Game Review: South Park: The Stick of Truth

I have been putting this off, mainly because with the sheer amount of things I do on this site I was hoping to get someone else to write it.  But that didn’t happen – and the demand seems to be overwhelming for me to go ahead and review this game, I guess because I won’t BS anyone.

After you play this game you'll need to find Jesus too, to repent for your sins.

After you play this game you'll need to find Jesus too, to repent for your sins.

Let me start off by saying I have a lot of respect for Matt Stone and Trey Parker because they’re consistent.  When it first came out South Park was super-trendy and you couldn’t find a kid who didn’t own a t-shirt with a phrase from the show.  Eventually the trend died down and everybody became ridiculously politically correct and Matt and Trey were two of the only people on the earth that didn’t water down or walk away from what they were doing.  South Park continued to push the envelope, be controversially humorous and somewhat offensive to people who take things a bit too seriously.  Naturally I respect that.  I’m along those lines myself.  When I heard that there was going to be a South Park RPG, I told myself “this is a game I have to pick up the day it comes out,” and it doesn’t matter if the game plays like a dream or plays like a nightmare, the fact remains “when that game comes out they’re going to piss a lot of people off.”  For some reason sensitive types are even MORE sensitive when it comes to video games.  I resolved to pick up the game on the release date out of concern that eventually some idiot censor would get their wish and have the game pulled until some content was “modified.” 

Oddly enough the United States is the only place the game wasn’t altered, as copies in Europe and Australia got censored although Matt & Trey managed to put their own amusing slant on censorship, mocking any country that did in their copies of the game.  The result is that America gets one of the most awesomely offensive (and actually fun) games I’ve ever played.

South Park: TSOT might not be the first game to let you take a dump but it's probably the first game to let you then take your dumps out of the toilet and fling them at your enemies.

South Park: TSOT might not be the first game to let you take a dump but it's probably the first game to let you then take your dumps out of the toilet and fling them at your enemies.

South Park: The Stick of Truth sees you control a “New Kid” in town and you’re given a variety of customization options to create your own South Park character.  Even at the beginning you get some very amusing options, such as a skin color that legitimately is called “New Jersey Spray Tan,” and any number of outfits, hairstyles and the like.  Don’t worry about it if you suddenly change your mind about your appearance as any number of hairstyles, face accessories and clothing options is available to you as you progress throughout the game.  The New Kid quickly makes friends with Butters who invites him to the Kingdom of Kupa Keep (The KKK) run by the Grand Wizard (Cartman) who is feuding with the Drow Elves over the Stick of Truth.  He who controls the Stick of Truth controls the universe.  A quick tutorial shows you that this is a turn-based RPG.  You get bonuses to damage by pressing buttons at certain times and I admit even now I don’t have the timing down for everything.  The game is actually VERY easy by RPG standards, however, and rather simplified.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, because the focus on this game are the jokes, plot and story therein.

The Kingdom of Kupa Keep (KKK) run by Cartman is your first stop upon this journey.  

The Kingdom of Kupa Keep (KKK) run by Cartman is your first stop upon this journey.  

During the intro you’ll be able to pick your character class between Fighter, Thief, Mage, and Jew.  Cartman will make amusing remarks such as claiming he’s never seen a white thief (or if you’re a Hispanic or Black colored character claiming that you “look like a thief”).  If you pick Jew Cartman will remark “I guess we will never be friends.”  Little comments and commentary like this with its “controversial poor taste” brand of humor are what makes the Stick of Truth so interesting.

Cartman keeping it classy as always.

Cartman keeping it classy as always.

You’ll find virtually all of South Park is in the game, with most of the interesting characters of the show appearing as you go on a quest to retrieve the Stick of Truth.  Since all of the characters are playing a fantasy scenario, there are plenty of references and jokes directed at Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and more.  I find this hilarious on a personal level because I’m a big fan of most forms of fantasy.  Even the music in battle has a somewhat Skyrim-like tone to it.

Always satirical, South Park mocks the importance of having friends on Facebook by making it part of the gameplay.

Always satirical, South Park mocks the importance of having friends on Facebook by making it part of the gameplay.

