The boys are out and about playing pretend and decide to role play as some sort of hybrid fantasy world. They string it through where ever they go, into Canada, and it even covers the entire town. You are the new kid in town, nicknamed Douchebag by King Wizard Cartman. For whatever reason the kids hold some random stick as some sort of ultimate power in their kingdom. Yet it’s just a stick. Anyway, some guy from the Elvin district steals the stick. King Wizard Cartman orders you to go find the stick and return it.
The story stays to the true nature of South Park’s themes. It’s wacky, it’s weird, and it has a steady pace of humor, story, and quality character development. It completely goes out of its way to make it a rich environment to explore. It also takes its time to bring in various characters. The game either brings them in as dispensable backup characters during battle or you get to interact with them in some form that references various parts of the show. Another neat fact is that some of their interactions unlock achievements or are just Easter Eggs.
The Stick of Truth is a inventive look on RPGs and adds all the comedy someone could want that is absolutely lacking in most games labeled ‘funny.’ However, it lacks what most games are about: gameplay. It isn’t so much a RPG as it is a quick time events, a mixture of point and click, and filled with weird fetch quests. Most special moves are instantly accessible. If you’re good at quick time events then any battle ends really damn fast, even boss battles. The other half of the time if you have armor that matches your level and enough food, then it doesn’t matter what weapons you do or don’t equip. I was still able to take on most battles easily on normal. Also if you wonder about like I do, just to check out the town, you’ll be swamped with Money. It’s just stupid how much you can get. Sure all this takes the grinding out of the RPG, but that isn’t a bad or good thing. In all honesty it seems like they had a idea, then completed half of it. If not, then it seems like they just need to improve it more. The new-ish RPG style is there, it just drastically needs improving.
The puzzles mostly consist of shooting things in the environment to trigger something else. Simple search and click tactics are prominent in many of them, like in the older point and click adventure games on the PC. Others consist of luck and involving your character to land on whatever it is that is most needed to carry on. All puzzles seem to be of a medium difficulty and don’t change over time. I’ve noticed that paying attention to detail will save most people a lot of time, but backtracking is required for many of the puzzles. This is the only downside to the puzzles, but they are fun due to the various character I got to interact with.
The biggest weaknesses of this game are very blatant and repetitiveness of the game. Like there are basically 3 or 4 major songs that play in the background during the whole game. If you play this game all the way through, including side quests, then it gets really boring and unfunny. One of the major songs is Cartman saying “dumb….dumb…dumb jews….nien!” Now don’t get me wrong it’s done in a creative way and offensively funny the first time you hear it, but after hearing it for the zillionth time it losses its impact. That being said every other RPG that releases a soundtrack either the songs are memorable or if you hear them throughout the game it’s somewhat welcome since it sets the mood and atmosphere for the game. It isn’t grabbing your attention with the obviously mocking lyrics.
Another issue is the continuous glitches and poor loading quality of the graphics in the game. For whatever reason the game takes forever to load from scene to scene. If they don’t take forever they jump and jitter when they finally load and if your decide to walk around. Other times it completely froze and I had to restart my game. I would be fine with that if it looked like Tomb Raider, or even Hotline Miami, but it looks like you’re playing a version of the show and, even after some 10 seasons, it still looks like they make it with Adobe Flash. My PS3 shouldn’t be failing at rendering very basic animation when it can render various other games flawlessly to a point of almost looking realistic. Good examples of this are Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us.
South Park: Stick of Truth is a fun romp through the town of South Park. Its bright, beautiful, and cinematically impressive cut scenes and the story is worthy of a entire mini-series within the show. However the humor, graphics, and gameplay are something to be desired. The humor goes from soft funny humor to something completely rancid within seconds. It doesn’t make the humor ‘bad’ but it is rather jarring, unlike the show where there is usually a balance. The graphics continually stall or just flat out freeze the game up completely. The game play is so simplistic that I hate to label it, but it’s best labeled as a ‘casual game.’
Despite all these blaring flaws it is still a quality product and is representative of the South Park brand of quality story telling, no holds bar comedy, and character development. If anything its a great tribute to the 15 years it’s been on TV.