Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 185 - South Park: The Stick of Truth

South Park: The Stick of Truth has incredible presentation, a solid enough story, and mostly terrible gameplay. That's OK, I guess, because it's funny and looks great, but there are absolutely times when it plays so bad you want to quit. I didn't quit, though, and kept charging through right up until the ridiculous ending. Read on for more and to watch mid-game gameplay.

You star in The Stick of Truth as the new kid in South Park and immediately get thrust into a fantasy conflict between Cartman and Kyle and Stan. Eventually, the "Lord of the Rings" theme is joined by aliens and Nazi zombies and other crazy crap, just like we've come to expect from "South Park". The presentation is the best part, of course, as the game looks exactly like an episode of the show and features all of the real voices and sounds and everything else. 

The gameplay starts out promising by giving you the entirety of the town of South Park to wander around in and explore. Exploring familiar locations and  talking to all of the recognizable townsfolk is really enjoyable. The basic combat is also pretty fun as it's sort of a Mario RPG-style turn-based mixed with timed hits hybrid. 

Then the game introduces "magic" and things fall apart. Magic in this game is farts. All sorts of different farts that require different control inputs to implement. It sucks. You can actually beat the game without really using farts in combat, which is how I beat the game originally on Xbox 360. Maybe they tweaked things a big for the X1 / PS4 release, though, because I didn't have quite as much trouble this time around. I still didn't use it much.

There are other gameplay problems, though. Giving Stan's dad, Randy, an abortion (yes, you read that right) is a series of minigames that are explained incredibly poorly to the point that you'll fail it repeatedly and not know what the heck to do. The tutorials to teach you to fart are also awful, so you'll fail repeatedly and have to sit through "funny" dialogue before you can try again. There are some specific things you have to do while exploring that are a pain, too, due to bad controls and lack of clear instructions telling you what you're supposed to do. I seriously almost quit playing 4-5 times because it just sucked and I didn't know how to get past something. I ultimately always kept trying, though, because it was funny (and I love achievements).

That really is the key to The Stick of Truth - it's freaking hilarious and exploring South Park is fun. It's enough to help you grind through the rough parts. Hopefully, The Fractured But Whole is better, because I'm playing that soon.