ARROW tonight in a nutshell
"Epic means comedy."
SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH is ridiculously hilarious & vulgar.
The Stick Of Truth is a licensed video game made by Obsidian Entertainment, published by Ubisoft & meticulously crafted by the creators of South Park themselves, Matt Stone & Trey Parker.
With its troubled history of delays, toilet humour & strive for old school RPG combat, is The Stick Of Truth worthy of its name?
It’s seriously amazing, if you’re a fan of South Park the game was made for you. It oozes the signature touch of its creators while pushing the envelope in so many hilarious & raunchy ways you’ll be laughing as much as you’ll be gaming in its entirety.
The gameplay is a mix between active time battles & old school RPG’s similar to an old PS1 game called THE LEGEND OF DRAGOON ( brownie points if you played it ) while featuring the entire town of South Park to run around in.
Obsidian does a wonderful job of making the entire game look like an episode of South Park. The way you traverse the environment, interact with characters & items as well as the beautifully realized cutscenes all scream authenticity to its original creation.
You’ll run around South Park, recognizing landmarks & characters as they give you quests, which I will not spoil because there’s some seriously awesome fan service, as well as doing the main story that is so ridiculous & out there, you know it’s the kind of story only South Park could tell.
The game is clearly made for fans of South Park though, if you were never a fan of the show or movie you’ll be even more put off by the content unfortunately. The Stick Of Truth tackles things like anal penetration, aliens, zombies, racism, government conspiracies as well as abortions.
It’s this fearless humour that South Park brings to the gaming landscape that defiantly ascends it above anything else in its genre. Nothing is taboo in The Stick Of Truth & it lovingly shows. The amount of times I laughed out loud, winced in disgust & couldn’t believe my eyes were countless.
But it’s seriously one of the best things about the entire game.
The combat of The Stick Of Truth revolves around running into enemies onscreen sort of like Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross then getting into a turn based traditional RPG battle. You choose to attack, use magic, skills, items or even summons like Mr.Slave or Mr.Hankey.
The chaining of attacks & use of various status effects that vary between class & characters is surprisingly deep. You can also customize your character from equipment sets, to weapons ranging from katanas, staffs & even dildos then equip “Strap-Ons” which are basically enchantments to your items.
You could for example make your giant vibrator generate electricity or stun an opponent. You can also equipment Strap-Ons that increase your attack every time you use an item on yourself or buff your HP, Defence or percentage of damage with a certain element.
Throughout the game I was swapping my Strap-Ons to create things like a massive dildo that made enemies puke their guts out which would disable their ability to heal. Or I would equip a giant sweet katana with the ability to ignore defences, then eat some beef cake to increase my attack but since my Strap-On makes it so my attack gets buffed when I used an item, I’d be super powerful then I can just decimate my foes.
That was a long explanation to basically say, yeah the combat is badass.
Besides the sweet combat, cool customization, funny story & charm there’s also a slight Metroidvania feel to the game where certain areas are only accessible once you acquire certain items. The set pieces are also memorable & easily stand as some of the best scenarios & boss fights I’ve played in a really long time.
The only real “weakness” of the game is maybe that its replay value & somewhat short length are its only hinderances. Once you beat the game, your free to roam South Park & complete whatever you missed & I beat the entire game at around 11-12 hours total.
But those 11-12 hours of gaming were easily much better than other games & their 40+ overbloated experiences, so take that as you will. But it’s unlike any other game & truly feels fresh in a landscape full of games playing it safe.
Just remember, never fart on a mans balls.
SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH is one of the best games of the year & easily one of the best license games so far. It’s horrifically hilarious, offensive & downright chilling with how graphic it can get with certain subject matter but it’s truly a special game.
With rewarding RPG combat, customization, fan service questing, top notch production values & a story only South Park could get away with, this is the game South Park fans deserve. If you love the world & always wanted to beat ManBearPig with an electronic space dildo or fart on a ginger kid, well this is your game.
There’s nothing like it out there & I can only hope a sequel gets made because, yes, it is actually really awesome.
By: MILAN JEGENJAN
"Prepare To Dominate"
Developer: From Software
Platform: Playstation 3
What I Played: Beat the game with about 68 hours, got halfway through again in New Game+ & currently still playing.
Dark Souls 2 is the kind of game that either makes or breaks the person playing it. For the uninitiated, the Souls series are notoriously known for being hard & challenging experiences that grind up & eat lesser players for even attempting to enjoy it.
Although Dark Souls 2 is still a challenging experience, I found it to be much easier than its previous iteration. But do the implementations hinder the experience or strengthen it?
Well it depends how you look at it & what sort of player you really are.
Firstly, Dark Souls 2 takes place in the land of Drangleic. It’s a diseased & destroyed kingdom full of devious monsters & even more disgusting things that are just waiting to eat you or worse. It’s also a much more forgiving world than that of Lordran.
