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South Park (1998-2000)

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South Park
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"Screw you Acclaim, I'm going home!"
Eric Cartman (probably)
Genre(s): Various
Platform(s): Nintendo 64
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation
Dreamcast
Release:
South Park
Nintendo 64
NA: December 21, 1998
EU: May 3, 1999
SA: 1999

Microsoft Windows
NA: March 1, 1999
PlayStation
NA: September 30, 1999
EU: 1999
Chef's Luv Shack
Nintendo 64
EU: October 12, 1999
NA: October 31, 1999

Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
NA: December 1, 1999
EU: 1999 (PS1)
Rally
PlayStation
NA: November 30, 1999
EU: 1999

Microsoft Windows
NA: December 31, 1999
Nintendo 64
NA: February 29, 2000
EU: March 3, 2000

Dreamcast
NA: June 30, 2000
EU: July 7, 2000
Developer(s): Iguana Entertainment[1]
Tantalus Interactive (Rally)
Publisher(s): Acclaim Entertainment
Country: United States
Hungary
Australia
Series: South Park


South Park is an American animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and developed by Brian Graden for Comedy Central. Some time later, a video game publisher Acclaim Entertainment purchased a license from Comedy Central to release several games based on the show, including a first-person shooter game of the same name, a party game South Park: Chef's Luv Shack, and a kart racing game South Park Rally. Due to the negative reception of all three games, Acclaim lost its license and no South Park-based game was released until 2009, when the Xbox 360 game South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! saw the light of day by the publisher Microsoft Game Studios.

List of video games

Year Game Genre Developer Platforms
1998 South Park[2] First-person shooter Iguana Entertainment, Appaloosa Interactive (PS1) Nintendo 64, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
1999 South Park: Chef's Luv Shack Party Acclaim Studios Austin Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
South Park Rally[3] Kart racing Tantalus Interactive PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast

Gameplay

South Park (1998)

The game is a first-person shooter. The game's single player mode places the player in control of one of four characters: Cartman, Kyle, Stan, or Kenny. The player must defeat a variety of enemies using the various weapons found throughout each stage. The player has a total of 100 health, whenever they are attacked by an enemy then lose some health, losing all health causes a Game Over and a high score screen to appear if the player has many points, the player can gain health by finding Cheesy Poofs boxes littered around the stages, there are also Snacky Cakes boxes which fully restore health but are rare to find, there are also Beef Cake cans which grant invisibility, finally, there is armor in the form of football pads, which protect the player and instead deduct armor points instead of health points. Innocent creatures are spread around the levels of story mode. Killing an innocent creature costs the player a hefty amount of points.

A multiplayer mode is made available for the player and other friends to play, access to multiplayer cannot be granted unless there are two controllers connected to the console. For the PC version, multiplayer was changed to be online.

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack

This game features a wide variety of minigames and features all of the South Park characters in one way or another, though you can only play as Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, or Kenny McCormick. The game also consists of answering trivia and earning points.

South Park Rally

South Park Rally is a kart racing video game that features many characters from South Park, and locations such as the city itself and Big Gay Al's home. The objective of the races can vary from race to race; sometimes a player is required to obtain an item/series of items and at other times the player is required to beat the other players. The characters and items are all from Seasons 1-2.

