I have to admit I was quite sceptical before heading into a new South Park game. And another tower defence clone I hear you cry! Well don’t reach for your pitchforks and torches just yet. While it lacks the creativity that Plants vs. Zombies oozes, it’s still a fun little package that will keep you and your buddies occupied for some time still.
Your aim is to protect the town from ‘horrible beings’ with up to four players in all the game modes, which include Campaign and Challenges. The four main characters you start off with are of course Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Kenny, each with varying stats. Some are faster than others, some do more damage yada yada, each also have their own special ability. My favourite was Kenny who shoots really far and has a powerup that spits out money. There are also some more familiar characters to unlock. I have watched a bit of South Park in my time but I wouldn’t say I’m a rabid follower of the series. I still managed to have a lot of fun with the game but the difficulty really got to me. Even on Casual I found I had to skip some levels and go back to them later. The levels take place at various locations around the town of South Park including the front yards, the school and docks. Each level is usually split into two or three sublevels.
A mock Japanese announcer (sounds like an American putting on an accent, as is the usual South Park style) proclaims each level’s start and conclusion. Between levels, sometimes the characters even acknowledge the announcer’s existence within the frames of the comic-book-style cutscenes. It would’ve been nice if the developers got the show’s creators on board to make some actual animated scenes but they still have the humour intact. Depending on how well you do and which difficulty you are on, you will be awarded a bronze to platinum trophy, or a turd sandwich which is the worst of the lot and usually given when you skip a level.
The game is played from far back so everything can fit on screen at once. You can control each character individually throwing snowballs, the longer you hold the button the more damage it will do. You can place towers wherever your character is standing as long as the marker is green so a snow wall will be built under it. There are usually snow walls already in place that the enemies will walk through like in traditional tower defence games. From level 4 onwards for the most part you’ll need to construct your own snow wall mazes. This path building takes a long time to get right. If you don’t set it up properly in the first minute your probably not going to last the distance. A fair amount of practice though and it does make it quite cool when you do get a working maze that you can call your own.
This appears to be a very heavy multiplayer focused game. It already has quite a little following in our forums. I couldn’t join in on their antics because of my lack of Gold connectivity but luckily I had a few friends to test it out locally. If you’re playing by yourself the other characters don’t move but you can switch between them. My technique which mostly seemed to work involved strategically placing each of them like towers as they will automatically throw their snowballs. But it all went to custard on the bosses. With their incredible amount of health you need to have the four characters firing constantly at it. Let one boss through and you’ll have to restart the whole level.
Enemies include the likes of ginger kids, zombies, old people and hippies. So you have a range of towers that will fit their weaknesses. The laser, refridginator, pee-tron and firey-works are some of the towers on show. These can be examined in the scrapbook along with character bios, and video clips from the show. These clips are awarded to you as you play and you can play it instantly within the level, pausing the game in the process. For the faint at heart, there’s a few options to toggle profanity and blood. As in the South Park episodes, they still swear a lot here!
Once you’ve finished the campaign, the challenge levels should keep your appetite. There’s always room to try for the greater trophies. It’s a much more action-oriented tower defence game and it’s great fun playing with friends as long as you all know what you’re doing. It looks and feels very much in the style of South Park. Be warned, you may find it very challenging but South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play! is still a game very much worth playing.
Released on 7/10/09 for 800 MS points.