See, when you start Dark Souls 2 you’re given the ability of fast travel immediately & the starting area is so neutered that it pales in comparison to the notoriously known tutorial area of Dark Souls, where the player was tasked with killing a giant demon that usually made a lot of players give up instantly.
Dark Souls 2 does a much better job of easing players into the experience than previous games & even goes as far as giving the player a hub area similarly to the Nexus from Demon’s Souls. One of the best improvements over Dark Souls in my opinion was that Dark Souls 2 was a lot easier to figure out what I needed to do next.
If I was ever stumped in Dark Souls 2 from reaching a point where I needed something from another area, I could just go a different way & discover entirely new monsters, traps & bosses to overcome.
Dark Souls 2 in my opinion never felt truly cheap or broken. Many of the bosses are actually really easy & with really only one stand out boss everything in this game pales in comparison to some of the more wickedly devilish fights from previous games, difficulty wise.
This is probably starting to sound like I was disappointed, but I wasn’t. I believe Dark Souls 2 is a much easier game because it’s designed much better overall. The way the levels flow, the way the environment taught me to view certain things & the reliance on self discovery really made me never consult a guide heavily to figure out what I needed to do next.
Most of the time I’d run into say a giant door that said I needed proof of something to pass, I’d take a mental note & continue a different way. Once I encountered what I thought I needed, I’d return to areas I couldn’t explore & boom I’m good.
Dark Souls 2 feels smarter & superior in its core system mechanics.
The bon fire placements are pretty ridiculously forgiving as it turns out there’s almost a bon fire in front of every major boss fight & the padding done to keep less experienced players motivated was an interesting design choice.
But then on the flip side, Dark Souls 2 features a pretty steep penalty for dying. Every time you die, your health is reduced by 10% & it caps at the maximum of 50%. This was an interesting design choice because for less experienced players I could see this causing them to not want to explore certain areas in fear of wasting their Human Effigies, which is a scarce & rare material for many players earlier on.
For more advanced players, it gives you a sense of challenge where you’re suddenly beating bosses with half your health & laughing that you accomplished such feats. But it is interesting that they added that.
One of my favourite new things is the reliance on torches. Basically you can light a torch which replaces your shield & allows you to see in some of Dark Souls 2’s ridiculously dark areas. It adds a certain tension to the game knowing you can’t block but it’s also really cool because your torch can scare off certain creatures who fear light.
I also love the overhaul done to the multiplayer side of things too. Certain Covenants require players who belong to them the duty of protecting these areas from invading players. The Rat Covenant or “Rat Bros” as they like to be known is a certain Covenant that thrives on hunting anybody stupid enough to enter their domain.
There’s also Covenants to help less experienced players as well as a Covenant that charges players with becoming the protectors of the weak & allows the player to invade the game of victims who are being hunted by another blood thirsty player.
I loved the structure of Dark Souls 2’s world, I enjoyed immensely how everything felt connected & the variety of areas you’re allowed to explore. No single area drags on for too long & some of the levels are so beautifully designed in terms of art direction & layout I couldn’t help but marvel in its glory.
I also enjoyed heavily that it seemed like stats capped out earlier than usual which allowed me to invest in even more stats than I thought I would which led to even more things I could use or wear. I mean I still beat the entire game with a sword & shield with no magic, but still. It’s awesome.
Dark Souls 2 is a dastardly brooding experience that satisfied my need for horror inducing joy. It’s creature designs are pretty horrific, the entire design of pretty much everything in the game is much better than previous games & the sense of atmosphere is still as engrossing as ever.
As far as Action-RPG’s go, Dark Souls 2 is without equal. Although much easier than the previous game Dark Souls 2 will still definitely chew up, spit out & obliterate lesser players with tenacity.
But for veteran players, this game is as addictive as they come. Play it.
By: MILAN JEGENJAN
"Enjoy Your Power"
Developer: Sucker Punch
System: Playstation 4
What I Played: 100% my True Hero playthrough, 88% my inFAMOUS playthrough & got my Platinum for the game.
inFAMOUS Second Son is the third game in the inFAMOUS series created by Sucker Punch for the Playstation 4. It’s a reboot of sorts & follows a new hero as he’s tasked with saving the day or destroying everything in his path.
But with the change to a new system, does Second Son usher in a new age of superhero fanatics or does it whimper away with disappointment? Thankfully, Second Son is every bit as fun as it looks while still having some hiccups.
*Also all screenshots from now on are taken directly from my PS4*
inFAMOUS Second Son stars the charming & energetic hipster, Delsin Rowe. He’s a Native-American street artist who regularly gets himself into trouble & constantly gets busted out by his older brother Reggie, who’s a cop.
One day, there’s an accident & Delsin realizes he can absorb the abilities of other Conduits. Throw in a formidable villain, the entire city of Seattle & some breathtaking visuals & you pretty much got yourself a solid action adventure game for the next 15 hours or so.
inFAMOUS Second Son plays a lot like previous games with players assuming control of Delsin as he makes his way across rooftops with a variety of powers that are equal parts badass & fantastically realized.
