South Park: The stick of truth Review

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It’s hard to properly discuss the stick of truth without giving away all of the things which make it so interesting as probably the most entertaining parts are the places you’ll visit and people you’ll come across. As such, i’ll be keeping this review short and sweet.

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Graphically, and aurally, this game is south park to a tee, the cutscenes are indistinguishable from that of the TV show, and the ingame scenes are occasionally difficult to distinguish from the cutscenes, which is to say, you could be fooled into thinking that was part of the show as well.
Character voices are all present (as to be expected) and so is background music, which brings the game to another level of authenticity.

Stick of truth is also filled to the brim with south park references from way back when, with the majority appearing in the environment either as a graphic, or in the form of ‘junk’ loot items which can be sold for cash (examples of such items are things like the Faith+1 album, or kenny’s purity ring). Again without spoiling too much, almost all of the characters are in, including some you probably forgot about, not all of them make a physical appearance but many can be found again in the environment (a picture in city hall shows the mayor with obama for instance).

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The story is fairly standard south park affair, and by that I mean, simple with a bunch of ridiculous twists and turns. They have managed to make travel to the many locations make sense however, again with most of south park appearing in the world map, even beloved Canada (or rather, especially beloved Canada). On a side note, imaginationland isn’t in the game, yet somehow I get the feeling it’s only a matter of time before DLC gets announced, and that area would make so much sense they’d be dumb not to go down that route.

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As an RPG, stick of truth surprisingly manages to hold up pretty well, combat is active and about as fun as turn based combat gets – mimicking a battle system vaguely similar to Mario RPG, or the Mario and Luigi RPG series. There are a small selection of skills and perks, as well as a large amount of weapons, my only complaint here is that the weapons don’t scale to your level and the numbers scale exponentially (ie. 40 damage at level 3, 2000 damage at level 15). You have no control over your party’s gear, which is probably for the best, however you’ll find that certain characters quickly become irrelevant due to imbalance in power between the subcharacters, Kyle seems particularly strong, while the bard and princess Kenny do relatively little.
I had minor issue with the ‘mana’ system which powers the fart powers, you’d think something like this would accumulate on its own through fighting or something, but you can only replenish mana through items which I would constantly forget to do. You don’t really need these powers to play through the game, but it almost feels like a wasted mechanic because you won’t want to rely on them to do damage purely because they essentially use ammo, while your PP is fully replenished after every fight, and will serve you just as well.

I liked the emphasis on using the environment to gain an advantage over enemies before combat, without going into too much detail there are many sections where you can interact with the environment to kill a few enemies, if you manage to get the whole group you’ll even be awarded with the xp as normal. It’s a nice alternative to slogging through battle after battle, and it’s clear the developers didn’t want to penalize players for taking the supposed easy way out of these fights.

The interface, playing with a controller at least, is passable if a little crowded. Everything can be found in tabs, or in tabs in tabs and is navigated by using directions as well as triggers, it takes some getting used to and isn’t perfect, but you’ll adapt to it eventually. I imagine playing with a keyboard and mouse is a different story however, and not really something I feel like experiencing.

Probably my one and only complaint about the Stick of Truth is the game’s relatively short length for an RPG, with the main story coming in at around 10 hours, and main story and side quests coming in at about 14 or so hours. There also doesn’t appear to be masses of replay value unless you fancy hard mode (which can be enabled from the get go anyway), it would have been nice to see a new game+ with more challenge, but I suppose if we are going to be wishing for features then just any end game content at all would have been nice (no ruby weapon to see here folks).

Verdict:

As an RPG, stick of truth is decent, however as a South Park game this is about as good as it’s ever going to get. Incredible humour and south park references galore, this is a fan’s dream come true.

Approximate Game Length :  10-14 Hours
Actual Worth / Amazon Price:  £25 / £28 = 0.89
Should you play it : If you are a south park fan, absolutely. If you don’t like the show however, then most of the humour of the game will be lost on you.

Rating: 5/5

Oh, a word of warning, it’s probably already too late, but try not to watch the trailers for the game, particularly the most recent one they put out, it really spoils some of the surprises in the game.
Also, the part with the girls was hilarious. Sunshine!

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