Tagged "South Park"

Apr 30
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Considering it’s still the talk of gaming town, it comes as no surprise to find God of War holding onto no.1 for the second week running.

And yes, it did face competition. The catchily named Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit entered at #3 – also topping the Switch chart – while the slightly more expensive Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit made #20 (#5 in the Switch chart).

Sticking with Switch, the handheld iteration of South Park: The Fractured But Whole propelled Ubisoft’s crude cartoon tie-in to #19 in the all-formats top 40.

GamesIndustry.biz reports the arrival of Labo helped shift additional Switch systems, as all the usual stalwarts (Zelda, Mario Kart 8, et al) enjoyed sales boosts last week.

Going back to the top ten, Far Cry 5, FIFA 18 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remained at #2, #4 and #5 respectively. Fallout 4 rose one place to take #6 while Call of Duty: WWII re-entered the top ten at #7, up from #19.

Super Mario Odyssey and PUBG both dropped a couple of places meanwhile, now at #8 and #9. Good old GTA V sees us out at #10.

We expected to see Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality in the top 20, at the very least, but that was an unexpected no-show. It didn’t even manage to break the PS4 top 20.

Apr 25
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Considering it’s an accessory pack requiring a vivid imagination to get the most out of, it’s no surprise that most critics chose not to give the first wave of Nintendo Labo kits a review score.

Post Arcade was a rare expectation, giving the Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit a lofty 9/10. “Nintendo’s cardboard-construction-cum-video-game experiment makes for a pricey but extremely entertaining crafting project for kids,” they said.

Nintendo World Report also went ahead and gave the Toy-Con 02 Robot Kit the review treatment, which makes more sense seeing it’s more of a standalone game.

“I had a lot of fun building the Robot Kit, but I question whether it felt like $79.99 worth of fun. With only one project the Robot Kit might be best saved for Labo enthusiasts,” they warned.

The Switch also receives a belated release of South Park: The Fractured but Whole. It’s a very good conversion, reportedly, save for a few technical hiccups and some long loading screens. You’ll find a sampling of review scores below. Incidentally, we reviewed the Xbox One version upon release. Our review can be found here.

Indie adventure The Swords of Ditto, and the interactive Agatha Christie-style story The Invisible Hours are getting decent reviews too, as you can see below.

Sadly, but understandably, Death Road to Canada won’t be joining them on the digital stores. The developer has chosen to delay its release following the recent attack in Tornoto.

In an official statement, managing director of Ukiyo Publishing Paul Hann said: “We feel it would be deeply inappropriate to launch the game at such a time. We would like to express our deepest condolences to everyone affected by the tragic events in Toronto.”

Lastly, Rick and Morty Virtual Rick-Ality on PS4 finally gets a physical release this week. Expect to see it in the UK chart on Monday – if the turgid Bravo Team can break the top ten, we’re sure this can.

New release showcase:

The Swords of Ditto – PS4/PC

Reviews:
8.5 – PSU: “Vibrant, ridiculous, endearing and just plain enjoyable to play, The Swords of Ditto is an absolute pleasure to tuck into. It doesn’t always marry its creative streak to its combat particularly well, but it doesn’t prevent this adorably gorgeous action RPG from winning hearts and minds”

8/10 – Push Square: “Although some slight technical issues are a bit of a pain, they’re not enough to detract from what is otherwise a delightfully charming experience. Tight and tidy, this is an addictive time sink that’s well worth a look — especially if you bring someone along for the ride”

7.5 – EGM: “Devolver Digital and Onebitbeyond’s action RPG, The Swords of Ditto, isn’t a complete reinvention of the roguelike subgenre, but it has enough modern twists and artistic charm to stand out. Players new to such games might have trouble jumping in, though, as a few important mechanics of the subgenre aren’t explained as well as they should have been”

The Invisible Hours – PS4/XO/PC

Reviews:
7/10 – Destructoid: “It’s the rare video game that requires no real player intervention to complete. But, the best possible payoff is a result of diligently following all the stories and getting a full picture of all the proceedings”

7/10 – GameSpot: “It strikes the same tone as an Agatha Christie novel and at times feels campy for it, but the characters are interesting and well-acted, making each trip through the same few minutes worth it just to see a different character’s side of things”

3.5/5 – Xbox Hub: “The gathering of evidence, clues and secrets is rewarding, but I fear its lack of interactivity will be a big downside for certain players”

South Park: The Fractured but Whole – Switch

8/10 – Pocket Gamer: “The Fractured But Whole is a brilliantly funny and entertaining RPG perfect for players who love strategy and love South Park. While the more hard-core folks out there may not find much challenge in its combat, its humour is enough to keep you playing on”

8/10 – Nintendo Life: “While it’s a fair few months behind the releases that graced other platforms in 2017, the Nintendo Switch version South Park: The Fractured But Whole isn’t diminished by its later arrival”

7.5 – Nintendo World Report: “There are other areas that could use polishing, but putting up with the little annoyances was worth it to see the game through”

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Oct 23
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Sony’s Gran Turismo Sport has ended FIFA 18’s three week run at no.1. The eagerly awaited racer had a stronger launch than 2013’s GT6, but couldn’t beat GT5’s week one sales.