Being a Conduit that can absorb the powers of other Conduits that he physically touches, Delsin is pretty much the most versatile superhuman in the inFAMOUS universe. This also proves equal parts awesome because it allows developer Sucker Punch the chance to give the player a variety of interesting powers.
The first power you’ll get is Smoke, which is literally as cool as it sounds. You can dematerialize at will into a flurry of ash as well as fire explosive fireballs of destruction on your foes. What makes Smoke so great is how you can travel through vents, use cars as trampolines & evade enemy fire by beautifully dancing through the air as bullets whizz through your shadow-like form.
What makes Smoke so fun is that the more chaos you cause, the more venues of recharging your powers are gained. There was so many times where I’d be running out of juice only to blow a car to hell to absorb the smoke coming out of its engine to fuel my chaos further.
The second power is easily my favourite, Neon. It’s basically a combination of light manipulation & mastery of the gaseous element itself. You can run at light speeds, fire concentrated beams of plasma & create stasis fields to suspend your foes in anti-gravity fields. Not only that but it’s wickedly sexy to look at thanks to the Playstation 4’s processing power.
The fact Sucker Punch decided to put inFAMOUS Second Son solely on the PS4 was definitely the best decision they made by far. The particle effects from superpowers to the weather conditions is jaw dropping-ly beautiful. The way Delsin’s powers look from the particles fluttering into the distance as he runs at light speeds or the bits of ash trailing behind him from Smoke to the other powers he gets are just awesome.
The world of Second Son takes place exclusively in the vibrant city of Seattle. Previous inFAMOUS games were never about giving the player a ridiculously huge space to run around in but instead focusing the efforts to create the most diverse & appealing environment instead. Seattle is still huge, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the variety & detail in the world that sells it.
instead of like other superhero games where the entire world looks the same & just consists of bland buildings, Second Son offers a heavy dose of variety in every district & street corner, which is great. I also love how Seattle is designed beautifully to amplify the use of Delsin’s powers.
There’s smoke chimneys, neon signs & other cool things that’ll help you when you’re in the thick of battle. It’s ridiculously fun to be shooting fire balls of death one second only to shoot myself up through a vent to a neon sign, suck the energy out of it & suddenly be running at light speeds shooting plasma into my enemies faces.
Besides the world looking beautiful & the gameplay being some of the best third person action gaming I’ve experienced in a while, inFAMOUS also has stellar voice acting & damn fine impressive facial animations. Troy Baker as Delsin Rowe is awesome & it’s refreshing to follow a hero who is as stoked as you are to have powers. It’s a welcome change to the constant brooding & regret that previous inFAMOUS hero Cole always seemed to be like.
The world also feels real & the supporting cast is pretty good too. The stand out is Delsin’s brother Reggie who’s his older brother & a cop. Reggie is grounded in reality & his often calm & almost father-like qualities are definitely a solid foundation for a character as grand as Delsin. The rest of the cast is good as well but it’s unfortunate the game doesn’t take enough time to fully flesh out the other Conduits & supporting cast.
There are some problems too.
The games campaign is to put it simply, somewhat short. It felt like the game ended when I felt personally like I was only at the 60-70% mark in the story but apparently I was disappointed when I saw the credits rolling & I wanted to just keep going.
The side quests could’ve used a bit more variety too as well as the weather system could’ve been a dynamic that should’ve been constantly changing the weather but instead the weather is depicted by what part in the game you’re at currently.
The main campaign my first time took me roughly 15-20 hours to beat but that was cause I was doing pretty much everything in the open world between missions. If you were to just rush it & do the main missions, you’re looking at something around 8 hours.
Don’t do that, please. Enjoy your time with the game, power yourself up & have fun. Don’t be that rushing guy. Nobody likes that guy, are you that guy/girl? Yeah don’t be, okay? Cool.
Besides that, I guess I could say the game made me want more of it. In a way it’s better to want more of something then less right? Maybe with DLC they could add even more story & content, which would be welcomed. Also the spray painting side content is badass & there is a Paper Trail mission that will be coming out with new stuff every week for the next 6 weeks leading to what could be a new power or story mission/content. Just gotta wait & see.
Overall, inFAMOUS Second Son is the best Next-Gen experience I’ve had so far. It’s ridiculously good looking, beautifully designed & features some of the best gameplay I’ve experienced in a long, long time.
Delsin Rowe is a fun & entertaining hero or villain to root for & the utilization of the Playstation 4’s hardware definitely takes the entire experience to the next level. Besides some problems with the story’s length this is the kind of game that is pure adrenaline from start to finish.
Second Son is the true Next-Gen experience, say hello to the brave new world of gaming.
By: MILAN JEGENJAN