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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (462)

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Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5
Destiny 2 4/5
Horizon: Zero Dawn 4.5/5
Oxenfree 4/5
Murdered: Soul Suspect 3/5
Kirby Star Allies 3/5
Celeste 4.5/5
Dark Quest 2 3/5
Just Cause 3 3.5/5
Guacamelee! 2 4/5
The Incredible Adventur... 4/5

Next 25
 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole   PC (Steam) 

The Franchise Strikes Back    4/5 stars

In 2014, South Park creators teamed with Obsidian / THQ (and later, Ubisoft) to deliver The Stick of Truth, which mixed RPG with South Park to hilarious results. The game was like playing an actual South Park episode. The Fractured but Whole is followup - with Ubisoft once again taking the reigns while also shaking up the combat. Plus, it leaves the fantasy setting behind for superheroes and the result is a worthy successor and still a hoot for South Park fans.

Presentation: Much like the first game, the look of this is a perfect recreation of a typical South Park episode. Characters, voices, settings - it's all here and expands upon the first game by giving you more characters, more powers and new areas to explore. Much like The Stick of Truth followed certain episodes, Fractured but Whole expands upon the Coon and Friends storyline from season 14, but references plenty of other episodes (Medicinal Fried Chicken, City Part of Town and Tweek x Craig to name a few) with the various side characters, locations and items you find along the way. Once again, the enjoyment you'll get out of this will be based on your enjoyment of South Park as a whole - but as I am a fan, I love the references, big and small, you can find here. While you don't get to go to Canada this time around (they've build a wall, you see) the game still changes to a 16-bit setup in the small area outside of Canada.

Story: The game picks up immediately after the events of the first game - your nameless character has become the king and is leading the charge - which means nothing once the game changes from fantasy to superheroes. Thus you start over - and now Cartman (as The Coon) wants you to promote his brand via Coonstagram (which takes over from Facebook of the first game), meaning you must take as many selfies with people around town as you can. The main story is that Coon and Friends wants to make money to get their franchise off the ground and sees the perfect opportunity to do so in saving a missing cat for a reward. After playing through your very own superhero back story (which always ends with you fighting off thieves and seeings your parents having sex) you can choose from Blaster (long-range attack), Brutalist (high-damage melee) and Speedster (fast-hitting) initially before unlocking several other classes as the game progresses. Likewise, your simple story of finding a missing cat soon balloons into a city-wide drug problem, police corruption, mutants and time travel - as well as healing the rift between two disparate hero franchises. The humor is a bit more crude this time around, but still retains that South Park feel.

Gameplay: The first game was much like a turn-based RPG - this sequel changes things up by becoming more like a tactical RPG with grids and more characters (you can have up to four, including the main character) making for bigger fights and much more interesting powers to explore. Each hero character provides a range of powers - from healing to buffs to attacks - as well as a special attack that can be a game changer in any battle (including the boss battles scattered about). This makes combat much more enjoyable than the first game and your "fart" powers are also much better. These are now time-based special attacks - you can make enemies skip their turn, stop time and attack unsuspecting enemies and even change day to night. Outside of battle, your powers - as well as the abilities of your fellow hero friends - can help unlock areas, find hidden items and even piss off Morgan Freeman (unlocking an optional and very difficult battle).

Much like the first game, the world is filled with junk to find and sell, extra costume pieces to unlock (you can mix and match for some interesting combinations) and new system that allows you equip multiple items to increase everything from base strength to healing effects. Collectibles are back - with Tweek x Craig Yaoi art taking over from Chinpokemon. The game also lets you explore new areas like Mephisto's Lab, the local strip club and Raisins among other places. Enemies are also different, with dreaded eighth graders, Raisins girls and bums (don't worry, you get Crab People too - eventually). Enemies level as the game goes on - though I never found basic battles that challenging (though I also didn't press my luck when enemies were over-powered compared to my own). Even boss battles were pretty standard - the only fight I had trouble with was the above-mentioned optional Morgan Freeman fight - in which I eventually got incredibly lucky when he decided not to use his major attacks for whatever reason, allowing me to win in the end. I thought this game did a better job at keeping things fresh, even towards the end and it has a much better variety than the first game when it comes to characters and powers in general.

Replayability: Like most RPG-type games, there are plenty of choices you can make. While most of these (gender, religion and the like) are mostly for show, given the rotation of characters and classes you can choose from, most replay is due to changing things up.

Overall: Once again, the spirit of South Park is captured perfectly in this superhero send-up.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Replayability: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 4/5

 

 


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