Thursday, December 1, 2011

I've Been Waiting Fourteen Years For THIS South Park Game

A little late to this news - found it while reading the "bigger" news about the South Park RPG...

I sometimes feel like 'genre' is an unappreciated thing in game design, particularly when it comes to licensed properties. How many times have you seen a movie/TV/comic tie-in game turn out shit because it's been saddled with some half-baked "innovative" design build when a perfectly serviceable title could've been had by dropping the characters/setting into a "basic" genre setup? The NES "Batman" is still the best Batman game (Arkham 1 comes close, Arkham 2 is NOT as good as Arkham 1); and it doesn't really re-invent the wheel - it's just a VERY well-polished NES-era platformer... BUT WITH BATMAN! The SNES "Star Wars" games were, when you get right down to it, "Contra with Star Wars characters"... and they were AWESOME!

So why, then, has it taken 14 fucking years for someone to put the "South Park" kids exactly where they've always belonged? Namely, a South Park side-scroller!?



So... yeah. It looks like "New Super Mario Bros. Wii" (which, given the number of games borrowing the style, seems to have done for the 'party platformer' what the original did for 'regular' platformers) ...BUT IN SOUTH PARK. Brilliant! Genius! Inspired! Especially the brief glimpse of being able to play(?) as "The Coon" right there at the end.

WTF, though!? - why didn't they just make this instead of the shitty shooter back in the 90s? When haven't there been like TEN of these already? It seems like the easiest call anyone could've made!?

24 comments:

Drunken Lemur said...

Your joking, right? First of all, this game doesn't really entice me. It looks like a generic platformer in South Park. There's something close to 10 seconds of footage, which hardly seems like something to get excited about. Second, you are really going to tell me that the NES Batman game is better than Arkham Asylum? That takes a lot of balls. You're going to have to sell me a little bit harder than "it's an NES game." I seriously don't want to pull the fanboy card on you, since I know a lot of people already do, so please, elaborate your point.

Anonymous said...

LOL, NES Batman better than Arkham Asylum? Your nostalgia is showing.

NES Batman was a good platforming gaming, but it didn't make you FEEL like Batman. Arkham 1 nails that.

Kyle said...

If you were able to BEAT NES Batman then you DID feel like the goddamn Batman.

My 2 rules of fun games:

Rule #1 - If a game has Wall-jumping then it is a good game. (NES Batman, Super Metroid, Super Meat Boy)

Rule #2 - If a game has a "take pictures with a camera" mechanic then it is a good game. (Loz: Windwaker, Beyond Good and Evil, Bioshock,)

Aiddon said...

well, it's made by Obsidian so expect a lot of bugs.

Gareth said...

Why do you think Batman (NES) is better than Arkham Asylum? I'm not trying to call you out when I ask this I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

Mads said...

Why a 3d shooter?

Because netcafes and because Quake. That shit was a ton of fun. Platformers weren't.

This is back when PC gaming was enormous in the west, if you'll recall. You know. Bigger and more important than console gaming.

Been a while since then, but it was a thing during the 90es.

Anonymous said...

Really? You're seriously trying to push the idea that more licensed games should be platformers? Have you ever owned a handheld console? Countless Shrek, Scooby Doo, Spongebob, Olsen Twins, Superhero licenses, and tons of others are right there, waiting for you to experience the "joy" of a platform tie-in.

The reason there's so many of them is that they're all incredibly low effort. Any idiot can make a decent platformer and then paint the main character as Batman. The reason some game devs like to try something a little more high-concept is because of a concern for... Oh what's the word... GENRE.

Not every GENRE of intellectual property makes sense as a platformer, nor can most platform games fully convey the experience of a given GENRE, especially one heavily based on stealth.

The comedy GENRE necessitates a game that allows you to shove in a ton of dialogue without interrupting gameplay. South Park is also full of gratuitous comical violence, which the FPS GENRE is best designed for.

Add to that the ludicrous idea of a randomly chosen American studio having what it takes to churn out a cheap and playable platformer in the late 90s vs the likelihood of their ability to design an FPS.... And basically your entire stupid article falls apart.

And for the record, the best GENRE!!! for South Park would be a telltale style point and click game with mini-games. You know, something that is actually narrative-based and feels like watching an episode of the show, instead of some generic GENRE~ of action game with the properties crammed on awkwardly.

El Pibe Progre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pibe Progre said...

This arcticle reeks of 80's nostalgia and fanboy-ism.
Hell, you even managed to remind us of your hate for FPS's in a post that has nothing to do with it (at least directly).

Aqua said...

Okay, really? I played the NES Batman too Bob... you're so far off the mark you've sunk the ball into a black whole... in another galaxy... in a different UNIVERSE... made of cottage cheese...

Frieth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spongey Blob said...