FIFA 18 falls to #2. FIFA 17 only managed a three-week run as well, coincidentally, toppled by EA’s own Battlefield 1.

At #3 it’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The crude cartoon RPG matches 2014’s The Stick of Truth for week one sales, which is an encouraging start.

Chart-Track also reports sales of WWE 2K18 – in at #4 – were down over WWE 2K17, but revenue was higher due to the popularity of the deluxe and collector’s editions.

Warner Bros. Middle-earth: Shadow of War holds onto middle ground at #5.

The Evil Within 2 remains in the top ten at #6, Destiny 2 drops a single place to #7, GTA V is at #8, while Forza Motorsport 7 shifts to #9. Crash Bandicoot clings in at #10.

LEGO Worlds and Forza Horizon 3 depart the top ten, but we don’t doubt that both will be back during the run-up to Christmas.

Fire Emblem Warriors is the next highest new entry, arriving at #16. The Switch version was the biggest selling, and by quite some margin.

Despite some less-than-positive reviews, THQ’s open-world RPG Elex made #25. It also managed to scrape into the PS4 top 20.

Rogue Trooper Redux turns up for duty at #37. Fellow retro revamp Syberia – an adventure game dating back to 2002 – also shows its face at #30 in the Switch chart.

Mar 04
By Matt Gander In Features 5 Comments

Now here’s a feature that has spent some time on the back burner. Once scheduled to coincide with The Stick of Truth’s original release date – back when THQ was still breathing – we’ve held it off time and time again following the numerous delays.

With Obsidian’s RPG finally out this week, we’re mildly pleased to present this slightly uneventful history of South Park games. Yes, there have been more bad ones than good, but you can’t blame us for that.

You can, however, blame Acclaim – their disrespect for licensed games is what ultimately lead to both themselves and fellow publisher THQ going bust. Well, that and THQ manufacturing approximately 20 billion uDraw tablets.

South Park – N64, PSone, PC

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If memory serves, there was a bit of a buzz surrounding the first South Park game. South Park fever was in full swing – you even couldn’t step into Clinton’s Cards, of all places, without tripping over merchandise – and so the videogame press of the era were keen to give it plenty of exposure. It even took the cover of Future’s respected Arcade magazine – a move they later apologised for.

Although Acclaim had a reputation for churning out bad games during their 16-bit days, they managed to turn their repute around by becoming one of the N64’s most prolific publishers. They understood that although the risks for developing for the N64 were high – mostly due to pricey cart costs – if the product was good enough, it would sell incredibly well. The original Turok reportedly managed to turn a huge profit, selling over 1.5 million copies.

n64southpark

South Park however saw Acclaim fall back onto the license for sales. Seemingly rushed out to cash-in on the show’s success, it was ostensibly a re-skin of Turok 2. Snowballs replaced arrows; the mini-gun became a rapid fire foam dart launcher. And the much celebrated cerebral bore? That was changed into a weapon that made characters unwillingly sing and dance, rather than drilling their brains out. Visually crude, with the notorious ‘N64 fog’ in full effect, it simply saw the South Park gang fighting off swarms of mutant turkeys, robots and other enemies while trying to save their home turf. Most reviewers found that it was beyond repetitive, in respect of both enemy attack patterns and use of speech samples.

The PSone version didn’t arrive until almost a year later, featuring notably poorer visuals. A Game Boy Color South Park game was also in development, but eventually canned due to Trey Parker and Matt Stone reportedly believing it wasn’t a good fit for a system with such a young demographic. Acclaim later re-used the engine and some of the art-work for cartoon tie-in Maya the Bee, which incidentally, was re-skinned once again to become the New Adventures of Mary Kate & Ashley in the US. A quick glance on Google suggests that it actually wasn’t a bad little game, should you ever want to discover what could have been.

South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack – N64, PSone, Dreamcast, PC

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Whereas the first South Park game received a staggered launch, mini-game collection Chef’s Luv Shack was released simultaneously across four different formats. Just in time for Christmas, funnily enough.

The Dreamcast had only been available in the US for a month prior to Chef’s Luv Shack’s release, and following poor reviews it was wildly regarded as one of the DC’s worst games, joining the likes of Acclaim’s own WWF Attitude. The whiff of ‘rush job’ was undeniable – it was, for most part, a dull quiz game. The mini-games meanwhile were heavily influenced by the arcade classic of yore – ‘Asses in Space’ was a clone of Asteroids, while ‘Bad Kitty’ was based on Donkey Kong. There was also a ‘Whack-A-Mole’ game, presumably because it’s written in stone somewhere that every mini-game collection must include one of these.

