'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth
Enjoy Zombie Nazi Chef's salty chocolate balls
Twerk coffee and magical farts
In homage to the best South Park episode for ages Ginger Cow, I choose to be a Jew. I was planning to see just how racist Cartman could be without falling foul of an Ubisoft self censor. Who doesn’t want to have a go at the Sling of David or a special scalpel for circumcisions? Choosing a name though was not an option – douchebag.
Cartman's Human Posse
Each class has different skills and abilities, and is clothed with a unique outfit during the campaign. Overall, the game felt a lot like a cosplay convention with a new increasing comical outfit for every level. To try out my newly acquired Jew skills, I am introduced to the turn-based combat system, where my combat options are assigned to a wheel including Magic, Abilities, Attack, Ranged Attack, and Items.
My Magical Farts cost mana, my jew skills cost Pee Pee to perform and buying potions to glug at an opportune moment keeps these topped up. Consumables ranging from twerk coffee to cheesy poofs are essential. Having Butters, my first and best friend, to heal me never went amiss either.
Combat, straight out of Paper Mario, is introduced by some pretty awesome lightning, and it’s your standard select attack and bash, apart from the prompts such as a glint of light where I have to push buttons according to the action taking place on screen.
Defending and blocking also takes some sense of timing to reduce damage taken and I can even avoid attacks such as Timmy’s Ballard, if I am vigilant enough. Enemies are often sporting shields or armour that I need some tactical prowess to counter – it's this that makes the combat varied and rewarding.
The obligatory anal probe
An attack that leaves me on fire or bleeding will reduce my health with each turn and are best dealt with quickly with a bottle of water. Weapon Strap–Ons and equipment upgrades can be applied for health buffs and Pee Pee regeneration adds another level of depth to the game.
There are quests I cannot complete without the help of my buddies and they become part of the turn-based battles, with me controlling their combat. Only one companion can be utilised in combat at any given time, but I can swap different buddies in and out as many times as I like, yet at the cost of their move – and even I was distracted by Princess Kenny’s flirt attack.
If I am still taking too much damage there are a handful of summon abilities that make this game as enjoyable as insulting Cartman’s mom. The likes of Mr. Slave and his lethal anal cavity, Mr. Hanky with a shit storm, and Jesus sporting a machine gun will help me out and their attacks usually oneshot my opponents.
Obsidian Entertainment doesn’t miss a brown note with the pacing in the narrative of this game. The sweet plot twists between locations as diverse as an abortion clinic, someone’s lower intestine and an old school 8-bit version of Canada. For me The Book of Mormon set the bar for anything related to Trey Parker and Matt Stone and I can confirm that the writing’s superb in the game too, with enough stinging social commentary and parody to taste just like a lick of Zombie Nazi Chef's salty balls.
If I were to be picky, jaunty camera angles, fiddly controls and repetitive reminders of my noobishness from Randy, all annoyed me. Also this is a short game: 15 hours gameplay does not an epic make. Even though I found every scene replete with references (Tom Cruise is still stuck in the closet) and Easter eggs (the taxidermy trophy of my favourite character Scuzzlebutt) you’ll find that just like some of the better South Park episodes, it’s all over too soon.
Want to feel like you're injecting Grade A South Park? Seriously, this is a pretty sweet game. Minor performance quirks and negligible irritations aside, this is a must-play for followers of the franchise, and is the most innovative and hilarious licensed title I’ve ever played.
“Just remember what the MPAA says: Horrific, deplorable violence is OK, as long as people don’t say any naughty words!” – Kyle’s Mom. ®