Why They Don’t Go Down to the South Park

Overall

  1. The graphics of these games in general look extremely poor even by the standards of the 90's, the graphics are especially bad in comparison to most other games from the times they were released, and these games lack of many details and lighting effects with too many cubic and polygonal shapes that make maps and characters look ugly and the maps lack some details, to the point that these games resembles more of a PlayStation launch game.
    • The graphics in Chef's Luv Shack are especially bad because the characters are in 2D (emulating the show's artstyle), the characters move in a few frames per second and most character animations are bad and look like they're taken out of a flash game or an animated GIF.
  2. The gameplay of this games is excruciatingly boring which try to copy formulas of successful game types in those times (Party games, Third-Person Shooter games and racing games), though it fails, with painfully simple rules or bad rules that are ruined by level design, and in the worst case, almost non-existent, South Park:Chef's Luv Shack is the best example of this which are only based on answering trivia and sometimes playing minigames.
  3. The humour, even for the times between the late 1990s and early 2000s, is not funny at all.
    • It is based solely on toilet jokes and rudeness that are more disgusting than funny.
    • Also the objects in South Park Rally are mostly useless with absurd concepts that only serve as comic relief and in South Park some weapons have absurd concepts even for South Park like a toilet plunger gun and a dart gun.
    • The phrases and insults that the characters say in South Park and South Park Rally at first are decently funny, but they get a little annoying because there aren't much variety of phrases.
  4. Although these games have an M for adults rating, they really have nothing that's just for adults; the only thing that can be considered for adults only is the inappropriate language, the rude humor and some other elements taken of the show, so a clearer rating would be T for teens.

South Park (1998)

  1. Very poor graphics, while fitting for the show and even for the time it was released. The PlayStation version however is the most noticeable with cubic and polygonal shapes, ugly character models and maps with polygonal and poorly detailed graphics.
  2. Bad draw distance, which makes you not able to see what's following you on the map until you get close, which also includes enemies.
    • The N64 version could've used the expansion pak to at least make the draw distance better, but instead it only lets you increase either the video resolution or the framerate.
  3. Terrible AI. Enemies do little more than spawn and then home in on your position.The artificial intelligence of the enemies chickens is terrible, mostly because the enemies will almost never try to take cover or flank you to take you out because they move a little slow and a little fast, instead, they just run to your address in the middle of the shooting waiting for you to kill them.Although AI can be especially frustrating if a large horde of enemies start attacking you and you can't defend yourself.
  4. Terrible music, with the exception of the South Park theme song, of course. Even the composer admitted that the game's music was a rush job that he hurriedly put together after finishing work on Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.
  5. It takes too long for you to die because the life bar has a big health, although as noted above, if a large horde of enemies starts attacking you it takes too much life away from you and you can hardly defend yourself if you don't have enough ammo.
  6. The weapons are pretty ridiculous even for South Park standards. Some examples of weapons are a toilet plunger gun and a dart gun.
  7. The game does a poor job giving you new ammo if you run out.
  8. Even though the voice acting is done by the actors on the show, it's pretty poor and the characters repeat the same phrases quite a lot, which can be a little annoying after a short time.
  9. When you want to choose a character before playing the game, you have to wait until they have finished what they are saying. Similar to picking a command in Plumbers Don't Wear Ties.
  10. There's no difference in playstyle between the four main characters, so the option to play with different characters is just as a skin, the characters also don't have differences in weapons or abilities.
  11. If you fail to kill a tank enemy, you are forced to kill them in a sudden death round. If you fail to kill it in time, it's an instant game over.
  12. The first-person style gameplay doesn't really fit the tone of the South Park.
    • Speaking of the gameplay, as mentioned above, it runs on the same engine as Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, pretty much making it a reskin.
  13. The sound effects are very annoying and get repetitive easily, like the turkeys.
  14. Lack of playing abilities in Multiplayer mode and the weapons (dodge balls, dart guns, etc.), level design (way too big), and player movement (eternally sluggish) really don't lend themselves very well to the multiplayer game, not to mention the stages aren't even named in the PlayStation version.
  15. The level design it's really quite bad, you'll spend a good portion of your time in extremely large, open areas, such as the middle of the street, large fields, and similars. This leads to a very close horizon, complete with loads of enemies. Plus, since the ground and fog are both white, you'll eventually spend some time staring at a completely white screen, hoping that you're actually moving and not just bumping up against a wall of snow. Sure, it's a cold, snowy town, but it still gets in the way of the gameplay. So with the fog as bad as it is, you're forced to stare at your radar almost constantly.
  16. While you can enable it in the settings, the crosshair is by default turned off, so are subtitles.
  17. While the controls are already bad on the N64 port, you cant even adjust your sensitivity
  18. There is roughly half a second delay from when you push the trigger, until the snowball hits your target, making aiming extremely hard
  19. All you do is shoot, shoot and shoot... and nothing else. There is no strategy whatsoever, except in multiplayer mode where you have to have some practice with weapons.
    • It's even worse in the PC version, as the enemies and bosses have double the amount of health they have in the PS1 and N64 versions.
  20. The PlayStation version is considered the worst version because it has several issues that are not in the other versions:
    • Awful cutscene quality due to the cutscenes being in an FMV format.
    • The draw distance is noticeably worse in this version, where the town looks like it's covered in fog.
    • Horrible audio quality where it sounds all muffled, despite being on a CD-based console, which is really inexcusable, especially since the N64 version (which was cartridge-based) has less muffled audio.
    • Cartman's model in the character select screen looks very ugly.

