December 12, 1999

South Park: Chef's Luv Shack - Review

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While the Simpsons may have been the king of family cartoons through the 1990's, it was South Park that caused the most contraversy due to the very adult nature of the stories and coarse language. Sure enough, the rights to create games based on the series were sold and Acclaim soon snapped it up. South Park Chef's Luv Shack is the first South Park game on the Dreamcast which is bound to please fans of the series.

South Park : Chef's Luv Shack is a game show which is set to star suimsuit models as the contestants. Unfortunately they are visiting friends in jail and Kyle, Kenny, Stan and Cartman are booked to take their place. Chef is the host of the game show and after picking your character asks you the questions through out the game. Occasionally you can "Double Down" where you can place a bet on the next question to increase your winnings (or losings if you answer incorrectly). "Gameplay Rounds" also occur occasionally where the contestants have to compete in one of 20 different mini games. These games range from good fun such as Asses in Space (an asteroids clone - see picture) or Pizza Patrol (a Paperboy clone) to mini-games such as Go Karts which borders on terrible.

Unfortunately, like so many other trivia based games the questions can start to repeat themselves after a while. Admittedly the variety on offer in this game is good but questions begun to reappear in only the second game. Playability is also limited. Would you play monopoly by yourself, not really. The same applies here. Playing a trivia game against yourself doesn't make you want to sit there for hours. Admittedly the mini-games are entertaining. It's a shame there is no option to play them without all the trivia. As a multiplayer game this becomes much more fun. The competition becomes more fierce but then another problem rears it's ugly head. If you start beating your opponent by too much (usually $8000-$10000) then you are disqualified from the mini-games meaning you sit out until the other person catches up a bit.

Graphically Chef's Luv Shack is exactly what you would expect from a game based on the TV series. The characters are reproduced in amazing 2D detail (that is a poor joke people) and backgrounds are adequate. The variety of graphics in the mini-games is impressive ans seem to serve their purpose well (except Go Karts which is terrible).

Sound in this game is excellent. The music is perfect for a game show type game and the speech is equally impressive with voices by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and of course Issac Hayes as Chef.

If your the type of person that plays games on your own I would steer clear of South Park Chef's Luv Shack as you will be bored within an hour. As a multiplayer game however there is an added element of fun which almost makes this game worthwhile, if your a South Park fan. Unfortunately the number of American based questions and repeatitive gameplay can still become tiresome after a few hours play. My suggestion, try before you buy.

Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall



(78% 2+ players)