So, if I get this right, Halo sucks because other FPS developers copied it ruthlessly and that's Bungie's fault somehow, but this game's badass because it's essentially just a South Park skin of New Super Mario Bros that will probably cost full price...

Unknown said...

I think you've all been trolled.

vlademir1 said...

@The esteemed Mr. Chipman: If they had released this game 14 years ago I'd have been all over it, but releasing it now it's for me what the Simpsons movie was, too little too late.
As others have said, I'd love to hear your rational for considering the NES Batman the best one. It certainly captured the mood well, but the PC Engine Batman captured the role better in gameplay and neither comes close to Arkham Asylum in my book, especially with it's huge amount of comic continuity nods.

@Kyle: Properly if you can beat Batman on the NES you basically ARE Batman. That game is one of the classic examples of Nintendo Hard (TMNT on NES being another). I can nearly beat I Wanna Be the Guy, but can only get about halfway through Batman without save states.

@The second Anon post: Meh. Point and click doesn't really fit South Park stylistically. The real ideal would be a framework similar to Japanese visual novels or Bioware style dialogue trees tying together various minigame sections that act as spoofs of all the various major games/game genres of the past 30 years.

Joe said...

Even when I was 10 I knew that the NES Batman was a reskinned Ninja Gaiden clone. A good Ninja Gaiden clone, but not nearly as difficult as the original. And it had nothing to do with Batman apart from the name and a couple of sprites. Funnily enough, just like Arkham Asylum, NES Batman also felt the need to make the Joker much larger than Batman.

Although the Batman:Brave & the Bold game for the Wii is surprisingly awesome. The Adam West-era dialogue is hilarious enough, but the platforming is actually pretty fun.

But back to your main point: I'm not really aware of most tie-in games going for innovation in game design. Maybe a few, but most just used the popular design conventions of the day. The NES was rife with 2D platforming tie-in games, and most were terrible (Total Recall, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.). Most tie-in games today are 3D action platformers. The last Harry Potter game even had cover-based shooting!

E.g., I don't think Arkham Asylum really did anything new. It was a 3rd person action platformer with stealth sections and a mechanic to aid investigation, it just used existing design elements (and contributions from Diniverse luminaries) to capture the spirit of the source material so well.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, sorry but this game looks like crap.

Maybe it's because South Park is bad material to be made into a game, period. Series lost its edge a decade ago and only now subsists on enticing young children into its windowless van with the stale candy of gross-out humor and "that's-the-joke" pop cultural references.

And you spake of this game and New Super Mario in the same sentence? New Super Mario Bros. looks like a classic. This game looks like a flash game that they're going to gouge their fans money for.

IF this game succeeds it will only prove that adults can be tricked with licenses just like kids.

Aiddon said...

actually the FPS Bob is referring to DID indeed suck

Jay said...

I'll contest Batman as the greatest platformer and posit the Rayman series into that role.

smile said...

Bob, I say this with all respect to you but... you can get a little too attached to the past sometimes.

Jared said...

Bob, you should know that games older than the PS2 are only remembered due to nostalgia! When are you going to move on and recognize that you can only have a legitimate opinion if you're praising a modern game?

Anonymous said...

Bob, I have high respect for you and you do raise alot of good points. This, however, I don't feel is one of them.

You seem to believe that anyone who does anything "retro-styled" truly understands what gamers want and are gamers themselves. Most likley the truth is that this game is just indeed a cash-in on games such as New Super Mario Bros and Super Meat Boy.

And the truth is that platformers are one of the simplest genres to do. Don't get me wrong, I like my platformers, but the reason there were so many during the NES era is because platformers' simple mechanics worked great with the NES' limitations, so I wouldn't be so quick to praise the developers for using the platformer mold.

Also, just "license you're fond of + genre you're fond of" doesn't mean it's instantley the right route. I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and I'm really into my 3D platformers but that doesn't mean the two belong together and it certainly doesn't call for words such as "Brilliant! Genius! Inspired!"

Again, I have respect for you. But sometimes I feel your nostalgia can cloud your better judgement.

Exploder Blade said...

Read the post...and Batman for the NES better than Arkam Asylum? Please, oh please explain this one. I honest to goodness want to hear why you think that the cookie cutter platformer that is Batman NES is better than what might be one of the best superhero games ever made.

RocMegamanX said...

I'm reading through comments, and I don't understand why nostalgia in regards to gaming is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

It isn't RocMegamanX. It's the same story as pretty much every word overused for lazy criticism on the Internet. Like "Pretentious" or "Hipster".

Anyway, I thought Bob's middle name was Nostalgia (or Nintendo). If anon1 is really all that surprised then he can't have been watching the videos for very long.

As for Batman, I liked Arkham Asylum but I can skip his latest game for now. I'm not reinstalling GFWL just to play one apparently-excellent-but-maybe-not-as-groundbreaking-as-the-first-one game. Heck no. Steamworks only for your Windows releases next time please, Rocksteady.