South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

With the release of the Fractured But Whole, you'll be able to get a free copy of The Stick of Truth upon purchase. But does it still hold up?

With the release of the Fractured But Whole, you'll be able to get a free copy of The Stick of Truth upon purchase. But does it still hold up?
Recommended Videos

If you’re a fan of South Park, you’ve most likely played 2014’s The Stick of Truth. After years of mediocre South Park video game adaptations, this RPG was a breath of fresh air, with series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone having been heavily involved in its creation. Furthermore, Obsidian, the team behind the critically-acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas and Knights of the Old Republic 2 RPGs, was the lead developer for the title.

However, The Stick of Truth was released at the end of the 7th console generation lifespan, so some gamers may have missed out on it. Luckily, series fans who pick up the newest South Park RPG, The Fractured But Whole, will have a chance to play its prequel, as a free copy of The Stick of Truth is bundled with the new game.

The Stick of Truth: Then vs. Now

If you’re expecting anything new from this version, you’ll be disappointed — outside of the DLC content and a few tweaks here and there, there’s nothing really new in this version of The Stick of Truth. It’s free game, though, so it’s a little more excusable than most remasters that do just the bare minimum.

This version of the game is a little cleaner, now running in 1080p and with PS4 Pro support, but don’t expect that much of an improvement. A lot of the frame rate drops that plagued the original have been ironed out, though you will still notice a couple hitches when there are a lot of enemies in battle.

Some minor changes have also been made to address some of the game’s more difficult sections. One of the biggest changes includes a fix for the infamous anal probe scene.

It’s nowhere near as difficult and frustrating to get past this section now, making the pacing of the game much smoother. That said, the other annoying section, a boss battle with Cartman, still requires too much button mashing. Yeah, I know it’s part of the joke, but the joke loses steam when you’re forced to partake in it, and it can last for what feels like forever.

Outside of these changes, The Stick of Truth still remains largely the same. 

However, if this will be your first foray into the game, you’ve got a lot to look forward to either as a fan of the series, as an RPG aficionado, or both.

What to Expect from The Stick of Truth

In The Stick of Truth, you control your own custom-created character and explore the town of South Park, interacting with the various characters from the show. Exploring the town is still a blast, as you watch the various NPCs go about their day, and you even get to befriend some of South Park’s most iconic characters.

While a good amount of time is dedicated to exploring the world and solving simple puzzles, most of your time will be dedicated to combat, which takes a few inspirations from the Paper Mario series. Like in Paper Mario, you have the ability to block enemy attack and press buttons in conjunction to perform various special attacks. These mechanics keeps combat exciting, and you won’t just be watching your characters standing around and waiting for their turns.

Each of the four class have there own unique skills, ranging from mage and Jew “magic”, to special archer and warrior abilities. The only downside is that every weapon and piece of armor you gain isn’t specific for each class, which does take away from each of the individuality of the classes. Why try a different class when you can still use a sword or staff?

Despite this, combat is still satisfying and fun. Each of the various villains you face have their own weaknesses, which will have you wanting to change out your party members to alter your tactics. The downside to this is that you can only have one other person in your party — that’s not say there aren’t that a lot of them, with each having their own special abilities, but it would have been nice to have at least three characters rather than just two.

So, does The Stick of Truth hold up? Yeah, it’s still a good game. The combat is fun, if on the easy side, it’s funny as hell, and manages to tastefully recapture the look and feel of the show.

Its age will show, especially with the vastly superior Fractured But Whole having been released, and it still could’ve done with a few more fixes with some of the mechanics, but if I’m going down to South Park, I wanna have myself a time.

With the release of the Fractured But Whole, you'll be able to get a free copy of The Stick of Truth upon purchase. But does it still hold up?
7

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

With the release of the Fractured But Whole, you'll be able to get a free copy of The Stick of Truth upon purchase. But does it still hold up?

