South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Review – Available Now

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Box Art(http://www.southparkstudios.com/games/tenormans-revenge/)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  I’ll be the first to say it: besides the Mr. Hanky episode, I’ve never really enjoyed South Park.  The crude vulgarity and cheap laughs based on cultural stereotypes, degrading abuse and slapstick violence have never really appealed to me.  But I respect the series and the limits it’s willing to push, and that may be why I enjoyed this game.  South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge picks up on the foundations of the South Park legacy and works them into a highly entertaining multiplayer game.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Box ArtSouth Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Logo(http://www.southparkstudios.com/games/tenormans-revenge/) Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  I’ll be the first to say it: besides the Mr. Hanky episode, I’ve never really enjoyed South Park.  The crude vulgarity and cheap laughs based on cultural stereotypes, degrading abuse and slapstick violence have never really appealed to me.  But I respect the series and the limits it’s willing to push, and that may be why I enjoyed this game.  South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge picks up on the foundations of the South Park legacy and works them into a highly entertaining multiplayer game.



Presentation:
Scott Tenorman, Cartman’s evil ginger half-brother, has stolen Cartman’s Xbox 360 hard drive and warped himself into a self-described ginger future where cyborg redheads rule the world.  Let that sink in for a second, because it’s going to get weird.  You’re shown a group of tribal/futuristic talking otter children listening to a wise elder otter narrate the story of the heroic Cartman, and this elder otter serves as the narrator for the game.  Cartman’s the protagonist, but you can play as any one of the four main characters.  Almost no time is spent setting up the characters; you’re made aware of Cartman’s status as a glorified hero and Scott’s as the arch villain, but beyond that, the characters are left untouched.  For this reason, I’d say that this game is pretty much for fans of the show, but even those who don’t watch won’t be lost when they start. 

Graphics:
Standard 2D animation makes up this game, but it’s been glossed up and polished compared to the animation used in the show.  Movements are almost identical to the ones featured in the show, and they’re a little stiff at times.   It’s a little strange to be able to say that graphics so simple can look so clean, but they really were quite refined for such a basic arcade game.  It’s a side scroller, which helped with the overall simplicity of the game. 

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots

Sounds:
The voice acting cast is the same as the show, which is always something that I love to hear in games.  The sound effects were rather standard punch and kick noises along with some blaster and laser sounds, but what sold me was the fantastic elevator music that played during loading screens.  It was hilarious and lasted just long enough for you to notice it.  The regular music was not at all what I expected; it was more like a traditional action adventure or RPG soundtrack set in the future, and it made the entire game more intense (and slightly ironic).

Gameplay:
Let’s hit on the basics of the gameplay before I get to the best part about this game.  The controls are very simple, and for that reason you get minimal instructions.  You get a weapon shortly into the game, but these weapons will break after a certain amount of hits (the bats break quicker than crowbars).  The play style is incredibly easy; I move around, jump onto platforms, beat up some ginger robots, and solve relatively simple puzzles.  But here’s where the game gets fun for two reasons: character abilities and multiplayer.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots

Character abilities are not vast; each character has his own singular special technique.  Kenny can perform a super high jump, Kyle can remove his hat and reveal his ginger hair which allows him to pass through certain force fields, Stan can throw a football, and Cartman can use his gut to smash down walls.  Choosing one character limits you to trying to get through the areas that their ability can get them in; for instance, I played as Kyle at first, and in one particular section I couldn’t access a few doors and Time Cores because I couldn’t jump high or throw my football to hit a switch.  When playing by yourself, character abilities are very limiting; I can’t play an entire level without another person, but if I have someone else, that multiplayer aspect shines.  You can play with up to four characters locally, and obviously the best choices would be having each player play each character.  Suddenly you can search through entire levels, unlocking every puzzle with every ability without having to play one level four times through.

Longevity:
This game is pretty big.  The levels are very expansive and can take a long time to exhaustively explore if you’re not playing multiplayer.  Even then, the collection of Time Cores to unlock new levels is challenge enough.  If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, you can work to snatch up every little Time Particle in a level; each one takes a second of your level completion time, and if you catch enough you can bring your time down to zero or even into a negative.  Collectible in-game figures and achievements are the only other real incentives to work completely through every level.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (Xbox 360 XBLA) Screenshots

Conclusion:
While I’m all for the multiplayer aspect of this game, that same aspect drags it down.  Since I’m not always going to be able to play with other people, I’m probably going to have to play each level several times if I want to at least semi-complete the game.  This wasn’t my favorite game, but it wasn’t bad either.  I’d recommend it to fans of the show or fans of the previous games, since the jokes and the cameos are catered to those who live and breathe in the South Park universe.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here