South Park is great. There aren’t many who would disagree with that. But making an entertaining South Park game is apparently as difficult as putting smoke into a milk bottle using a cricket bat, which is a real surprise given the wealth of material the sick bastards behind the show have provided.
Finally, however, Mr Goodliving (which is no stranger to creating digital versions of the South Park boys) might finally have struck gold by putting the series aside and drawing its own inspiration from the controversial characters.
South Park Mega Millionaire puts you in control of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman as they enter a Japanese gameshow in the hope of winning a million Yen. Naturally, this gameshow involves danger and humiliation - two aspects of modern life that fit perfectly with South Park’s entertainment values.
Although the setting and atmosphere are very different, the game isn't at all unlike Sonic The Hedgehog, or Super Mario Bros. The characters exhibit very similar inertia to Sonic and Mario, accelerating and decelerating in a fluid, realistic manner.
The boys are mounted on rollerskates, and they have to speed their way around the show’s levels grabbing as much cash as they can while performing all kinds of stunts to keep the crowd amused. This can involve taking a certain number of hits from a sumo wrestler, balancing a bonsai tree on your head, or smashing your skull into the platform above until the vicious crowd grows bored of their self-inflicted violence.
Admittedly, South Park’s aesthetic style isn't a massive challenge for a game adaptation, but the developer has done a sterling job of capturing the essence of the TV show’s visual flair. The characters are spot on, not only in looks but in movement and personality, while the dialogue remains true to its outrageous origins.
This all conspires to make South Park Mega Millionaire massively appealing to a very wide demographic. Platform game fans, South Park lovers and retro gamers alike will all find loads to enjoy and plenty to crack a wry smile at.
Finally, the South Park game has arrived.