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South Park
"Someone's killed South Park... Its Acclaim... You Bastards !" Image Loading...
Developer: Appaloosa
Distributor: Acclaim
Game Type: Shooter
Review Date: Oct 99
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Setting the Scene:
      A mysterious green comet is heading for South Park and the closer it gets, the stranger things become. Suddenly animals begin to attack the townsfolk and clones of Big Gay Al start appearing everywhere. There have been reports of alien sightings in the area, can this just be a coincidence..?

Image Loading...Choose one of your favorite main characters from the series, grab a weapon and save the town from destruction.

      South Park is a first person shooter, plain and simple... well actually very simple. Just think DooM or Quake stripped down to the basics and you will get the idea.
Sound and Vision:
Image Loading...      The game begins with an intro video that features most of the characters and enemies that appear in the game. It's format and theme tune make it look and sound just like the start of the TV show with the exception that everything is in 3D rather than flat. The quality of the actual picture is poor and animation very jerky in comparison to what we have come to expect on our console.

So the intro was a slight let-down, but nothing could prepare you for the disappointing in-game graphics. Come on Acclaim, the actual cartoon is crudely constructed from bits of paper animated in a way that a bunch of kids could easily manage after 15 minutes of training, so surely a PlayStation could manage this simple task..?

Image Loading...Well the sad truth is that the group of monkeys that coded this game, got nowhere near to even the minimal standard that a perfect conversion of the show would have delivered. Jeez, we were prepared to be so lenient due to its subject matter, but these graphics would be a disgrace on the 8 bit computers from the 80's and so are an absolute tragedy on the PlayStation.

They look like they have somewhere between 16 and 64 colours in them and are very rough at the edges. Movement is so jerky at times that you have to wonder why Sony approved this title for appearance on their console... oh yeah, it must have been the thought of all that money this game will pull in due to its name.

Image Loading...Even with the crappy graphics, many of the levels feature a huge amount of 'fogging', which makes everything that you walk towards appear from a hazy mist. This technique is only ever used as a last resort when the visuals are pushing the PlayStation to its absolute limit, which is hardly the case in this game. As a result you are often shot at by enemies that can't quite be seen..!

The animation used for the various enemies are at least on par with the TV show (yeah that bad).

The voices are brilliant, but again, so badly recorded that they distort when played at any volume. The backing tracks also set a new low standard for bad games to be judged against.
      Single player mode is split into five different episodes based on the above story line. There are a total of 15 different levels within the game, but the enemies really only change every episode - which consist of 3 or 4 of levels.

Each level sees you following arrows around a course that often takes you out of town, over hills, through caves and up ladders.

Image Loading...As an example, Episode one consists of four levels. You will be chased by troublesome turkeys that frantically chase and peck you to death. Occasionally you will come across a 'Tank', these are sub-bosses that are far tougher than the regular enemies and try to rush past you, head back into town and smash it to bits. Obviously you need to stop them, which takes you back towards the start of the level as you chase and destroy them. In this case they are giant mother turkeys that bend over and fire eggs at you. These quickly hatch into enraged birds, which provide the mother with the perfect distraction to quickly escape from your fire and head into town.

Once you reach the end of the level the game transports you back to the centre of town where any of the 'Tanks' that evaded you can be seen knocking down buildings and starting fires all over the place. You have a final chance to rush around killing them before they create too much damage, succeed and you are transported to the next level.

Image Loading...The final level in an episode sees you face a mega boss. We won't spoil the game by revealing them all, but it will take you ages to defeat them and you can easily be killed due to their firepower.

Throughout each level there are powerful weapons to find. You start with an infinite supply of snowballs, but if you want to do some damage you will need to find the:

Dodge Ball: Large red ball that bounces around the screen until it hits something
Warpo Ray: Medium power machine gun
Sponge Gun: Medium power machine gun
Toilet Plunger launcher: Medium power machine gun
Terrence and Phillip dolls: Fart gas hand grenades
Super Stealth Chicken: Invisible egg launcher
Cow Launcher: rocket launcher that inflicts a massive amount of damage - even on the bosses

Ammo and health are also hidden in each area, with the latter found in boxes of 'Cheesy Poofs' and 'Snack Cakes'. You can also find Armour jackets, lightning bolts and speed-ups in later levels.

Image Loading...Killing certain enemies, finding particular enemies, or just reaching specific points in a level will unlock doors and either allow you to progress further into it, or release a huge number of new enemies for you to battle.

Enemies are targeted by moving a crosshair around the screen. Early levels will only require you to move it left or right before firing due to the size and approach of the enemies. As you progress things get a little trickier and you will often tie your fingers in knots when trying to move, strafe and target at the same time.

Image Loading...Completing a level unlocks new characters to play in the 2 player head-to-head mode. This is basically a 'deathmatch' style game that allows you and a friend to go one-on-one using all of the weapons found in the single player game. This mode was great fun to play, only spoilt by the massive amount of fogging that made it harder to find your opponent (especially in the snowy levels). It was only the simple design of these areas that prevented you from getting lost completely.
Game Options:
      This is a 1 disk game for 1 or 2 Players. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the analog stick controls of the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Steve: " Ideally suited to a weekend rental, due to the simple fact that once you have worked your way through the first episode, everything that follows is pretty much the same. With gameplay that is about as linear as space invaders the witty script, funny one liners and bizarre enemies soon get boring and you are left wondering why you didn't spend your money on a pile of South Park videos rather than this game.

No doubt this will still sell very well due to the name, but with a host of terrible PlayStation releases one after the other, Acclaim are in danger of falling back into their old ways...

'Someone's killed South Park... Its Acclaim... You Bastards !' "
Graphics: 5/20
Playability: 30/50
Sound: 4/10
Lastability: 10/20
Overall: 49%
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Reader Opinions  

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