in the end we’re probably not compromising too much in playing the censored version.

12 Hours of Epic Battles and Poop Jokes

South Park Mongorians!
Being the perfectionist I am, I went through and completed every minor mission I could find rather than just focusing purely on the main objective (The Stick) because I wanted to get a lasting experience out of this game, which in the end lasted for about 12 hours or so. I’d happily go back and replay the entire game again if I had the time, which I think demonstrates how much I enjoyed it.

If you’re a fan of South Park’s crude humour and you’ve seen a fair few episodes of the television series then you’re sure to love The Stick Of Truth, but if you’re a first-timer or have any sort of conscience or humanity in your soul, you might find it little more difficult to enjoy every aspect of the game. But, if you’re willing to sell a piece of your soul then open your mind and wallet, go buy this game and enjoy the coolest 12-hour-long, zombie-killing, poop-joke-spouting, choose-your-own-adventure episode of South Park you’ll ever see.

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