Thursday, August 8, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 39 - South Park Rally

Back in the early days of "South Park" when it was still an edgy show about third-graders swearing, Acclaim had the video game license for the show. This was back in the N64 era when Acclaim was at the height of its powers and everyone had high expectations that the publisher would be able to do something interesting with South Park. Spoilers: They didn't. A bad FPS, a bad trivia / minigame thing, and a bad kart racer later and Acclaim was done with South Park and well on it's way to bankruptcy and irrelevance. For today's edition of Eric Vs. 365 we're taking a look at the worst of the three Acclaim South Park titles - South Park Rally.

There isn't much to say about South Park Rally, to be honest. It's freaking terrible and legitimately one of the worst games I've played in a long, long, long time. Bad controls, ugly graphics, ridiculous "missions" instead of normal racing, and a distinct lack of humor (which is what the game was supposed to be about) are just some of the issues. I've only ever seen the first couple of events because it's freaking impossible to actually win in this game so I have no idea what the later (admittedly interesting looking) holiday themed levels are even like. The GameSpot reviewer who covered the game in 2000 speculated it might have been intentionally bad and overwhelmingly difficult as some sort of meta-commentary and, after playing it and seeing what South Park eventually became, I sort of believe it.

Playing this game reminded me of what South Park used to be, though, and I kind of miss it. Long before it became a current event-focused sociopolitical commentary, South Park was just a show with crude humor and little kids saying swear words. It was shocking and rude and crude just to make people squirm, and it was hilarious. Then it got all serious and "real" and wasn't as funny anymore. I admit, it was neat to see them take current events and crank out an episode a week later in the mid-to-late 2000's, but then I just sort of stopped caring after a while. It's seriously been a good 7-8+ years since I gave a crap about South Park. I have no idea what it's even like anymore. And I don't care enough to find out.

So, to sum up - South Park the show is boring now and South Park Rally is one of the worst games I've ever played.