I’m one of the few people who watched South Park from its first season, way back when Matt and Trey awkwardly made introductions to each episode. The series really came into its own at around Season 10, and looking back to the first episodes I can’t help but wonder why I watched them. You stumble upon that same feeling when powering through the video game adaptation..
For one thing, the PC rendition of South Park is set in poor 3D and not the cutout 2D graphics that characterized the TV series. Characters look odd and misshaped, hardly resembling their cartoon counterparts. Granted, the sound is better than the graphics. Toss in plenty of taunts, quips, and one-liners from series stars Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Issac Hayes, along with a too-cute soundtrack, and the game even sounds like an episode of the show. If anything, the game is even fouler, with somewhat fewer curse words bleeped out.
The general gameplay is that of a 3D shooter. It revolves around the idea of saving the town of South Park from “Tank” enemies. In each level, there are hundreds upon hundreds of regular enemies, nearly all of them of the same type, and a few larger “tank” enemies that are much more difficult to kill. When wounded enough, the Tanks will run away. After each stage, you have to kill all the Tank enemies that got by before they destroy the town. Fail, and it’s “game over.” While this doesn’t necessarily make the game bad, it certainly makes it repetitive.
The game’s Nintendo 64 roots tend to show up in annoying places. Games can only be saved between levels. Options to change screen resolution aren’t readily available, and extra accoutrements like demo recording or custom player skins are missing as well. The menu system is obviously straight from a console, with the exception of the keyboard setup screen. There’s an included multiplayer which you couldn’t find in the console version, but good luck finding anyone to play against.
System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 100 MB HDD, Win98
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