Oddly, the PC version removed all multi-player support – the game’s only positive feature – leaving the player to compete against CPU opponents only. We should also spare a thought for those who shelled out for the N64 version. With the majority of N64 games retailing for £49.99 at the time, that must have been heavy blow to the wallet.

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Jun 04
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

There have been so many leaks over the past few days that the only new games to be shown during Microsoft’s E3 conference were a handful of Xbox Live Arcade titles along with some Nike fitness software.

Even Ubisoft’s reasonably impressive looking Splinter Cell: Blacklist was ousted a few hours before the show.

Things kicked off with a live action Halo 4 video which involved a USNC ship coming under attack. Master Chief then finds himself on a jungle-like planet, which is where the footage then turned into an in-game demonstration. We saw Master Chief battling a new enemy – a bipedal scarab-like alien before then picking up a new weapon based on Forerunner technology. Halo 4 was shown later during the conference too to demonstrate Microsoft’s new Smart Glass app. This app turns “any” mobile device into a second screen for the Xbox 360, much like Wii U GamePad. We saw Halo multi-player options being selected on a touch screen device and also a list of Madden 13 team formations being played around with.

EA’s sporting titles were shown very early on with a focus on Kinect voice controls for both FIFA 13 and Madden 13, which was demonstrated by American football hall of famer Joe Montana.

You can view that Halo 4 footage here on Kotaku.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist saw Sam Fisher in a desert base and dressed in desert camo, taking out enemies with some slick melee combat. During one section the words ‘execute ready’ appeared on screen. Enemies can also be distracted by shouting into the Kinect mic. We also saw Sam Fisher climbing up a wall in a very Assassin’s Creed-style nature. Mercs vs Spies death-matches were confirmed.

Demos of Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6 – the only Japanese-developed game on show – also impressed. Tomb Raider didn’t feature any tombs to speak of, instead opting for some Uncharted-style adventuring. Lara took down several enemies using a humble bow and arrow, and also plunged down a rapid river behind landing inside the cockpit of a wrecked airplane.

Resident Evil 6 had a very cinematic feel also – we saw Leon running from an inferno caused by an airplane crashing into a tower block. In the background of the conference we spotted a screen mention that all Resident Evil 6 DLC would be free on Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 will also be getting Tomb Raider DLC first. Let’s hope it’s not just an avatar outfit, eh?

Forza Horizon – which is being developed by staff members behind Project Gotham and Blur – has a release date of October 23rd. It’s an open world affair, just like Burnout Paradise and Test Drive Unlimited, and set in Colorado. Some of our Twitter followers are excited about the prospect of it being free roaming while others are not. Eurogamer has a very good preview available to read right now.

Fable: The Journey was shown in trailer form, which to much amusement ended with the player performing a Street Fighter-style ‘Hadouken’ move. Another Kinect game shown as Wreckateer which entails firing projectiles at castles. Visually it’s very bright and colourful. We don’t have long to wait for it either – it’s part of the Summer of Arcade line-up.

Those other previously unannounced arcade games? Racer Loco Cycle from Twisted Pixel, which had a very Tron-like look to it, and fantasy brawler Ascend: New Gods from the Toy Soldiers guys. There was also Matter, of which very little was shown. That’s for Kinect too.

Trailers for Loco Cycle and Matter can be found below:


Gears of War Judgement would have been a surprise if US publication Game Informer didn’t tell the world last week that it’s this month’s cover game. It’s set 15 years before the original and stars Cole and Baird. There’s going to be a character class-based multi-player mode much like Team Fortress 2, including mechanics, soldiers and medics. Polish developers People Can Fly are at the helm who worked on Bulletstorm. If you haven’t played that yet, then this news is the ideal reason to.

Eurogamer has the teaser trailer here.

The highlight for us was seeing South Park’s Trey Stone and Matt Parker go on stage to talk about South Park: Stick of Truth. Their speech was an impromptu performance involving some mick-taking at the expense of the only just unveiled Smart Glass app. Stick of Truth is going to have Xbox 360 exclusive DLC and also exclusive pre-order incentives. It’s out 5th March 2013.

Sticking to what they know, Harmonix also showed Dance Central 3 which was demonstrated by Usher. We wish that Harmonix would make a new Frequency or Amped for the likes of 3DS and PS Vita, but we guess there’s still money to be made from dancing games.

The conference ended with Call of Duty: Black Ops II gameplay footage. We have to say the fantasy elements about this one do appeal, even if it the storyline has more than a slight whiff of Terminator 2: Judgment Day about it.

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