Graphics are very faithful to the series
Some levels very very tough!
|Time Played||4 hours|
|Game Progress||Finished all levels but not time attack mode - this is very hard!!|
Anannya Sens Review
I'm going down to South Park, gonna have myself a time...
Can it really be 10 years since Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny hit our screens? Now I'm not a huge fan, but I have seen the odd episode or two. And this game is a definite celebration of the odd episodes (which were pretty much all of them weren't they?).
Let's start the review off then. Well, it's a platform game the whole way through but what strikes you straight away is how similar the graphics are to the animation of the actual TV series. Admittedly, the series never looked polished either, so to the unitiated the graphics could seem quite lame when compared with the 3D polygon shading things we're capable of today, but even right down to the way the characters move, the in-game graphics are spot on. And the characters themselves look exactly like their TV counterparts.
Sound is very very basic with some tones if you don't make the level and some sound effects that reminded me a little of the clangers. These were the same for each level, but at least you get vibration as well, if you so choose, and both that and the sound can be turned off. The little polyphonic intro, which is basically the TV theme, was the best thing about the sound for me.
Controls should be simple, and to a certain degree they are, but I have a few reservations. You use the D or key pad to move your character and jump around. This includes diagonal jumps, so while you can use the D pad to jump high and then left, you could just press 1 instead. There are times when you need to pick up things, throw things and carry things and for this you press the 5 button. It's all pretty self explanatory and you probably don't even need to read the instructions. So what were my reservations, I heard you cry? Well, for me at least, the controls were a little too responsive at times. It almost felt as if when you jumped, the character landed and skidded a little. Diagonal jumps onto stacked objects proved to be quite tricky as you had to be precise, but also, there is a feature where you can drop through some floors by pushing down. Unfortunately my stick was so responsive that when I jumped onto something, because I kept moving as well, it sometimes registered as a down so I often jumped onto a ledge to fall right back off it again. Still, perserverance was the key as I did eventually get used to it and managed to complete all the levels. However, I do think the over sensitivity means that I won't have a chance on time attack mode!
So from what you've read so far, standard platformer right? Well, yes and no. Each of the 10 stages lets you play a character from the series, including some of the more obscure ones such as Scuttlebutt, Butters and even Lemmiwinks. As I don't watch the show religiously I wasn't aware of who some of these characters were. Cows I could understand but a talking rat? The levels themselves have somewhat similar objectives. You have to get to the end, free people, bring things to the exit and even trap people on some levels. This ensures the game doesn't get monotonous, although you're still jumping around like a blue arsed fly.
Each stage has 3 levels and finishing these unlocks the next stage. Also, on each level, there are a certain number of poofs to collect. I think we call them Wotsits in the UK (or Woosties as my mother used to call them) but if you collect all of them on each level you will unlock a bonus level. These don't have more poofs to collect and it's just about finishing the level. One good thing is that you can collect the poofs at any time, and the game will always record your progress for poof collecting. So you can play a level, collect all the poofs and not actually finish it, then if you die and restart, you don't have to collect the poofs any more. You get what I mean. This is useful too, as some levels have enemies floating around and it can be quite tricky to collect the poofs while trying to avoid them.
You start with 3 lives (2 hearts) and once you are hit, you lose a life. As with standard gaming, once hit, you are invulnerable for a few seconds and the character flashes. One thing I must say about the game is that the difficulty level is all over the place. Some levels were very very easy but I found the ninja level (yes, you read that right) to be the hardest in the game. Apart from the bonus level on stage 10. This inconsistency meant that I breezed through some levels maybe a few minutes at a time, but then hit a brick wall for a while on other levels. You do get to play as a variety of characters though, and the levels are varied enough to keep it interesting. Some levels have different coloured keys to collect, others have a time limit and others have switches for you to pull.
I have to admit that I definitely enjoyed the game. The crazy humour was there and when I read on a later level to "beware of the farts!" I actually sniggered out loud on the train. Which is a big no no if you've ever got the tube in the UK. Eyes down, mouths closed is how it is over here. Anyway, I digress, the game took me a fair while to complete and some of the bonus levels were hard. It was quite easy to collect all the poofs though so unlocking the bonus levels wasn't a problem.
Finally, apart from saving your progress, there are rewards you get as well. If you finish all the levels, you get a comedy dance ending. If you finsh all the bonus levels, you unlock a time attack mode and apparently if you complete that (no chance for me) then you get a very special ending. No idea what that is and unfortunately I don't have the time to find out. So many games, so little time.
In conclusion, a well presented game which is fun to play and if you're a big fan of the series, the unique characters will really appeal to you.
Game time - 4 hours
Achieved - finished all 40 levels. Unlocked reward 1 and reward 2.