Even if you have never watched the show, most people will be familiar with South Park. The group of characters and their distinctive animation are everywhere and they continue to attract great interest. This game South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is a 2D platform game that takes its cues from some well known games from the past.
Developed by Other Ocean Interactive and published by Microsoft Studios, the game involves the four main characters Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny as they travel through time battling Scott Tenorman and his army of gingers – Tenorman has stolen the hard drive from Catrman’s Xbox 360 (nice tie-in there). This is one in a series of games based on the TV show and a further role-playing game called South Park: The Game is scheduled for release later this year.
The game is, as I said, a 2D platformer which is where it starts. The concept of the levels are good but not what I would call particularly original. There are little star orbs that you need to collect that are clustered together to form a sort of path for you to follow. These are not so important to collect as the ‘cores’ are, which are few and far between. If you don’t collect enough, you can’t progress to the next level. There are also, what appear to be, mini games within the level where you need to climb ladders to reach orbs and move through the level. They reminded me of Donkey Kong in the way they were laid out.
Each level, mostly, involves you defeating the robotic ginger characters. They often appear in human form and you will need to hit them twice, once to remove the outer shell and a second time to kill the robot. The end stages often involve a similar scenario only with more of them. You do have weapons at your disposal though, which include a baseball bat, water balloons and so forth. Although it can be challenging, particularly in single player mode, it isn’t as much of a challenge as I would have liked.
The other issue with the single player mode is the characters special powers. Each one has a gift that they can use to break through walls or click switches. The problem is that if you are a single player, you cant access some areas of the level because your character doesn’t have that power.
The graphics are good: the South Park characters are faithfully recreated and move in a similar way. Their voices are also as they would be in the series thanks to the actual actors providing the voice overs. It’s a little bit of a shame that the content of the game isn’t a bit stronger as that would have made this a really good addition to the South Park franchise.
Overall the game is OK, but the South Park purists may object to the way the game is put together. It doesn’t seem to have the subtlety of the TV show (yes, in a strange way it has) or the clever writing to make the story very good. If you are looking to play the game for the challenge, then you might be a little disappointed. The idea behind South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge was a good one, but it just doesn’t feel unique or complete enough for me which is a shame.
South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is available now to download on the Xbox LIVE Arcade.