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack

  1. There are only 20 mini-games, compared to 65 for Mario Party 2, released at the same time in North America as this.
    • Even the first Mario Party game towers in mini-games, having over 50.
  2. Most of the mini-games themselves are of unoriginal gameplay genres; one example is Bad Kitty, which rips off Donkey Kong. Another is Asses in Space, which rips off Asteroids. In fact, the website and manual say that Asses in Space rips off Asteroids!
  3. Some questions are not really related to South Park, but rather pop culture or other questions that are not entirely related to South Park.
  4. Poor voice acting from most of the characters, which was partially due to the limitations of the consoles it was on, despite having South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone doing vocal work in this game.
  5. Low replay value, as the dialogue/scripted events vary very little in each gaming session.
  6. Poor graphics that are comparable to a flash game you would find online or a animated gif, animation is limited to perhaps six frames per character, and while the planning behind those half-dozen movements was well conceived to be minimalist and still clever, they're still not hardly enough and the backgrounds in trivia sections are overly saturated and poorly designed.
  7. The load times are brief, but they really break up what should be a fast-paced trivia game. Having to wait between questions and minigame rounds really has a noticeable effect on the overall flow of the game.

South Park Rally

  1. The PlayStation version has poor graphics, with somewhat ugly designs little worked and polygonal, besides the scenarios are made in a mediocre way and are unattractive with cubic and polygonal shapes, besides that most cars are small and look rare in characters, there are only a few that look normal, the other versions look slightly better.
  2. The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions have frame rate issues, while the Dreamcast and Windows versions do not, which becomes somewhat problematic in some areas and the vehicles don't really move that fast, which makes the races last longer.
  3. The camera is locked behind you at all times, even if you're moving backwards,so you can't move it at any time. This makes it difficult to see where the opponents and the objects are, especially ones that you have already passed, which also becomes a problem when you hit a wall or when you back up.
  4. Instead of simply running laps around a track, each race instead involves passing through checkpoints (1-2-3-4 to complete a lap), grabbing a specific item, and so on. This can be very frustrating at times since the stages themselves are not well designed and have a confusing design, if you miss a checkpoint, you will have to do backtracking, which makes you waste a lot of time due to poor controls that make difficult drift, which will make you lose in a pretty ridiculous way.
    • The game does try to be a bit innovative by straying away from the standard "race around the track in circles" formula by making each area open and fully explorable. But while the idea that you can go anywhere to get ahead in the race is a good one (and the bonus "missions" you have to complete instead of basic lap completion are intriguing), its falls. The non-linear course structure creates an air of pure chaos, with each car going every which way but loose in a jumbled mess of confusion due to the labyrinthine design of the tracks.
    • The races themselves get repetitive real quickly.
    • The arrow system that tells you where is a checkpoint it sometimes doesn't work very well and in others it's very vague.
  5. The game starts out with a limited number of characters to choose from and only one track to race on. Although with every race that you complete, more and more characters and tracks open up for selection in the multiplayer mode. You can save these unlocked tracks to a memory pack, though unfortunately you can't save your progress. Instead, every time you start the game you have to go through all of the levels you've already played.
  6. If your character gets knocked into the air, there is a possibility of them landing on their heads and getting stuck there until they are warped back to normal, getting back to normal is very slow and can cause you to lose the first place if you get knocked normally.
  7. The controls are stiff which makes the driving hard to control,even when you use the hand brake to try to make a tighter turn, the results are often unpredictable,this has a lot to do with the floaty physics of the game, which let the cars flip over way more than they should, running at maximum speed is extremely sensitive due to the physics of the tracks, braking is akin to pot-luck with any thoughts of drifting gone,you’ll find yourself slamming into walls more often than other racing games because of the controls.
