Having completed a lot of similar games recently, I thought I’d dip into something that was outside of my normal gaming comfort zone, a turn based RPG. From my understanding, South Park: The Stick of Truth is quite a lightweight version of such a genre, and made it very accessible for a turn-based noob.
Now I have to say, I’m a massive South Park fan, and the attention to detail in this was amazing. The world and characters had been perfectly recreated to make you feel like you were playing through a 14 hour TV episode. Even the music in the shops was taken straight from the TV series.
The story starts directly after the events in the South Park episodes (dubbed Game of Thrones trilogy) at the end of season 17. You play a new kid, who he and his parents have just moved to South Park. You have the magical ability of being able to easily befriend people of Facebook. Some people you can befriend by simply talking to them, some require a side mission (normally a fetch quest) to gain their friendship. Although that might seem a little dull, Trey Parker and Matt Stone involvement ensures every missions is very enjoyable.
There’s the main story as well, the stick of truth has been stolen, and you use your ‘ability’ to help return it. As you progress, there are a number of interesting missions that help gain additional powers, as well as help the story unfold. Each of these feel very familiar as they’re based on South Park episodes.
As well as the abilities you gained, you also were able to use up to four different farts, each with their own special ability. I still chuckly now about on of the names (Sneaky Squeaker), which allowed you to pull enemies to a certain location.
There are collectables in the game, the good ol’ Chinpokomon, scattered all around the map. Some of them you won’t be able to access until you’ve progressed the story and picked up some additional abilities. This goes the same with befriending everyone in South Park, both with trophy/achievements attached.
If you are a trophy/achievement whore, this game is going to sting, as there are twenty-one miss able trophies/achievements. Although these should be easy enough to get in a single play through, it would require some work and pre-planning. Achievements like, “When you fight boss x, ensure you’re wearing y”, or similar.
So I guess the eye opener for me was the combat system. This is my first time using a turn-based combat system, and you know what, once I’d got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it. The game starts of very slow, assumes you’ve never played this combat system before and does a good job of explaining how the system works. Although it took me a few battles to get to grips with what I could and couldn’t do, I found myself easily beating my foes towards the end of the game.
Like any good RPG, this one has stats, has equipable items, has the ability to upgrade your items, and go out fully loaded with items that suited your playing style. The weapons could be upgraded with strap-ons (yup, they went there), and clothing with patches. I think at one point I had a broken bottle, equipped with fire damage…pretty random, but it worked out ok.
I unfortunately played the European version on the Xbox, which meant that some of the content apparently wasn’t suitable for us. Although we did get a prompt with what we were missing out on, we didn’t get to play a handful of mini games.
When you get three quarters of the way through the game, the game changes…for a little, into an old school 8-bit RPG. Again, it’s not something I’ve previously had a lot of exposure to, but found myself really enjoying it.
All in all, a great experience, especially if you’re a fan of South Park, and I so can’t wait for the next game in the series, A Fractured But Whole.
Approx Time taken to beat – 14 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
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