To jump right into it, it is one of the best licensed games ever made, although that’s not saying much considering the utter shite that’s been made, all in the name of a quick buck on a successful name.
But this one is different, the creators of south park Trey Parker and Matt Stone had a big hand in the writing and development of the game so you know that you’re getting a true south park experience (not counting the awful Nintendo 64 fps south park game, that was terrible ugh). Stick of truth however is a thoroughly accomplished RPG made by Obsidian, of Fallout New Vegas fame, not counting their penchant for buggy glitchy games, with this one they seem to have hit it out of the park with only a few bugs, that I have encountered at least.
The first thing that will strike you is that it feels like you are playing in your very own episode of south park, it looks just like an episode of the TV series (albeit slightly tarted up) and you get to create your very own character, side note you are a mute so you wont be doing any of the talking, but hey we’re here for the established characters right?
All our favourites are here Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny etc. Involved in what is essentially a LARPing adventure where the humans are stuck in a war with the elves to control an all-powerful artefact known as the stick of truth. “He who controls the stick controls the universe” so naturally everyone wants it. And with that brings the battle system of the game, which is your old traditional turn based style much like the final fantasy games of old. At its core it is quite a simple system, take it in turns to whack your opponent until they faint, interspersed with magic and ability attacks.
The magic attacks however are actually different variations of farts, you get different types like the sneaky squeaker or the Nagasaki etc. All of which are actually quite useful in combat, however if you overdose on “mana” potions then you run the risk of shitting yourself in combat, im not sure if its detrimental to you during combat but it does drain your mana down to zero so avoid it if you can!
there is also the various status effects you can inflict on opponents like setting them on fire, or by grossing them out, which can be anything from flinging your own poo at them, or to getting one of your buddies to kiss one of your enemies. The best things about the whole combat system is that it feels “South Park” and that is wonderful, they’ve tailor-made something that feels unique to the license rather than taking something tried and tested and re-skinning it with the shows characters.
If there is one gripe I have with the game is that it’s a bit too short, especially for an RPG. My first play through I clocked in roughly around 14 hours (with most of the side quests done) and with my 2nd play through it clocked in around 8 hours, as an RPG that is just too short, especially when you get to the end boss fight the game’s story just kind of stops. There’s not really any climactic build up, it just, happens, which is disappointing as from my experience I couldn’t help thinking “this can’t be the end?” “There has to be something else” but no, once you’ve overcome the final boss that’s it.
It’s that pacing issue that stops the game from being a certifiable great amongst RPG’s, that’s not to say its a bad game, it’s actually a very very good game, but with its pacing issue and abrupt end to the story id say it is worth it, but it’ll definitely help if you are already a fan of the show.
Oh one thing I have to mention is that with the European console versions of the game there is a smidgen of censorship in the form of cutting the anal probe sections aboard an alien spaceship, and an abortion mini-game. I didn’t really have a problem with the cuts, even if the reasons for them were a bit sketchy (the board that’s responsible for handing out age certificates for games reported that they had passed the game uncut the first time round, but that Ubisoft (the publisher) had made the cuts themselves for reasons only they are aware of.
Overall though it’s not that detrimental to the game, sure it’ll provide a short period of annoyance but trust me that goes away fairly quickly as you get yourself stuck into the story.
Thanks for reading