What Our Ratings Mean

About the author

Joseph Ocasio

Joseph is a freelance Journalist that has been writing for a plethora of different websites. When he's not gaming on the big three systems, He's Netflix and Chillin' with some of his favorite shows and indulging in the latest MCU Pic. Some of his favorite games include Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 3, Spider-Man, and Arkham City.

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an outrageous and hilarious ride!

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an outrageous and hilarious ride!
Recommended Videos

This is a video review (on the Xbox 360 version) of South Park: The Stick of Truth by Ubisoft, an RPG released on March 4th for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The game is based on the American adult animated television series South Park. The Stick of Truth follows The New Kid, who has moved to the small town and becomes involved in an epic role-play fantasy war involving humans, wizards, and elves, fighting for control of the all-powerful Stick of Truth.

The game is thoroughly entertaining for the South Park enthusiast with a bit of a LOTR and The Elder Scrolls twist. I will say and stress that if you don’t like the show, you probably won’t like the game. It’s full of offensive language, images, stereotypes and items such as the “Black Thunder” dildo (among others) found in Cartman’s Mom’s bedside table drawer or having to watch your character’s parents have sex for 60 seconds (achievement by the way). Yes this game has it all without leaving anything from the shows out.

As my editor Jay said to me, “it just keeps finding the line and saying “Dude, there’s totally another line to cross over there!”

The key to this game is timing and a good weapon when in battle.

Each opponent has their certain weaknesses so use the “examine” selection to make your choices wisely. Each character takes turns when attacking. On each turn you have the ability to heal yourself or buddy (if needed) and are allowed one attack using either an ability, summon spell, ranged or melee attack. You’ll always have a buddy traveling with you in the game but your enemy can have quite a few. Make sure to always have Cure, Health, Revive, Power, and Mana potions. You’re only allowed to carry up to 10 of each item.

Tip: Hitting an enemy with a ranged attack before initiating battle will leave the enemy stunned and give you the upper hand.

Summon Spells are attained by completing quests for certain characters which will allow you to “summon” them into battle–except when against a Boss. Mr. Slave’s Summon Spell is quite shocking with a “WOW” factor. Butt Nuggets are equivalent to grenades that cause a gross out status effect by making other characters puke. They are collected when taking a deuce and hitting the ‘A’ button (Xbox 360) very rapidly to raise the bar to the top–pretty funny actually. Basketballs and dodge balls are handy in hitting multiple opponents and eliminating downed enemies from the battlefield. Don’t forget to use your environment!

When encountering a Boss, you’ll fight just like you do with any other enemy. The Boss always has a lot of health and powerful attacks, so remember to block. Examining for weaknesses helps a lot. If you defeat a Boss before his minions, the battle is over.

An epic face-palm OMG moment for me was when I learn the “Power of The Dragon Shout” from Cartman. Skyrim reference? This is when your character learns to use magic. I learn to harness the power of my farts–The Dragon Shout. Really? Yes, really.

I really enjoyed this game tremendously and I hope you do too!

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an outrageous and hilarious ride!
9

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an outrageous and hilarious ride!

What Our Ratings Mean

About the author

Venisia Gonzalez

Venisia is a public relations professional, video game industry contractor, published author, freelance entertainment journalist, copy editor, a co-organizer of the Latinx Games Festival, and a member of the Latinx in Gaming and the Puerto Rico Game Developers (PRGD) community. Her passion is video games. She loves the adrenaline rush from a multiplayer match and understands the frustrations of a brand-new raid. Venisia finds immense value in gaming especially in the realm of mental health.

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

Rectal probing has never felt so right

Rectal probing has never felt so right
Recommended Videos

The Stick of Truth is South Park, through and through. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends largely on your appetite for the show, with its crude animation, crude humor, crude language… crude everything, really. While saying South Park (and by extension, The Stick of Truth) is a show built on a foundation of toilet humor is a bit reductive, it’s also not far from the truth, so if you’ve already decided you loathe the show, The Stick of Truth isn’t going to change your mind.

