Everyone knows that Acclaim is the master of the failed license. In the 32 bit era they have taken many popular pop culture icons and turned them into mediocre video games. However recently they have had a couple of success stories with games such as WWF Attitude. However, I have to say that in the case of South Park Chef’s Love Shack, they have sunk to a new low in milking a license into a very disappointing video game.
Chef’s Love Shack plays like a mix between Jeopardy, Mario Party, and a classic game compilation. Unfortunately none of the modes are very fun at all and the game has some major overall problems. The first of which is that there can be no computer opponents. It is a multi-player only game so if you are a solo gamer you better pass on this one or else get some friends. However, even if you did get three friends you still would have a hard time enjoying the way that this game is played. The game is separated into two different modes: the trivia portion and the mini-games. In the trivia part you, as one of the four South Park kids, are given stupid questions that you can answer for big points. The problem is that the categories and questions are all chosen for you and the point values are almost always $500. This eliminates any kind of choice, strategy, and fun out of the trivia portion.
I guess the idea was to quickly get through the dumb ole boring trivia and get to where the real fun of the game is at: in the mini-games. These vary from anything to an Asteroids rip-off called Asses in Space a Warlords rip-off to a Donkey Kong rip-off to a Paperboy rip-off. Ass you can see the designers have been playing their classic games. After every round you will be treated to one of many games that (sadly enough) are not nearly exciting enough to make up for the boring trivia. Once you have played them once I doubt you will have a need or desire to play them again. Though there are some creative ideas and thought put into the design of the games, the play just does not come though. First of all since it is South Park you can forget about nice graphics. Secondly, the control is unresponsive and not as tight as it should be and the games are over way too quick. Finally, many of the mini-games (especially the original non-rip-off ones) are just plain boring.
This game seems that was way way too rushed in order to try and make the Christmas season. It has virtually no gameplay options whatsoever. You cannot choose from anyone other than Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny. In fact there are hardly any other characters in the game. You cannot play only the mini-games without having to play the trivia. You cannot earn anything. There is no difficulty setting, no computer opponents, no originality, and worst of all no replay value. All that it does offer is a few nice sound bites and a couple of mildly amusing mini-games. This game makes a nice one-night rental if you and your friends are big fans of South Park. Otherwise I would steer clear. As Cartman would say, "This game totally sucks ass."
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