  8. Some are mission-based events that call for you to pick up a specific item such as a trophy and take it to different locations on the track. For instance,on Valentine's Day everyone assembles at Big Gay Al's place for a Valentine's Day shoot-out. The objective in this mission is to find Cupid's bow and arrow and then shoot all of the other racers with it. The catch is that all your opponents have to do to take it from you is to ram your vehicle. Many of the events are set up like this, where you're either being chased by a mob of racers or you're one of the members of the mob chasing down someone else. In any event, the game's poor control, sloppy physics, and poor track design keep it from ever being truly fun, not to mention hard to play.
  9. The computer opponents recover from your attacks easily and carry on around the track with unstoppable resolve; most of the time the CPU can easily dodge your attacks and therefore they don't take any damage, besides they're slightly more agile and faster than you and sometimes they take a lot of advantage of you and they can drive more easily.
  10. Most of the power-ups are utterly worthless and bad aside from their comic value; some work like landmines, which you must drop blindly, as you have no rearview mirror, let alone any onscreen indication that a rival car is coming up from behind. Some of the other power-ups are much too inaccurate to be of any real use, which is useless if you need an object to attack an opponent.
  11. Most phrases are repeated a lot during the game, at first it can be hilarious for the characters to say things, but after a short time it becomes annoying and repetitive, plus these phrases are only like comedy, but in case they are almost not hilarious compared to the show,also, even though the voice acting is done by the actors on the show, it's pretty poor and, as stated above, the characters repeat the same phrases quite a lot, which can be annoying after a short time.
  12. False advertising: On the cover, Kyle's car is blue and the license plate reads "SWEET" but in the actual game, it is red and the license plate reads "SUCC ASS". Also, Cop Cartman is featured prominently as if he were a default character but he is an unlockable character in-game. Lastly, Kenny's front bumper is purple on the cover, but blue in-game.
  13. While the music and sound effects are decent or regular, most songs and sound effects are generic and some are really very easy to forget, plus most songs are very repetitive.
  14. You are forced to get first place in every race. If you get second place or lower, you have to try again, which is severely difficult due to rigid controls and labyrinthine designs of tracks.

Redeeming Qualities

South Park (1998)

  1. Some jokes and phrases in the game are at least decently funny.
  2. The game's storyline is at least pretty true to the early seasons of the show (it was released near the end of the second season), which were based more around random humor and parodies of classic movies, rather than the topical jokes and political satire the show eventually became known for.
  3. The N64 version (which was the first version) of the game is fairly decent and passable in comparison to later released versions.
  4. The PC version has a better draw distance on modern PC's.
  5. Multiplayer mode is pretty decent with large maps and weapons scattered around the levels and you must have some practice with weapons.

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack

  1. Good voice performance from Isaac Hayes who reprises his role as Chef.
  2. Looks and feels enough like South Park, complete with the game's graphics being on par with the show's animation style, to please fans of the original show.
  3. Some of the jokes can be funny.

South Park Rally

  1. Good one-liners, although repetitive.
  2. The Dreamcast version has an exclusive carnival level.
  3. With the exception of the PlayStation version, the other versions look a little better and the character graphics closely resemble the program.
  4. The large selection of characters from the show (lots of them come as unlockables).
  5. The music and sound effects are mostly quite decent or regular, although some are generic and easy to forget or with annoying tones.
  6. The game's frame rate stays fairly consistent in the Dreamcast and Windows versions, even when you're playing with four friends in the split-screen multiplayer mode.
  7. The PC version has mod support. Here are some examples: Butters, City Night and Lisa (Tweek) Simpson.

