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N64 / Review / South Park Rally
South Park Rally
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Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Tantalus
Release Date: Available Now
ESRB Rating: Mature
Graphics: 3.0
Sound:3.5
Control: 2.5
2.0
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Review by: The Freshman
Posted: 03/16/00 [view screens]

Seems like just yesterday when South Park debuted as a cutting-edge, test-the-limits comedy based on the idea that crappy animation and vulgar humor could drive a show to success. Unfortunately, what works for television doesn't work for video games, and South Park Rally goes into the books as possibly the worst mascot racing game in history.

Way Down South
Considering South Park Rally is competing with such giants as Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing on the N64 (not to mention Crash Team Racing over on the PSX), it comes out as a simple attempt to capitalize on both a popular license and a popular genre. To take the crown in the mascot-racing genre, a game must have compelling characters, fluid and deceptively simple gameplay, and enough race options to keep a small group of bored gamers involved in multi-player. South Park Rally has none of that, opting instead to depend on the strength of the South Park license to carry it over the finish line. Unfortunately, that's not nearly enough.

What went wrong with this title? Well, the graphics represent the poorly animated feel of the TV series well enough, with one-color textures on blocky buildings and courses. The various characters look and sound like their TV counterparts, but unless you're a rabid South Park fan, these characters are about as compelling as a shot of cough syrup. The control is as simple as the backgrounds and about half as fun, as you go careening about the landscape whenever you hit the ubiquitous school busses and other obstacles that can totally derail your chances of winning.

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
South Park Rally just seems like a shameless attempt to tack South Park's name on a bad racing game to make it sell . With bland graphics, random and repetitive sound samples, and frustrating control, this game gets stomped easily by the much better kart-racers on N64. Unless you love everything with the South Park name, you'd be best advised to take the bypass and skip the town of South Park entirely.


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