South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge (XBLA)
Developer: Other Ocean and South Park Digital Studios
Release: Spring 2012
Developed by the same hands that put together last year’s underrated XBLA title War of the Worlds, Tenorman’s Revenge takes players through a hilarious four-player drop-in/drop-out cooperative adventure spanning a multitude of levels based around some of the show’s most obscure episodes.
The plot is fairly simple: Scott Tenorman has stolen the boy’s Xbox 360 hard drive, traveled to the future, created an army of evil Ginger robots, and now is set to exact his revenge on the foul-mouthed foursome and the town of South Park.
To stop the threat, the boys must work together platforming their way through 22 stages split into 11 worlds, including Hell, Heaven, Future South Park, Pip's Water park, Tynacorp, and more. It will require precision jumping, rope swinging, and the destruction of Tenorman's underlings (as well as a few other surprises) to get back their precious game saves and perhaps save the world.
The stage I played was set in the jungles of Peru -- complete with a pan flute soundtrack and giant hamsters running through the background. The looks and sound of Tenorman’s Revenge feel straight out of an episode thanks to Other Ocean getting direct access to the the Maya files, voice actors, and writers behind each show. While this was the only stage I played through, I laughed quite a few times at the obscure references hidden throughout and the typical crude comments one expects from Cartman’s mouth; boy does he sure love to talk about his sweaty balls.
In terms of gameplay, everything felt really tight when it came to the jumping, but taking on the ginger robots can be tough for players who like to rush through levels. Similar to Super Mario Bros., most enemies are defeated by jumping on their heads, but with a variety of gingers to face, this tactic will only get one so far. To combat the more difficult situations, such as spiked or shielded gingers, each boy has their own special ability. Cartman has a belly-bounce that can break through walls, Kenny can jump extra high, Kyle’s ginger hair can break shields, and Stan has a football projectile. All of which becomes even more epic when the boys turn into their alter-egos Mysterion, Toolshed, the Human Kite, and the Coon when a special in-level power-up is obtained.
These moves come particularly in handy when trying to reach all the potential paths -- over 80 total -- laid through the course of the game, which depending on how adventurous one is will last between an estimated three to eight hours. On top of all the fan service, those looking for a little extra challenge can tackle each level from a speed-run perspective. Littered in every level are collectible time particles that reduce a player’s overall completion time for leaderboard tracking.
I love side-scrolling platformers, and though I only a tiny peek, South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge looks to offer up just the right amount of nostalgia and fun for fans and platform junkies alike later this spring.