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South Park
- Nintendo 64

The Christmas Poo!

Latest Update January 01, 1999  

Cartoons have always been one of the most popular choices for licensed ports. The Simpsons, Beavis & Butt-Head, Rugrats, Animaniacs, and almost every other show to land on Saturday morning programming (with the exception of Life With Louie) has been transformed into a video game. The kids love this software. They gotta have it all. The toys, the Pjs, the games, all of it. But South Park is a different story entirely. It is a cartoon, but it's specifically for adults. Explicit violence and coarse language have forsaken this show to late night cable. But adults love cartoons as well, and South Park garners some of the highest cable ratings each and every week it airs. But will it have the same impact on the game market as the Saturday morning shows? Acclaim Entertainment is counting on it.

It's out there now folks. The first South park video game is now on retail shelves all across the nation. And yes, the violence and language is all there. Kenny dies, Cartman swears, and Mr. Hankey abounds. With the Turok 2 engine under its heels, the flat chopped-up imagery of the South Park cartoon has been transformed into a fast moving three-dimensional video game. And if you are a fan of the show, six scenarios have been created by recycling themes from the show. The turkey menace, the mysterious Scuzzlebutt, the mutated South Parkians, and the alien invasion are all here.

Developer Iguana Entertainment has created a new backstory that intertwines all of these scenarios into one big story. You see, a large green comet is on a collision course with South Park and as it approaches closer and closer, more strange things happen. The first four levels in the game deal with the killer turkeys. It then moves on to the strange mutations, and so on and so on. To fill you in on events, Kyle, Stan, Kenny, and Cartman consult Chef for important updates and clues. Don't expect simple subtitles. Iguana has created a new means to incorporate tons of voice-overs into the game. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the shows creators and voice talent, have recorded exclusive new material for the game. The game also features the complete theme song composed by Primus. Impressive.

The gameplay is very much like Turok 2, but not as plentiful in options or variety. The controls are basically the same, as is the movement, but the game doesn't really deliver the exploration and adventure that Turok 2 does so nicely. Basically, the play in South Park is comprised of one mission repeated over and over again through each and every level. The goal is very basic. Run from beginning to finish. And as cheesy as it sounds, there's even a finish line at the end. Cross it and the level is over. Along the way there are plenty of enemies (all the same kind) and power-ups to find. If you stop the larger enemies, entitled Tanks, from reaching a South Park sign at the beginning of the level, you'll be awarded with a hidden character to use within the multiplayer mode. To accomplish this feat, you'll need to follow every sign, duck into every nook and hunt down every enemy. To make this feat easier, South Park is loaded with tons of weapons ranging from simple pee-soaked snowballs, to crazy cow launchers.

For those of you with friends, South Park is equipped with a GoldenEye-like multiplayer mode. Up to 4-players can compete in 18 arenas. In this mode several other characters are available for play (if you unlock them). Ike, Starvin' Marvin, Jimbo, Mrs. Cartman, Wendy, and many others are here, and yes, they all have authentic voice samples as well.

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Size:
128 Megabit
Style:
1 to 4-Player
Action
Special Features:
6 Episode-Based Missions; 20 Deathmatch Characters; Strange Weapons, Expansion, Rumble & Controller Pak Compatible
Created by:
Iguana
Published by:
Acclaim
Available:
Now


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Andy, The Game Hombre
Concept: 4
Graphics: 8
Sound: 9.25
Playability: 7
Entertainment: 4
OVERALL: 6.5
"Obviously, the South Park TV show is pure genius, but unfortunately for us, its video game counterpart isn't. It is too bad, because the introduction and player select screen will crack you up, as will the lines during gameplay. The bad news is, that they say the same freakin' lines over and over again. Which isn't too bad in itself, but when you mix that with the fact that the gameplay is absolutely dull; the game becomes a pure test of willpower. Shoot the same stupid enemies over and over. And over and over. And over and over. I think you get the point. The only way to play this game is multiplayer. So my advice to you is that you go rent this game, invite your friends, and play it all night. Then return it and never play this game again."

Paul, The Game Professor
Concept: 8
Graphics: 9
Sound: 9.5
Playability: 8
Entertainment: 9
OVERALL: 8.75
"Anytime Acclaim touches a TV or movie license I shiver. Who can forget The Crow or any of the Batman games? I can't. Luckily, Acclaim comes through with South Park. The cast of characters with accompanying voice-overs are abundant and hilarious - as is the game's original story. The only problem is that you see most of the cast only in multiplayer. This isn't a problem if you have a code, but unlocking characters through the normal story mode gets a little old. Every level objective is virtually the same. South Park is a very entertaining game, but it lacks polish. South Park isn't the best game when you compare it to Turok 2 or Goldeneye, but it does the TV show justice. That's good enough for me."

Reiner, The Raging Gamer
Concept: 6
Graphics: 8
Sound: 6.5
Playability: 7.25
Entertainment: 4
OVERALL: 6.25
"It's good to see that Acclaim has resorted to its roots. You know, creating piles of junk based on hot properties. What were they thinking?! I thought the 'Batman nearly bankrupted us' incident made Acclaim see straight. But I guess not. This could have been a great piece of software, but it was rushed to meet the holiday deadline. The engine that this game is running on is smooth, really freakin' smooth, and the animation and weapons are great, but the gameplay is horrible. Each and every level contains the same objective and only one type of enemy in two sizes. What?! The multiplayer is decent, but the areas are too small. And I love the voice-overs but they come up too often. It needed more time. Acclaim jumped the gun."