Reception

South Park (1998)

South Park was met with overall negative critical reception with the Windows and PlayStation versions, while the Nintendo 64 version received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. On aggregating review website GameRankings, the Nintendo 64 version received 67.11%, the PC version 51.72% and the PlayStation version 41.22%.

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack was met with mixed-to-negative reviews. On aggregating review website GameRankings, the Nintendo 64 version received 50.88%, the Dreamcast version 50.21%, the PC version 47.50%, and the PlayStation version 41.95%.

South Park Rally

South Park Rally received negative reviews from critics. On aggregating review website GameRankings, the PC version received 47.38%, the PlayStation version 44.68%, the Dreamcast version 44.54%, and the Nintendo 64 version 43.21%.

Over time, the South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have publicly criticized Acclaim and the quality of the games as well. After the release of this game, they had mentioned how they didn't like the extremely friendly direction Acclaim Entertainment had placed when creating and publishing all the previous South Park video games. Parker and Stone went on to explain how they wanted to make an R-rated game in the first place, as it fit with the original show and would proceed to do so once they gave the South Park license to another video game publisher, Ubisoft.

When asked about the game's strengths and what he's most proud of, producer Doug Yellin said, "Producing a title that does something new with the genre has been the most taxing part of the development process. Rather than simply reproducing Mario Kart in a South Park environment, we've tried to make the humour integral to the game's design, so you find yourself completing tasks as part of the race, rather than simply racing around the same tracks again and again."

Legacy

A fan-made remake of the South Park game was developed by Marshmallow Studios, titled South Park 64 Remake (or South Park: Deeply Re-Impacted), which is similar to Nightdive Studios' Turok and Shadow Man remasters, it added more characters, more weapons, new enemies, and new game modes, with a better arsenal, more enemies to kill, updated visuals, and gameplay, gamepad and keyboard support, with supporting many other resolutions and visual features such as widescreen support, but it was cancelled due to the game will no longer be worked or developed on.[4]

Trivia

  • South Park (1998) runs on the same engine as Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and shares the same controls as that game.
  • There was going to be the Game Boy Color version, which was supposed to be a puzzle-platform game, but because South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone didn't like the idea of putting an adult oriented game on a console marketed towards children, it was cancelled and later reworked into three other games, which are The New Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley, Mary Kate and Ashley: Get a Clue, and Maya the Bee and her Friends. In August 2018, the ROM image of the Game Boy Color version was leaked on the Internet.
  • In the intro screen, the games said that they were bad and shouldn't be played, just implying they even knew how bad they were.
  • The design of South Park Rally (levels, items, etc.) differs depending on what version you play.
  • South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone had little to do with the development of South Park Rally (as well as the two other Acclaim releases), although they did contribute a number of original lines of voice acting for it, as they do most of the voices on the show.
  • A spiritual sequel in the style of a sandbox action-adventure game was in development for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox, but was not finished. Little was known about the game until a build was found on an Xbox development kit, but only video footage of the beta build has been released to the public. The footage appears to showcase the PlayStation 2 version, due to the visual button displays used in the game. The cutscene from the game was even leaked on YouTube showing Cartman in a mental hospital.
  • A South Park port was being developed for Dreamcast, but it was cancelled for unknown reasons.
  • In the PlayStation and Dreamcast versions of South Park: Chef's Luv Shack, the questions are read by Chef, while in the Nintendo 64 version, the reading was replaced with a ticking sound due to limited space on the cartridge. Also categories are automatically chosen in the PlayStation version, while in the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast versions you can choose a category.

Videos

ThuN00b's review (Nintendo 64 version)
South Park Rally was ranked at number 10

References

  1. South Park: Chef's Luv Shack was developed under company's new name, Acclaim Studios Austin. The PlayStation version of South Park was developed by Appaloosa Interactive.
  2. Released in 1999 outside of the North American Nintendo 64 release.
  3. Released in 2000 for the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast.
  4. https://marshmallowstudios.itch.io/south-park-64-remake

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