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Game Over Online ~ South Park

GameOver Game Reviews - South Park (c) Acclaim, Reviewed by - Rebellion / Cyrus /

Game & Publisher South Park (c) Acclaim
System Requirements Pentium 90, 16 MB Ram
Overall Rating 55%
Date Published Friday, February 26th, 1999 at 01:11 PM


Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

South Park tore its way into television after starting as five minute short of immature obscenities as Santa and Jesus went to battle. It was humorous, albeit tasteless. After making its mark on Comedy Central, it's only fitting to see South Park infiltrate its way to PC.

Acclaim has wrapped its Turok2 engine into this alien mutant, buttkicking first person shooter. The engine is very underused with South Park. This results in mixed ideas. First off, South Park is a 2D cartoon and by harnessing very little of the features of the engine, it creates a 3D game that's true to the cartoon. On the second hand, this means your eye candy is limited to a handful effects and your levels are pretty uninteresting. Enemies are very limited. Turkeys will populate the first stage, with an intermixing of cows. Stage 2 is filled with clones while Stage 3 is more cows interspersed with aliens. While the characters are very fitting to the nature of the show, the lack of variety makes it a little uninteresting. Levels are also very bland. I like the way they brought the town of South Park into the game. The houses are colorful and pretty interesting. Unfortunately, you're seldom in town, usually out in the middle of nowhere with bland rocks, snow, and mountains.

Since this is South Park, audio plays heavily into the game. It's full of one liners which are humorous the first ten or so times, but they do tend to grow on you. The cutscenes are probably the best part of the game. The boys get their mission assignment from Chef. The cutscenes are funny and feel like part of the TV show. Other than the speech, the audio is mediocre. My roommate threatened to kill me if he heard any more turkeys, so I was forced to resort to headphones for most of stage one. Since there's a real lack of different types of monsters, there's really a lack in the amount of noises. The weapons sound decent, but nothing real spectacular.

Gameplay is pretty boring. It boils down to following a linear path while being attacked by hundreds of mindless enemies. Now it does change up a little bit, like where you're killing hundreds of minions in order to stop them from destroying the town. These levels have you in a pretty closed space where the enemies come to you. Not really any more interesting than trying to make your way from point A to point B like the other levels. At the end of each stage, you will have to defeat a boss. Bosses follow the idea that they have a weak point and that's the only place you can damage them. With the semi-ineffective weapons you're given, this takes a long, long, long time to defeat the bosses.

Control is as good as any FPS, so not really much to say in this category. Level design is very bland, forcing you to go in one direction through a board (or should I say bored?). Weapons are, shall we say, interesting. The normal weapon is a snowball, adding a dodgeball, toilet plunger, nerf gun, and cow launchers among other things. Each weapon has two firemodes, one normal and one special. The special are more powerful, but are slower. It makes the weapons more interesting. I liked the toilet plunger gun the most, the triple fire special firemode makes short work of most baddies.

Multiplayer is South Park's only redeeming quality. It's a helluva lot of fun. Lots of flying snowballs and flying insults. Turok2 engine performs very well over a dialup connection and multiplayer lets you choose from twenty characters from South Park. This makes for some really entertaining multiplayer battles.

Alas, multiplayer and cool cutscenes isn't enough to save this game. It's too uninteresting and plays too much as a very mindless shooter. Think of it as a modern day space invaders. You just keep killing enemies over and over and over. If you're a diehard South Park fan, this should give you some giggles for a little while, but even then it's stretching anyone's patience.

If you're looking for a good multiplayer FPS, and don't mind paying full game prices, South Park might work for you. If South Park would have been marketed as a discount game, it might deserve a look, but I can't see anyone buying this to play the single player game. As I delete this from my hard drive, I have one last thought. "Oh my god, I killed Kenny!"

Highs: cool cutscenes, can be funny to a point, great multiplayer
Lows: boring and repetitive, mindless.