Although there is a main quest, there are many sub-quests and inaccessible areas that you’ll need special skills and items in order to access.  The New Kid will have to make Facebook friends with a lot of the characters of the show in order to unlock special skills and perks.  Making it more amusing is often there will be jokes and humor within the Facebook page inside the game such as Butters’ father posting on your wall that he “apologizes for Butters’ existence in general.”   There are so many interesting side-quests you’ll do such as “solve South Park’s homeless problem by beating up the homeless,” and “hunt down the whereabouts of ManBearPig,” which might lead to the most difficult fight in the game (more so than the final boss).  On top of that during the game you unlock magic “farts,” enter dungeons which include an abortion clinic and the inside of a gay man’s ass, and continue to unlock the other characters. 

It's a good thing the homeless don't have access to technology to complain about their representation in this game!

It's a good thing the homeless don't have access to technology to complain about their representation in this game!

The maximum party size at any time is 2, which somewhat simplifies the game, but each character has different pros and cons.  By the end you’ll be able to choose from Stan, Butters, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, or Jimmy, each with attacks that are somewhat signature for them for long-time fans of the show (such as Kyle being able to use Ike as a football-projectile weapon, or Butters being able to transform into Dr. Chaos).  The game also has summon spells allowing you to summon some of South Park’s stranger characters to assist you including an AK 47 wielding Jesus or Mr. Slave who can shove an entire enemy up his ass.  Yes… I just wrote that one character can shove another character up his ass in a review.  I feel like I’ve waited my entire life to write something like this.

Are you offended yet?

Are you offended yet?

Of course the game manages to still take the piss out of tons of celebrities and whether it is claiming Mongolian food tastes like Lionel Richie’s asshole, Tom Cruise still hiding inside Stan’s closet, fighting an aborted fetus that came from Khloe Kardashian’s body or completing the game after getting a makeover that gives you David Hasslehoff’s face for the remainder of the game, there is plenty of celebrity trash talk in here and it’s a surprise that Hollywood hasn’t again remarked how butt-hurt they are to have been insulted by South Park yet again.  Of course all of the sounds and music that make South Park so fun are here, and whether it’s the Princess Kenny theme (seen recently in the show), the Sparrow singing a song about escaping from a gay man’s ass, or Jimmy singing the only funny “Your Mom” joke in 2014 (see below), this game manages to make you laugh uncontrollably throughout the entire playthrough.

And yes… usually Jimmy will stutter half of that song making it even funnier.  In fact one of the funniest running gags is that Jimmy will usually continue to stutter infinitely in almost any scene he is in unless you push the B button to make him stop. 

Beating up Mongolian Children is an entire side-mission in South Park: TSOT.

Beating up Mongolian Children is an entire side-mission in South Park: TSOT.

The one gripe I have is that the game is short even by “casual gamer” standards – but it might just be because even if you’re a casual gamer you might find yourself glued to the game until it is over.  Fortunately, it is rounded out due to the fact the classes all have very different, comical maneuvers and due to the achievement system with MANY achievements being difficult to attain on one play through.  My first play through was as “The Jew” and moves included circumcising my enemies, and calling a swarm of locusts, plague and fire from Egypt to smite my enemies.  Now I feel inclined to play the game as the other three classes and pick up achievements which range all over the scale (such as one achievement which involves beating up Meth dealers while wearing a costume which makes you appear as Walter White/Heisenberg from Breaking Bad).  And this is only scratching the surface of all the crazy scenes, situations and jokes that you’ll find in this title – just wait until you see Canada in this game (no I won’t spoil THAT surprise).  In all honesty I haven’t laughed at anything this much in a long time, and when it was all over I felt like I got my money’s worth.

DON'T HASSLE THE HOFF.

DON'T HASSLE THE HOFF.

Is South Park: The Stick of Truth worth the price of admission?  If you’re a fan of the show, definitely.  There is plenty here to keep you busy and this is one of those games you’ll want to replay because it feels like you are LIVING a South Park episode when you do.  Although if you’re someone who isn’t really big on South Park, you’ll probably be grossed out, disgusted, offended, and uptight which makes me wonder what you’re doing on this website to begin with.