If, however, you’re a fan of the show, this game is a dream come true; a 12 hour interactive episode packed with references and instantly recognizable characters. It’s a classic South Park send-up, and this time the target is fantasy role-playing games a la Dungeons & Dragons. The boys are playing a town-wide game of humans (led by “Grand Wizard” Cartman) versus elves (with King Kyle at the helm), two factions battling for control of the eponymous Stick, which grants its wielder the power to control the universe.

Instead of a thin veneer of pop culture fantasy tropes, however, the subject matter is treated with surprising respect and depth, and serves as the springboard for an epic tale that includes everything from alien abductions to a vast government conspiracy. This is South Park, though, and the game rarely lets you forget that the heroes are actually just a bunch of fourth graders, like when an epic showdown is interrupted by the combatants parents scolding them for being out past their bedtime. It’s charming and funny and, perhaps most importantly, well-edited, never lingering too long on one particular subplot and managing to tie a ton of disparate threads into one satisfying whole.

The reason Stick of Truth succeeds, though, isn’t because it’s a great version of South Park, but because it’s actually a lot of fun to play. Under Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s snappy writing and shock jock antics, there’s a surprisingly deep, refreshingly engaging role-playing game, and not just the one the boys are play-acting.

Stick of Truth drops you into a comprehensive rendering of the little mountain town, and while the map isn’t as sprawling as some open-world RPGs, it does feel like there’s a lot here to discover and explore. Playing as the new kid in town, a silent avatar that you can customize with a boatload of creation options and gear, you bop around South Park‘s three (very long) main streets and a number of side areas, discovering locations and hunting down collectibles that will be instantly familiar to long-time fans of the TV series.

As you explore the world (always on foot, though there are a helpful number of fast-travel stations), you’ll encounter a wide variety of enemies: from other kids dressed as elves and warriors to mutant rats and some, ahem, very rectally inquisitive aliens. Whether you’re completing side quests for Al Gore or tracking down Chinpokomon for your collection, there’s plenty to do, and all of it is classic South Park.

The combat is turned-based and in some ways very traditional, but it folds in some interesting new wrinkles. As your heroes attack with improvised weapons like lawn darts or dodgeballs, or draw on the mystic power of their own flatulence, the game presents players with mini-games to determine the effectiveness of your attacks. Mashing A for bonus damage while your character hoses down enemies with a Roman Candle is even more fun than it sounds, and learning to time your blocks during the enemy attacks can be vital to surviving some of the more challenging boss battles.

Not that the game itself is very hard, even on the highest difficulty setting. Once you’ve figured out the timing on your best attacks, you’ll be able to nail them pretty consistently. The joy here doesn’t come so much from overcoming obstacles as from discovering cool new ways to win. Watching little unassuming Butters transform into deadly Professor Chaos to vanquish your foes, or improvising a lightning bolt by dousing your enemy with a bucket of water and then sparking a car battery never gets old, and there are enough weapons and abilities to play with throughout the course of the game that the combat rarely feels stale.

While the RPG elements aren’t as deep as some other games in the genre, there’s just enough stat comparing and skill leveling to hook you without ever getting bogged down by the numbers game. There’s also a massive amount of loot to hoard, both of the stat bonus and purely aesthetic variety, and the game does a good job of making leveling up feel impactful and important. Players who take the time to really scrounge around the garage attics and back yards of the game will be rewarded with some cool, unique items, and even the trash loot comes with amusing little blurbs of descriptive text that will delight South Park stalwarts.

The Stick of Truth manages to strike a difficult balance, especially for a licensed property, balancing loyalty to the source material with gameplay that doesn’t seem tired or tacked on. It feels through and through like a labor of love made by people who understand that above all else, games need to be fun to play. While it won’t convert any of the haters, for the rest of us, it’s a hell of a ride, an extended love letter to a rabid fan base.

Rectal probing has never felt so right
9

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

Rectal probing has never felt so right

What Our Ratings Mean

About the author

Alan Bradley

Getting played by video games since the '80s. Host of the Pictures Changing Podcast (pictureschanging.blogspot.com) and notorious raconteur.