South Park: Tenorman's Revenge review
The boys of South Park hate Gingers, and for a very good reason — they steal Xbox 360 hard drives. That's what South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is about. Scott Tenorman is Eric Cartman's half brother, the head Ginger, and a son of a b**ch. He's getting revenge on Cartman for killing his parents, tricking him into eating their bodies, and worst of all, embarrassing him in front of Radiohead. To do so, he steals Cartman's hard drive to his Xbox 360.
First off, this is a South Park game through and through. All of the humor that you're used to is there, including racist comments that Cartman tends to make. If you love South Park, then Tenorman's Revenge won't let you down. You'll see a lot of your favorite characters and places from the show, including Mr. Hanky, the Otter King (he's the one telling this story), the Atheists, the Pi Pi Water Park, Towelie and more.
South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is developed by Other Ocean Interactive, and it is a 2D side-scrolling platformer. It features puzzles, boss fights, and some pretty creative level mechanisms. You can destroy your enemies by either jumping on their heads (unless they have spikes) or hitting them with a weapon. Most of the enemies feel the same, just with different skins, but there are a few that throw a curveball your way. The controls are simple, which is good, since there's no reason for things to get complicated. Jump with 'A', use your weapon with 'X', use your special move with 'B', 'Y' activates switches, and movement is with the right analog stick.
You play as one of the four South Park kids — Kyle, Kenny, Stan, or Cartman — and each one has a special move associated with them. For instance, Kenny can charge up a jump that sends him high up in the air, Cartman can break through certain walls using his belly, and Stan can flash his Ginger hair to get into certain areas that only Gingers are allowed into. Each of the kids have a unique power-up as well. These power-ups transform them into super heroes with a certain benefit to them. Cartman becomes 'The Coon' and can climb walls; Kyle becomes 'The Kite' and can glide over areas; Kenny become 'Mysterio' and becomes invincible to damage; and Stan becomes 'Toolshed' and can drill through the ground in certain areas.
These alter egos allow them to reach certain areas of the level to get collectibles, but only if you're using that character can you get there. That's what sucks. In order to get all of the collectibles, you would have to play as each character during that level. If I'm playing by myself, I might not want to have to play a certain level four times. That's why I'm disappointed that there's no option to change your character during a level. Yes, it creates replay value, but it hinders the experience.
The game is just so-so when you play single-player, but when you play with others, it's an entirely different experience. It's more fun, but not without its problems. To play co-op, you have two option — local or online multiplayer — both with the option to drop-in/drop-out. I tried playing online, but I found it to be a really laggy experience that almost made it unplayable. That and you can play with random people who knock you over, take hearts you need, and get you killed. Local multiplayer is where it's at. There's some issues with the camera when players get too far apart, but overall, it's a more enjoyable experience. You can now get a lot of the collectibles in one playthrough.
However, there's still some kinks. Checkpoints are placed in odd places — sometimes too close together, sometimes too far apart. Also, when you die, you respawn on another player. The problem is that you can be dropped in the middle of a group of enemies, getting you hurt immediately. It may not sound like a big deal, but when some of the areas are cheap and you only have three hearts (lives), it becomes really annoying. We also got to a point where we had to replay levels because we didn't have the required amount of collectibles to proceed. It was annoying that just beating a stage doesn't advance you; we had to replay a level I played in single-player to move on in the story.
Visuals? Well, it looks like South Park. That's the only way I can describe it. The sounds are pretty good too. Each level has the appropriate sound effects for your environment and enemies. Also, the soundtrack is surprisingly awesome.
Fans of South Park will probably love South Park: Tenorman's Revenge. The story takes you through memorable characters and places. The humor is on full display, and it just bleeds South Park. While the multiplayer is the way to play this game, it features some odd design choices, weird quirks, and some cheap ways to die. Online multiplayer becomes a lag-fest, but this might be resolved over time. It's still an enjoyable game as single-player, but it would have been a lot more fun if you could swap characters on the go. Replay value is nice, but not when it feels like a burden. Overall, Tenorman's Revenge is a fine platformer with some odd design choices.