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Apr 04 2012

Review: South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge

When one thinks of South Park video games it’s hard to not be pessimistic. The series has the stigma of being attached to some of the worst licensed games made back in the 32/64 bit era. Does Tenorman’s Revenge break the stigma of licensed South Park games or is it just another ride on the Poo Choo train?

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Developer: South Park Digital Studios / Other Ocean 
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Released: March 30, 2012
MSRP: 800 MSP ($ 10.00 USD)

Tenorman’s Revenge is at it’s core a standard 2D platform game with a little bit of Metroid style exploration snuck in. The plot of the game revolves around Scott Tenorman stealing Eric Cartman’s Xbox 360 Hard drive. This leads the usual cast of the show on a chase with Tenorman through time and space to retrieve their precious save games. The overall premise is what you would expect from a South Park game but it never amounts to anything nearly as funny or interesting as what people expect from the show.

The games art style sticks very much to that of the series. Cut scenes look like they are taken straight from an episode of South Park and everyone sounds exactly as they do in the show. The levels are all lifted from locations previously seen on the show as well. Throughout the game you will find yourself traveling to places like Tynacorp’s mutant towel factory, Pee Pee’s Water Park and even Hell. All the locations look very much like the episodes they appear in but rather than fill these levels with unique enemies based on characters or events from the show, most levels are instead filled to the brim with Ginger Robots. There are a few exceptions to this but the vast majority of enemies you will face in Tenorman’s Revenge will be variations on the Ginger.

Combat is what you would normally expect from a 2D platform game. For the most part you can jump on enemies to easily defeat them with a few exceptions. There are also multiple types of weapons scattered throughout the levels which allow you to take out enemies with a frontal assault. Without weapons the chosen character lets out a mostly infective push which is used to expose enemies who are immune to jump attacks. The game does do a good job of making sure you have access to weapons for most combat situations; however, even with the added help of weapons the combat mostly feels clunky and boring. This is one of larger problems of the game as most levels have at least one section where you are forced into a small arena survival fight in order to progress. Other levels have you racing against time to reach a “time bomb” which will force you to repeat the section until you are able to destroy it in the allotted time. These sections do nothing for the game except pad out the levels and really just hamper the overall experience.

As far as the gameplay goes your chosen characters travel at a slow pace which makes the levels themselves a drag to go through, especially when you are forced to go through them multiple times to collect more time cores. This is the games largest flaw. I could easily forgive Tenorman’s revenge of most of its bland level design but when the game forced me to play through the same levels over and over to progress through the game not only bored but frustrated as well. Giving players the option to replay earlier levels to find collectible items like Megamen and Medals is one thing but forcing them to do it to progress through the game is just downright insulting, especially when you consider that for the most part, the stages themselves are incredibly repetitive on their own.

Multiplayer should in theory fix the problem of having to backtrack through levels for time cores with other characters but that theory falls apart once you start to play it as the multiplayer itself adds another layer of frustration to the gameplay. Most matches I played had me being thrown around by my co-op partners with their weapon attacks. Even in matches where the ability to grief other players was turned I found myself constantly struggling with the games camera. This was due to the fact that all characters are forced on one screen at a time. In online matches I was stuck in countless situations where I either left my teammates behind or they left me behind, which usually resulted in someone dying. I could understand why they would need all characters on one screen locally but online there really isn’t any reason this should be the case.

Tenorman’s Revenge is a slow placed frustrating collect-a-thon. The enemies lack variety, the levels themselves lackluster at best, the multiplayer has bad camera issues and the forced backtracking for time cores means you have to suffer through it all that much longer before you reach the games conclusion. Even if you are a huge fan of the series I would highly suggest you pass up on Tenorman’s revenge.


Score: 2/10

About the author

Jason

Jason has had a passion for video games ever since he first laid his hands on an NES. He is an enthusiast of gaming and a major tech nerd.