You either love the SouthPark series or hate it, but you cannot deny its huge success that it has accomplished whether referring to the television series or just about anything branded with the SouthPark logo or characters. Itís a completely recognizable product to most folks that do not live in a cave or under a rock. There have been multiple game iterations of the series, as well as movies and spinoffs, but now we have a brand new Xbox Live Arcade title called ďSouthPark Lets Go Tower Defense PlayĒ. Ok so maybe it might be a new concept, but it uses the same clichťs, swearing, and odd artistic design that has made this franchise so successful. So letís get right down to it.
The main storyline of the game goes something like this: Once again, the boys of SouthPark whom we have come to adore (or hate), have to save the city from its ultimate doom and of course they are the only ones that can do so. The city has come under siege from such enemies as the Bike riding 6th graders, the Hippies, and some holiday gnomes among many others. Are you still with me? Good. It seems that these enemies are under the command of some unknown force which you find out whom that person or thing is when you get close to beating the game.
Anyhow, the basic concept of the game is that the city if divided into regions and the boys must defend each region by destroying the oncoming intruders by means of throwing snowballs, using special tower weaponry and even some special abilities which are unique to each playable character. Hey, you even get to throw yellow snow! Just be sure not to eat it. There are a total of 11 stages in the main storyline along with a few challenges thrown in. All of which unlock segments of favorite television moments in SouthPark history as well as a few unlockable characters.
The game itself was designed mainly for cooperative multiplayer, but you can play as a soloist if you can handle frustration fairly well. Up to 4 people can play the game locally or on Xbox Live and I highly suggest that you play the game with more than just yourself. Trust me on that one. The controls are extremely simple to pick up and play and there is plenty of button mashing to be done throughout the entire campaign. Throwing snowballs as fast as you can, or holding the throw button to power up the snowballs to yellow snowballs are the basic tactics you will use. As I mentioned there are towers for you to build and many different varieties, each having a more powerful affect against certain enemies while having less impact on others.
While the game is fairly simply in overall gameplay, it will require some good strategy and thinking on your part as well as others you may be playing with. Youíll have to filter oncoming enemies into your tower defenses as well as having them consolidated into one area for easier battles. Along with the tower weaponry, youíll also be able to build snow walls and force the attackers to move along certain paths. This is where your strategy comes into play and you align your weapons to do the most damage along those paths, while also giving yourself more time to defend the region and destroy all the oncoming enemies. Be careful though. If you do not leave a small path to the destination of the attackers, they will dig through your snow barriers which in turn tosses all your strategy out the window and they may avoid your weapons altogether.
There are some quirks to the game that make it a little frustrating. There are times when you mates in the game just decide not to help fend off enemies. They seem like they only want to throw snowballs when they feel like it. Sometimes it is due their positioning and other times it seems itís just because they donít want to or even care to which can get very frustrating when you have hordes of enemies passing right by them. The only other frustrating moment really comes when trying to switch between characters in critical situations. I would rather have seen the d-pad used with a direction assigned to each character rather than the press of a button to cycle through them. Thatís really all there is in the complaints department.
Fans of SouthPark should really enjoy this title. The use of actual voiceovers, music and sounds from the show will please all those SouthPark followers. Even the short unlockable show clips and characters will be enough to satisfy the craving for some good wholesome SouthPark fun. The addition of score based trophies in the game as well as online leaderboards also add to the value of this game in replayability. For those looking for a great tower defense game, I have to say this is probably not your thing. While itís fun, you really have to have some interest in SouthPark to enjoy this title and its mayhem and adult humor. At least itís on XBLA, and everyone can give it a try and form their own opinions by downloading the trial version of the game. Overall, itís a fun game for the adult crowd and one that can cause quite a few chuckles and outright laugh out loud moments. If you love SouthPark, then go buy this immediately!