XBLA Review: South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!

Come on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine.

Let’s face it. Over the years, South Park hasn’t had the best track record with games…thanks to Acclaim who seriously messed the license up with an FPS, quiz show and racing games that didn’t really seem to fit. It’s been quite a number of years since they came out and now a new game emerges directly from the South Park team itself. Does it have what it takes to break the trend?
Well, I was a bit skeptical when I heard that it was a tower defense game. I thought they had messed up again and then I actually started playing it and surprisingly had a good time with it. South Park Lets Go Tower Defense Play is definitely the best South Park game to date. I love the show and have been dying for a game to come out that can match that level of humour and it does.

As a solo experience, South Park doesn’t exactly work as you have to switch between 3 other players to put them in positions to throw snowballs at waves of enemies that try and destroy the town. When playing with 3 other people online, the game opens up as each player can concentrate on doing their own thing like building towers and throwing snowballs to charge their special abilities.

Special abilities are different for each character and can usually do things like clear the screen of enemies, slow them down, make them weaker, repair damage done to the town and so on. There is a wealth of South Park characters to play as and their special abilities have some kind of reference to them in past episodes. For example, Butters’ special move is tap dancing set to the tune “There’s something in my front pocket for you” which fans will get a kick out of.

The game is full of references and one-liners from the show. There are also unlockable videos of classic South Park moments and the achievements are also references to episodes. The story of the campaign is fairly simple, but I’m confused as to why the cutscenes aren’t animated. Instead they are done like a comic book…the artwork is great, but it’d be even better if it was animated. Apart from that, the rest is completely authentic…voice work is done by the cast and is high quality.
The game itself looks pretty average, but does maintain the South Park look just fine. The trouble is that once you are done with the game, there’s little reason to come back other than to earn medals and unlock videos. The achievements are fairly easy, apart from the MANBEARPIG achievement which sets you on a campaign mission on Insane difficulty where you aren’t allowed to build any towers. It was tough, but as long as you have 3 others who know what they are doing…then you’ll be fine.

There’s also a challenge mode with 5 levels to tackle. These are pretty hard as the levels are designed to be challenging for several reasons like only having a little bit of space to build towers and so on. Once again, it really is best to play these online.

The Verdict

Overall, South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play is the best South Park game. It’s a lot of fun to play and has plenty of references to episodes from the show. I hope the team goes back and comes up with an even better South Park game now that they finally have a decent one under their belts.