South Park: Let's Go Tower Defense Play! Review
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On 10/14/2009 at 11:00 AM by Nick DiMola
The boys are back for another video game adventure.
Fans of South Park with a few friends willing to play should buy this game. Those who may play alone or are casual fans of the tower defense genre are better off picking up something with more substance.
South Park has gotten the console video game treatment for the fourth time now, with each game spanning different genres and releasing at different points in the show's history. Their latest outing, South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!, features, as suggested by the title, Tower Defense play.
In this particular game, players assume the roles of various children from South Park, particularly the four boys (Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny). The quartet are trying to get to the bottom of an onslaught of a variety of unfavorable South Park characters including Hippies, Old People, Crab People, Gnomes, and Mongolians, amongst others. Each step of this investigation requires the team to temporarily set up forts so that they may stop the onslaught from pushing further into the town.
The premise of the game is fairly simple and the gameplay is equally so. Players are given a short period before the onslaught comes to strategically setup walls and towers in order to push back the enemy. The towers in the game are varied and each scenario that players encounter unlocks a new tower for the players' usage. The towers start off simple with weapons like a fast pitch machine, and eventually become more complicated with items like lasers and cherry bombers.
All of the towers can be upgraded and each tower is best at stopping different foes. Because Old People are slow and have a lot of life, most anything will be effective at draining their life. Hippies and Gnomes, who seem to move a bit faster, are best stopped by the laser.
Unlike most other titles in the genre, South Park is an active tower defense game. Players will have direct control of their character and in addition to building and upgrading towers, they will be able to hurl snowballs at their foes. The game also supports up to four simultaneous players, which skews the game easier as more players join in.
As a single player, South Park is brutally hard, even on the normal setting. Furthermore, it's not very fun either. You'll be responsible for controlling all four characters on the screen which just provides another element to manage in the already frantic battle. It also means that it will take longer to set up towers, naturally, because there is only one person doing it. Enemies are harder to kill because the other players just sit around and occasionally throw a snowball if the player is not in direct control.
With more than one player the game becomes exponentially more enjoyable. With a team you are able to build strategy and even recover when things go awry via rapid snowball chucking. Finally, because you build a special power meter as you throw snowballs, the team will earn more special attacks because player controlled characters throw more snowballs. This is crucial because the special attacks often can save you in a particularly hard level. For instance, Cartman will cause the whole screen to explode killing most of the enemies, and Kyle will allow everyone to throw super snowballs for a limited time. Just like the towers, these are a strategic part of the gameplay that’s mostly missed in single player mode.
South Park fans will appreciate the game's settings and characters, but the oft repeated sound clips eventually go stale. I will say that the Japanese announcer, performed by Trey Parker, is beyond hilarious. It's so horribly stereotypical that it's impossible not to be funny. One of the other nice additions for South Park fans are the various art pieces and video clips that are included in the game, and unlocked when players earn certain in-game achievements. Players will also unlock characters, a staple of both South Park and South Park Rally titles.
Overall, South Park is an excellent multiplayer romp. If you and your friends are fans of the show and all like to play games together, you can't go wrong with South Park: Let's Go Play Tower Defense. While the game offers two compelling modes (story and challenge), the experience is just not tailored for a single player.