[Also available on PS3/PS4; Xbox 360/One; Switch]
[Time played: 11 hours]
In this day and age, most licensed games tend to range from subpar to outright bad, but Ubisoft always makes sure some games are an exception. In comes South Park Stick of Truth, a love letter to RPGs by the minds behind South Park and brought to life by the Fallout New Vegas devs. Stick of Truth stars an unnamed kid who moved in to the town of South Park to start a new life. Here, you meet the South Park gang and join them in their LARP game. Since this is an Obsidian game, you choose from four classes to go with, fighter, thief, mage, or Jew?. Yeah, it's a South Park game, and Trey and Matt made sure it's as vulgar and offensive as the show. In some scenarios, you're set up to do objectives that range from mundane to outright bizarre. I don't want to say much as it's apparently crazy enough to get censored in the UK and Australia. Other than that, it's pretty nice to explore the little town of South Park and interacting with the characters, especially if you're a SP fan. The game takes inspirations from Earthbound, where you're just a kid exploring at your leisure and fighting against either the mundane, like other kids LARPing or wild forest animals, or other bizarre creatures like nazi zombie civilians or aliens. The combat is perfectly fine, taking cues from the Paper Mario games where you and your partner will select moves and do QTEs to create more effective results. It can get repetitive after awhile, but there's enough to keep these events interesting. You also have the opportunity to defend yourself by pressing the button on time. In some cases however, there are scenarios where these turn into button mashing segments and can be impossible to succeed. Thankfully, it doesn't end your game. Though I've noticed the game is on the easy side. I'm not an RPG expert,but it's very easy to find items to heal and refill power points and your stats refill after every battle. The game also has the option to buff your abilities and equipment. The RPG elements are there, but it clearly wants to entertain more than challenge you.
Despite the lack of challenge, Stick of Truth manages to be a faithful recreation of the show and a love letter to RPGs. If you're a fan of South Park or need a new Earthbound or Paper Mario, this game may be right up your alley. The game is not for the faint of heart though, so avoid it if your're sensitive or simply not a fan of the show whatsoever.
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