 

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Rating
66%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

A couple of years ago my friends and I were sitting around watching television when one of them whipped out a ratty looking VHS tape. He said "Hey check this out, its pretty funny." We put it in and were subjected to one of the funniest animated shorts I had ever seen. This five minute short featured four loud mouth kids, Santa Claus, and Jesus. We were all surprised when the show turned into a Comedy Central series and became the next Simpsons. After watching about three episodes of the show I realized something, every episode was the same. There really isn’t any originality. Just a couple of catch phrases and a fart joke every thirty seconds. When I heard they were making a first person game I thought that maybe they would inject something new into the mix. They didn’t.

The game mixes many of the reoccurring themes of the movie into one giant mess. You play as any of the four kids from the show and your mission is to defend South Park from invading alien clones. You are given a broad assortment of weapons such as snow balls, dodge balls, plungers and even an odd weapon that turns the enemies into dancing fiends. Anyway, its more of the same annoying stuff that I’ve become accustomed to watching the show.

Graphics:
The graphics engine is the same as used in Turok2 but without all the special effects. The graphics in general have a muddy feeling to them and I was very unimpressed. The two most noticeable problems (besides the texture tearing, the random dots and poor clipping) are the poor weapon models and the annoying fog that covers everything. Every other texture in the game is well smoothed and then you look at the weapons and realize how dirty they look. The edges of them are not anti-aliased and the textures appear to be in a lower resolution then the rest of the game. The character models fit very well with the animation style of the television show and I think that the developers did a good job maintaining the feel of the show. Projectile graphics are very poor and many of the special effects that are possible today are not utilized. The most impressive effect is a green cloud that appears when you set off a "fart" bomb. In total I believe this game uses four textures for the levels and none of them are very complex, however it must be taken into account that the show’s animation style is very simple.

Sound:
The sound in South Park is the most annoying, obnoxious, and repetitive sound I have ever heard in any game since the advent of digital sound cards. The speech effects are used over and over again until you take on a blank stare and start to talk like Cartman. In the first and third chapters you have to fight against turkeys and cows. The incessant mooing and clucking led my roommate to unplug my speakers when I left the room. Thankfully its all well recorded. You are able to put a music CD in and have it play which is a nice feature. I would have liked to be able to control which track I listened to but unfortunately that option doesn’t exist.

Multiplay:
Multiplayer in South Park is the best feature of the game by far. The multiplayer levels are well designed and make for some pretty fast action. The weapons are fairly well balanced but running out of ammo is a big problem. The dancing gizmo weapon is slightly unfair as it makes you unable to move for about ten seconds, which in multiplayer is a very long time. The game plays pretty lag free but I have a fast connection. Setting up and configuring a server is very easy but the options are limited. The game is very fun and a good departure from the standard first person multiplayer games that are on the market.

Gameplay:
Multiplayer gameplay is fun but single player is an exercise in patience. The game plays very linearly and the level design is very boring. In each level the game sends wave after wave of enemies after you and supplies you with very little ammo. The enemies are also very annoying in that they do little but attempt to run into you. Bosses are very easy to defeat it just takes a while because they can take so many hits. The most annoying part of the entire game is the ability of certain enemies to clone themselves and send more enemies after you. It gets very old, very fast. The weapons are fun but don’t do enough damage. The good weapons that are actually able to damage an opponent are few and far between. Often I found myself reduced to throwing snowballs, which are the default weapon. Each weapon does have the ability to fire two different ways but still there is enough variety or power behind the weapons. I would consider this game annoying rather then challenging due to the poor level design and the weapon/enemy ratio which makes it impossible to have a good time.

Fun Factor & Overall Impression:
If you are a religious watcher of the show I can imagine you would like this game. I however found it to be very boring and tedious. I had fun playing multiplayer but I cannot give the game high ratings based on that alone. This game is fun for five minutes, after that deleting it is about the only fun I had. In conclusion I would only pick this game up if you love South Park or are a huge multiplayer fan.

 

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Rating
66%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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