The Switch gets two unique games in May
The Nintendo Switch has seen its share of success since launching in March of 2017. Since then, we have seen a wide variety of games that appeal to many different types of gamers. This month, Switch gamers get the chance to play two very different games.
South Park The Fractured But Whole
The South Park crew are back, this time on the Nintendo Switch, with South Park The Fractured But Whole. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators, hit a homerun with a game as irreverent as it is fun. How irreverent you ask? Well, with a title as silly as South Park The Fractured But Whole you know it’s not taking things seriously.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
An authentic South Park adventure
Let’s get straight to the point: if you don’t enjoy the South Park TV show, this game probably isn’t meant for you. The Fractured But Whole fits in rather nicely with its TV counterpart, being just as crude and silly all around. Stepping back into South Park’s crazy universe has never been so fun.
You could even say that it’s an incredible tribute to the series, complete with funny nods long-time fans are sure to pick up on. Keep in mind this is South Park though, so expect a lot (and I do mean a lot) of vulgar talk and situations. The script was written by the creators of the series and it’s pretty clear that they had little censorship.
Coon and friends, assemble!
The game begins a few moments after the end of the previous game, South Park The Stick of Truth. Cartman starts to dream (like he always does), imagining shooting movies and playing the starring role of superhero. The only problem with all this is they need money in order to accomplish all these things.
But of course, money isn’t an issue as Cartman naturally has a plan in mind. That is to find and rescue the neighbour’s cat to collect that sweet $100 reward. Apparently, Cartman believes that’s enough dough to shoot a superhero movie. Just wait until he finds out!
True to the series
If you played the first game, you’ll know what to expect when it comes to game mechanics. You begin by creating your own character, or superhero if you will, and already the game makes a huge statement. As you increase the difficulty of the game you’ll see their skin colour become darker.
It’s a pretty bold statement, something South Park is widely known for. Interestingly, your visual appearance can be changed later. Afterwards, you will have to choose the class of your character. Initially, you will have three choices: the Speedster (a very fast character), a Brutalist (a strong character) or the Blaster (a long-range attacker.)
Later, you’ll have the option to pick new classes, but I’ll let you discover them on your own. Finally, Cartman makes you install the application Coonstagram. This app awards you more followers and more experience points whenever you meet someone and take a selfie.
The other way to earn experience points and use all the toilets you find along the way. Inside the washrooms there are little games to play, and they’re all quite funny.
An outrageous RPG adventure
To succeed in your mission to find the neighbour’s cat, you’ll need to search the city of South Park. This includes visits to the houses of all your friends, as well as several other places from the show like the school. What’s amazing is the visuals are exactly the same as you’d see in an episode of the series.
The more you play the more areas of South Park will open up, too. When you encounter an opponent, the game switches to a turn-based combat screen reminiscent of old school Final Fantasy. Each turn, you’ll have the option to move your character and select what kind of attack to do.
You’ll soon realize combat is the extremely solid and serious aspect of the game. At least from a technical point-of-view that is, as your actual attacks themselves are downright funny at time. In order to succeed in combat, you have to rely on characters’ strength and create a balanced team.
This includes having heavy hitters, defensive characters, and healers. Over the roughly 15-hour campaign you’ll have lots of time to practice your battle strategies.
As mentioned at the top South Park The Fractured But Whole is meant for South Park fans. If you don’t enjoy the series’ signature crude humour, this game likely isn’t for you. Like the TV show, the game pushes the limits of acceptability to the extremes. Fans will know what to expect and by all means this game delivers.
+ A hilarious story written by the creators of South Park
+ Excellent battle mechanics
+ Graphics that look just like the TV show
+ Fun character creation system
+ Like of side quests and things to do
– Game is a tad too short
– For South Park fans only
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5 (80%)
Shantae Half Genie Hero Limited Edition
The half genie hero Shantae is back in a new adventure in 2D. Shantae Half Genie Hero Limited Edition features Shantae’s sworn enemy, Risky Boots. Shantae immediately sets off in pursuit of the archipelago surrounding Sequin Land.
She takes advantage of her outings to help her friends in the village who have some worries on their side. The side scrolling platform game is superb on Nintendo Switch. The paintings offer varied challenges depending on the island visited.
Its game mechanics are classic but the WayForward touch for this franchise makes it endearing. Shantae is a smiling genius and always ready for a new adventure. She waddles to charm people and her dances give her the power to transform into eight creatures.
Returning to a vanquished island brings us to new sections without having to fight the guard a second time.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Xseed Games
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Replayability Encouraged by Shantae’s Transformations and Additional Modes
In monkey, it sticks to walls to climb while crayfish allows it to swim in deep water. She will find items to collect and useful items for her quest. These powers will help you, including the tree that drops oranges that gives a little health when needed, and the portal teleportation that propels us to a table section already visited.
Since we return to the same islands several times, do not hesitate to buy the portal as soon as you have enough gems. A finished level will reveal new enemies that Shantae is having fun to hit with its purple mop, if not with balls of fire or other projectiles. These are also super practical against the crocodiles that run very quickly to us as soon as we approach a little too close.
My only caveat with Shantae Half Genie Hero is having to redo a complete section when we die during a painting. There are several save points but these are predetermined and sometimes spaced. This makes repetitive playability especially when confronting guards.
Offering a good challenge, they can be tough on the first pass and of course, I’ve died several times before defeating them. We go through several stages before we come to the end and each time we fail; we must start again at the very beginning of the confrontation. We necessarily get better each time but I would have appreciated a recovery at the current stage, not the complete picture.
A special edition on Nintendo Switch
Shantae Half Genie Hero Limited Edition contains the “Risky Beats” music disc, a 96-page booklet of illustrations and all the additional content available for the game. It includes the core game and contains all the DLC, including the Pirate Queen’s Quest DLC, Friends to the End DLC, and Costume Mode DLC.
Shantae Half Genie Hero Limited Edition is as beautiful as it is fun to play. Although I was happy with the game’s length, some may find it a little on the short side. If you love 2D platformers, you simply can not go wrong with this game.
Those looking for a challenge should opt for the game’s Hard Core Mode. It will certainly test your gameplay skills and give you the ultimate challenge. If you own a Switch and are looking for a new game to pickup, I highly recommend Shantae Half Genie Hero Limited Edition, it is great fun from start to finish.
+ One of the most engrossing 2D platform adventures in recent memory
+ Big and varied worlds
+ Bright visuals give the game flair
+ All DLC and extras are included
– Some may find the game a bit too short
– Standard difficulty doesn’t offer up much of a challenge
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5