Hey Look, Some Actual Satire from South Park: The Fractured But Whole

south park fractured but whole difficulty

South Park is trash. It’s always been trash. That’s okay, but it has always annoyed me when people try to pass off it’s trashiness by calling it “satire”.  The only thing South Park has ever been interested in saying was “everyone who cares about anything is stupid”. I really hate to break it to you ladies and gentlemen, but that isn’t satire.

But, i do believe in giving the devil his due. And as such, The new South Park game does have at least one instance of creative and poignant satire. The difficulty of the game is based on your characters race. The darker your character, the harder the game is. In a world were literal neo-nazi’s and white supremacist are marching down the street and African America’s are still disproportionately targets of police brutality,  this still shows a certain…cultural awareness i wasn’t expecting from the makers of South Park. It’s still possible (and lets face it, more than likely) that the game will end up wasting the ability to really say something about race relations in modern America, but if our choices are between “lack-luster satire” and the kind of “you know, BLM and the KKK are pretty much the same thing” that you’d expect from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, i’ll go with the former.

Bear With Me Episode 3 Trailer and Impressions

I have a certain fondness for Bear With Me. It was the first game i got a review code for with out having to namedrop my best friend IndieGamerChick, plus it was the first game a developer reached out to me for coverage for. And…well, it was freaking adorable. On top of that, it was also a really well written and fun little point and click. This was the first game that proved i was heading in the right direction with this whole “game journalism” thing and unlike a lot of people i know, i got to enjoy the game that proved that to me.

So, naturally i’m excited to see what it’s all been building up to. What happened to Amber’s brother? Who is the Man in Red? Why is he burning Paper City down? I want answers, god damn it! And on October 5th, i’ll get them.

In my reviews for the first two episodes I’ve made a point of noting that i don’t think this game works too well as an episodic adventure. Each episode continued the overarching narrative, but didn’t really offer unique stories of their own. Meaning each episode felt like it ended as soon as it was getting good. If the team at Exordium Games can stick the landing, this final episode should make that a non-issue as it will be possible to get some closure without having to wait for months on end.

So yeah, i’m stoked. I highly recommend the first two episodes, and am as excited for this last chapter as i possibly can be.

My Reviews for EPISODE 1 and EPISODE 2.

Hot Lava Gameplay and Impressions

A while ago i reviewed the first person platformer ClusterTruck, and i rather loved it. One of the main reasons that game worked is becuase it compensated for the inherent weaknesses of first person platforming. You were often asked to make a lot of tricky jumps, but the semi-trucks you were using as platforms weren’t exactly calling for a whole lot of precision. You weren’t asked to land on a dime, and with each truck being the same size you grew to get a feel for how much space you had and would need.

If anything, i think that might just kill Hot Lava here. There’s a pretty long section here where the person has to keep doing the same bit over again becuase becuase the platforms are really small and first person platforming is still kind of shit. I can easily see that becoming a major point of frustration if it persists though out the game.

I’m interested to see how this one turns out, but i’d be lying if i didn’t say my expectations are on the low end as of right now.

Mulaka Trailer and Impressions

This. Looks. Fantastic. The game is apparently built around mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara peoples, and as one of those “representation in media matter” type hippies, that instantly made me interested. What made me excited for this was…well, pretty much everything else.

While there isn’t a whole lot in this trailer, it easily made me want to see more. The hack and slash gameplay looks pretty solid and the ability to turn into animals is one more games should use…if we can find a ways to not let the furrys know about it. Looks guys, do what you do, just do it somewhere else.

My only real complaint is the games look, and even there i’m torn on how i feel about it. I’ve always been a proponent that a strong art direction is more important that sheer graphical power. And you can’t say  Mulaka here doesn’t have a strong art direction. But on the other hand…it looks like someone just forgot to add textures. And that does kind of bother me. Plus, i don’t prematurely like the look of the human character. There’s just something about how angular the character is that rubs me the wrong way. I hope this gets some more work, and as the game isn’t coming out until next year i’m sure that it will.

In the end though, i’ll take interesting but kind of ugly over a boring game any day. and this looks really damn interesting.

 

Shenmue III Trailer and Impressions

i wont be the first nor the last to say this: but my god these character models are bad. Everything else looks fine, but the actual characters look like dolls. No, scratch that, i think Barbie looks more lifelike and expressive than this. If the dev team is aiming to recreate the look of the first game, i think they might have done a tad too good on it.

But in all seriousness, the real question here is: does this make me, someone who never played Shenmue, want to get into the series? Frankly, no. I don’t know what’s going on in this trailer, and nothing here makes me want to know.

I read somewhere that there is an explanation for why this trailer looks so awful, but i didn’t have time to read it and can’t seem to find the article again. So in the spirit of honestest, there may be something i’m just missing here. In the end though, you only get once chance at a first impression, and this isn’t a good one.