An Ode to ‘South Park: The Stick of Truth,’ Savior of the Series’ Gaming Reputation (Part Two)

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bill-swift - November 15, 2013

As we saw last time, previous South Park-branded games have been all kinds of ass. When Chef's Luv Shack isn't the kind of spontaneous pants-removing, bra-flingin' raunchathon we expect of the character (a man who was so virile he could impregnate an office chair), something has gone very wrong indeed.

But fear not, because the impending South Park: The Stick of Truth will consign all those bad memories to the Shed of Shit, and leave them to fester there for eternity. Or something. We're excited about this one, is the message we're trying to convey here.

The game has been floating in the ether since E3 2012, at which the first trailer was revealed.

Studio setbacks, publishing rights changing hands and other corporate shenanigans have seen Stick of Truth miss countless release dates, but it is now on course to arrive on March 4. Let's take a look at just why it has been so hotly anticipated.

It is an old-style RPG set in the satirical show's universe, in which the protagonist ‘New Kid' must fulfill his destiny as South Park's savior. Doing so will involve, naturally, all the battling, fiddling with stats pages and exploration we've come to expect of the genre. With, just as naturally, a whole lot of piss-takery and bodily functions thrown in.

This balance is critical. The previous titles, hamstrung by the craptacular capabilities of the consoles (and general sucking), brought us characters that scarcely resembled our beloved South Park crew. The spirit of the show was entirely lacking, even if we were able to drop exploding shits in the road in South Park Rally. A decade later, Stick of Truth's animation and general visuals look almost indistinguishable from scenes from the show. With all the voice acting and humor in place this is quite plainly the game that fans have waited so long for; an authentic South Park experience.

But also, as the latest gameplay demonstrates, a quality RPG setup in its own right. The footage below shows battles more interactive than the ‘choose your attack from a list and watch as it, and your foe's move, automatically plays out' turn-based combat of yore. Attacks require different actions, timing-based button presses like those in the Mario and Luigi RPGs. 'Status' effects, including throwing up and simply BEING PISSED are also rife, and there's armor effects, assorted buffs, combat moves that look far too flashy and melodramatic, all that good stuff.

Here, for your delectation, is that slice of gameplay again. Watch in wonderment as South Park's trademark offensive lunacy combines perfectly with actual RPG standards.

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