Top critical review
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South Park fan in me loved it. RPG fan in me loathed it.
on March 17, 2014
I will start with what came with the collectors edition.
6 inch Grand Wizard: Zero posability other than VERY slight movement in arms but I figured as much when I preordered.
Considering the price the 3 inch kidzbot figures go for, this alone is worth the 20 dollar price increase.
"Cartman Drawn" Map of South Park: Show's a picture of what Cartman imagines the "Kingdom of South Park" would look like. It's a neat little collectors item with a few fun details but isn't enough to add any real value to the set.
Extra costumes: They're neat looking, I suppose but add nothing to the overall enjoyment of the game or the value of the collector's edition (Unless I'm mistaken, they were a preorder incentive for all editions, anyway.)
So, as far as bonuses the Grand Wizard figure alone justifies the extra 20 dollars when considering what smaller figures by the same company sell for. However, I do not think the core game is worth 60 dollars (will explain why momentarily) so do not feel this set is worth 80 dollars and especially the 100+ dollars 3rd parties are trying to sell them for.
If you could find this set for 50 bucks it would be, in my opinion, worth it, however unlikely it getting down to that price is.
Now, for the review of the actual game. This is a copy/paste of my review for the standard edition:
I'm not going to waste time with some long, drawn out intro. I'm just going to get strait to my my long and drawn out explanation as to why , after 2 years of fanboy glee for this game, I give it an average rating.
Narrative: Everything about the world, characters and story is classic South Park. It truly is like watching an episode of the show and is quite possibly the funniest video game I've ever played (I've played Deadpool and Saints Row IV, so that's an accomplishment)
Variety: Just about every quest you take on has enemies unique to it. You are constantly finding yourself entertained by the appearance of classic characters and the occasional new.
The look: It looks just like an episode of the show.
Characters: Most of the characters fans have come to love over the years are present. There is a couple odd exclusions and the way some of them used is a waste but the enjoyment of seeing your favorites is great.
Difficulty: If it wasn't for the Mature theme, I'd swear I was playing a game designed to introduce young players to RPGs
Length: Some people say quality over quantity. Others say they are many good games that only clock in at 8 hours. If that's how you feel, that is fine. The fact is most RPG players expect both quality and quantity and an RPG that's barely longer than the latest linear Hack-n-Slash or 3rd Person shooter is simply unacceptable to this RPG player.
Battle System: If done right, it would have been great. The way it combines turn based combat with timing defense is great but your character gets overpowered very quickly. The game puts a heavy emphasis on "magic" but in the end it just makes more sense to use the same strategy on every enemy in the game. It gets boring fast. Given the the huge variety of enemy types, you'd think you would need to employ many strategies over the course of the game. In actuality, their is one optional boss that provides something even resembling a challenge. It's easily the worst implemented, potentially good, battle system since Time & Eternity.
Level Progression: The pacing is way off. If you even consider doing side quest, you are going to find yourself so over leveled the already easy battle system becomes truly brain dead. Again, think Time & Eternity.
Useless gear: It's true in most RPGs most things you find are useless. That's even more true in The Stick of Truth. You will be vastly leveled over the best gear available for most of the game. Not once did I have gear in my inventory I couldn't equip because I wasn't to that level. After doing a couple side quest, all gear received through the main quest was useless
Low Level Cap: Given the extremely low difficulty and short length of the game this isn't really as much of a problem it could be. Still, I was completely maxed out about 3 hours before the game ended (about 20% of the game). If the difficulty and balancing weren't such a joke, the level 15 cap would be.
Replay Value: Unless you simply must play as every class or get every trophy their is none. Even then, playing as every class in an RPG would normally take hundreds of hours, not 50-55.
Things missing that were advertised: In many advertisements for the game I saw things like battles with crab people and vampire kids, summons involving woodland critters, various story points and most of them would end with a giant Clyde destroying city hall. None of that stuff happens. It's apparent many cuts were made. If most of the stuff advertised earlier(shortly before it was originally going to be released) is missing, just imagine how much stuff was cut we never new about. Some have hope for story based DLC. Other than the fact making a 15 hour RPG and then releasing DLC to make it longer it simply insulting to most RPG players, Trey and Matt have said their selves that story DLC is probably not going to happen. Although, the South Park fan in me would compel me to purchase it if it did.
Glitches: Personally, I experienced very few bugs. When I did, it was usually slight lag when autosaving or loading. Waiting a few seconds before continuing normally fixed it. Apparently, many have been much less fortunate.
They is certainly great potential for a truly great game if a sequel with Trey and Matt's original vision was to get made (Think skyrim with a south park setting.) but considering how open they've been about hating the entire process, I highly doubt we see another South Park game like this.
For the South Park fan, it's a dream. For the RPG fan, it's a joke.
Some say that this game isn't about gameplay, I say ALL games are about gameplay. If I didn't want to play a South Park game, I'd simply watch the show. I was expecting an enjoyable RPG experience in the South Park universe. That's not what I got.
I would not recommend buying with a 60 dollar price tag. They are RPGs on PSN with more length and deeper game play than this. Unless you are a hardcore South Park fan that has to have it now, I would wait until it dropped to about 30 bucks.
Even, if you a hardcore South Park fan (I certainly am), you may still find yourself disappointed.
I give this 3 stars because characters, environment and story is easily 5 stars. The RPG gameplay is 1 star.