September 24, 2000
South Park Rally is Acclaim's second attempt on the Dreamcast to cash in on the South Park craze that has swept America and Australia over the last couple of years. This time, instead of a trivia game such as Chef's Luv Shack, the Acclaim decided on a kart based rally game.
The number of options in South Park Rally is quite impressive. The game includes Championship, Mini Championship, Arcade and a Multi-Player mode for up to 4 people. After selecting the type of game you want to play you can select from 8 initial characters including Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, Wendy, Chef, Officer Barbrady and Uncle Jimbo. The game includes another 29 characters, which can be unlocked by completing various tasks or races within the game.
Races are held on a variety of tracks and each character can collect items around the course to help them win. These items include Barf (like oil patches), Mr Hanky (Invincibility), Anal Probe (a laser weapon) and Phillip Phart (gas booster) among others. Each race can also have a different objective. For instance, some are just straight races to the finish line while others may require that you hold onto an antidote to mad cow disease while the opponents try to chase you down and get it off you. Yet another race will see you shooting the other karts with a bow and arrow while another race will see you trying to be the first to collect 20 Easter Eggs. This is only a small selection of the tasks but gives you an idea as to the wide variety of objectives. As with most racing games the multi-player games are by far the most fun. Competing with a couple of friends in some of the non-race styled events can be hilarious.
Actually controlling the racing karts is fairly easy. Steering is done with the analogue control while the buttons are used to accelerate, brake, reverse, fire weapon, throw away weapon and change weapon. Unfortunately, the in-game physics leaves a bit to be desired. At times running into an object results in a dead stop while another time your kart will be flung high up in the air before crashing back to earth.
Graphically, South Park Rally can be summed up in one word. Crisp. The developers have used vibrant colours that are clearly defined and remain faithful to the TV series with rather 2D backgrounds. The frame rate does suffer occasionally which is a surprise considering the lack of graphical detail required in the game. Still, there is nothing here that really disappoints.
The sound in South Park Rally is also very impressive, and why shouldn't it be. The characters voices have all been recorded especially for the game, and can be quite amusing if you're into the South Park style of humor. The music also sounds like it has come straight from the TV show while the opening intro for the game is pretty much straight from the TV series, with some alterations to match the racing theme of the game.
South Park Rally is yet another South Park game that ultimately fails to live up to expectations for non-fans of the TV series. In single player mode South Park Rally may become a little tiresome, but in multiplayer mode this game has a strange addictiveness. If your a big South Park fan you should have a look at South Park Rally at the very least.