South Park has been around for over 16 years now, and it’s still staying fresh and going strong. During all those years, one would think that a series this popular would spawn a game that is loved by all fans of the show. The few that have come out have been disappointing, leaving fans waiting for that gem. Well, the wait is over! Scott Tenorman is here and it’s pretty sweet.
Who is Scott Tenorman and why is he trying to get revenge on the four mischievous boys of the titular town where anything and everything happens? The gruesome truth is Cartman tricked Scott into eating his own parents. The story picks up as we come to find out just how Tenorman is getting his revenge: by stealing the boys’ Xbox 360 hard drive containing all their saved data. Once he has accomplished this dastardly feat, he uses a time machine to travel into the future. Distraught and not standing for it, the boys build their own device and follow Tenorman to retrieve their prized hard drive.
The gameplay is reminiscent of the olden days of side-scrolling platformers, with enemies widely scattered throughout the level as you jump on their heads to defeat them. In the beginning of the game, you have the option of selecting one of the four main characters: Kyle, Stan, Kenny and The Awesome and the Cool Eric Cartman. Each has a unique special move and alternate personality that helps you through the levels and reach secret areas. Once a character is picked, you are stuck with him throughout the entire level. The levels are filled with not only ginger robots that Tenorman created, but a fair amount of collectibles as well. Some give extra lives, while others seemingly don’t do anything. In order to progress through each level, you have to collect a certain amount of time capsules.
Since this game is largely a throwback platformer, it does tend to get a bit hard. Like most of them, the jumping can be a bit wonky, requiring perfect timing or you’ll fall to your death. I also found that just jumping and trying to get through the level quickly leads to certain doom. Instead, I learned the lost art of patience and found that helped me through the levels- that, and the checkpoints. That’s right; there are checkpoints in this game. Oh, and you get 5 lives to get you through the levels. Once those are depleted, its game over and back to the very beginning of the level. You’ll start with a fresh set at the start of each area, though.
Playing through the game, I found that I was obsessed with trying to nab all of the collectibles. Since I played the single player, though, that was impossible. In order to get all of them, each one of the boys needs to be used to access certain areas. This is where the alter egos come in to play, each with their own special power. For example, Kenny becomes Mysterion who, when killed, becomes invincible.
Each of the levels are huge and introduce new forms of ginger robots and hazardous traps that need to be avoided. I expected the levels to look similar to the show, but they really don’t. The characters do, however. The dialogue stays true to the show with a fair amount of cursing (uncensored) and banter between the boys, which is hilarious and helps to move the game along. If you are looking for fan service, this game has it. There’s everything from character cameos to subtle little things that only the diehard fans will get.
Tenorman’s Revenge does support four-player co-op, and it plays perfectly. I was worried that it would become impossible to play, because each person can move forward without the other players following closely behind. But the game adjusts well by panning the camera out so each character is shown. If one character does get too far ahead, then the others will be teleported to the person who decided to leave his friends behind.
South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is one of my favorite XBLA games ever. With fun gameplay, witty dialogue that stays true to the show, huge levels, and a ton of fan service, this is THE game South Park fans have been waiting for.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.