South Park – Stick of Truth

Due to the amount of popularity attracted by this game, I decided to give it a try, and finished the game a while ago.

It’s probably been written about heaps of times by others, so I won’t dwell on much other than my own thoughts.

Overall, it’s surprisingly decent for a game based on a TV show.  In short, South Park fans should probably love it, otherwise it should still be a decent game.  I fall somewhat in the latter category, having only really seen a few episodes of the TV show.

The game’s highlight is perhaps it getting the general South Park feel of humor, without ruining much of the play experience.  As these two aims (humor and game play) are somewhat at odds with each other at times, which means curbing each of them back to achieve a decent balance (for example, you can parody RPGs, but not so much if you want to be a somewhat serious RPG).  In my opinion, the creators have done a reasonable job at this, though this does mean that there is a bit of a compromise here.

Whilst the humor aspect is somewhat unique (at least to me), the actual game play side of things only seemed mediocre.  Nothing particularly stood out to me above a typical RPG – perhaps the ability to use an item without using up your turn was an interesting mechanic, but that’s about it.  Whilst this may actually be intentional (to make it easier to poke fun at RPGs), it certainly is a weak point.

In fact, the combat, in particular, felt rather gimmicky.

  • Do we really have to mash a button every time to use an ability?  I don’t particularly mind the button mashes elsewhere in the game, as they don’t occur often, but it can get annoying pretty quick in combat.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of consistency between how you activate an ability.  Sometimes you left click, other times you need to right click, press a button, mash a key, mash a combination of keys or play some other game.  Remembering seems like an unnecessary chore, though fortunately it’s mentioned what you need to do when you’re about to use an ability.  But seriously, is this even really necessary?
  • And the whole ‘click when you see a *’ thing seems… well… I don’t mind it so much, but it feels like a cheap trick to try to keep the player engaged and alert, rather than sitting back and issuing commands without much thought.  It kinda reminds me of Final Fantasy 8’s summon Boost mechanic
    • If you don’t know what it’s like, basically summons had rather long animations – around 30 to 80 seconds in length (yes, an 80 second animation every time you activated an ability; well, I suppose it could be better worse – imagine if this played (duration-wise, not content-wise) every time you went into battle…).  So to keep the player engaged whilst they watch the same animation for the 50th time, you have the option to boost the power of your attack by repeatedly pressing a key when indicated on screen.  SoT’s click timing (as well as some of the games) feels somewhat similar

The balance/difficulty seems like something that could be improved too:

  • Stats seem to vary drastically between levels – by level 15, I had nearly 9000 health, compared with the ~100 or so (whatever the amount was) you start off with at level 1
  • I found the game generally got easier later on, possibly due to the above issue
  • …or maybe that you can remove 75% of an enemy’s armor, in just two turns using an ability you get halfway through the game…
  • There were times where all my attacks did 1 damage to the enemy, however I was still able to win just by relying on status ailments.  Actually, perhaps this isn’t so bad…


To re-iterate, a relatively unique experience (at least for me) in a game.  Comedy aspects entertained me, though it was a little subdued, game play was passable and the combat system was perhaps the weak point which felt a little gimmicky.  Overall a decent game that’s probably worthwhile just for the experience.

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