South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!

October 21, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under Reviews, Xbox Live Arcade

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Overview

Title: South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play

Release Date: 7th October 2009

Developer/Publisher: DoubleSix

Genre: Action & Adventure, Strategy & Simulation

Platform[s]: Xbox Live Arcade

Storyline

Once again the peace and tranquility of everyone’s favourite Colorado mountain town is in jeopardy as Ginger Kids, Hippies, Cows, Aliens and a variety of other colourful characters from the South Park universe launch an unexpected attack, and (as usual) it’s down to Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and Stan to build the last line of defense and save their town from total annihilation…

Gameplay

As the name suggests, Let’s Go Tower Defense Play is a Tower Defense game – but instead of being restricted to just building and upgrading towers (like Defense Grid, for instance), you also control one of the four main characters as well. This adds a slightly different dimension to the gameplay and opens up brand new strategy options, whereby you fight alongside your towers as well as racing between them to build more and upgrade the ones you already have. Coins are dropped when you kill certain enemies, and these are the resources you use to build and strengthen your defenses. Towers fire a range of different projectiles, from Baseballs to Lasers, and later on in the game a range of enemy specific towers become available, changing your strategies even more.

1

Each of the four main characters on offer fire a range of snowballs (Cartman’s snowballs are slower but more effective, while Stan sacrifices strength for a higher rate of fire, for instance), and each has their own special ability which can be triggered when enough enemies have been killed. Cartman can clear the screen, Smart Bomb like, while Kyle increases everyone’s rate of fire and strengthens their attacks.  Flicking between the characters is easy, with a simple tap of RB moving to the next character inline. This is a handy mechanic, as you can move your teammates around the screen and once placed, they will not move but attack any enemies that come near them – and with the sheer number of enemies on screen at any one time your allies position can be crucial. If an enemy slips past your defense, then they damage the town – and once the town’s health drops to zero (represented by a bar in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen) it’s Game Over.

Graphics

LGTDP is absolutely spot on and true to the series in look and feel, with clearly the same animation techniques used in the TV shows employed here – perhaps even harking back to the early (slightly better, in our opinion) days in places. The range of enemies on offer can be daunting, and with such a rich universe to draw on they are varied and many. Death animations are suitably gory, with heads and body parts flying all over the place in spectacularly bloody style, with not a hint of slow down to be seen at all. All your favourite South Park locations are here as well, from Stan’s front yard to the School playground and so on. It all adds up to a visual feast for the eyes that should get the fanboys and girls salivating, although those expecting animated cut scenes will be disappointed, as levels are introduced with a series of still, comic book-style panels with voiceovers instead.

2

Sound

Despite the lack of the full South Park theme tune, 99% of the time the action on screen is so hectic that it’s hard to notice the incidental music that skips along happily in the background to each level. As the game was developed in conjunction with South Park Studios all your favourite characters are voiced as they are in the series, and each has an amusing repertoire of comments depending on the situation they’re in. Although it doesn’t play a big part in the game, there are a few swears (usually from Cartman) which parents should be aware of before letting their kids get involved in the action. The little bits of waffle between levels is also pretty amusing, with Cartman providing most of the laughs as usual.

Overall Score and Replayability

To start with, Let’s Go Tower Defense Play is great fun as you build and upgrade your towers and pelt enemies with your team mates, all wrapped up with the trademark South Park humour and stylized animation. Things do get very boring very quickly, as games invariably degenerate into serious A button abuse as you hammer snowballs at your enemies, and unless your preparation is spot on before the match starts the amount of bad guys that slip past you and damage your town is frustrating, to say the least. There are 15 playable characters to unlock as you progress, as well as short video clips and other bits and bobs that become available when you earn medals and complete challenges, but even fans of the series will find working their way through the game to unlock them all hard going.