Saturday, May 18, 2019

South Park: The Fractured But Whole's Downloadable Content

The second South Park RPG, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, is all you’d expect it would be: hilarious, gross, inventive, satirical, and bizarrely epic. But that’s the main story...are its 2 story-based DLCs also up to snuff? Let’s see.

Dusk Over Casa Bonita: This is just plain solid stuff, honestly. The humor’s on point from start to finish, and I like the irony of teaming up with Mysterion (whose whole thing is a parody of edgy loner superheroes) and Henrietta (the goth) to take down the vampire clique because they think the vampire thing is lamely edgy. Henrietta’s a fun teammate to join the main game, and they didn’t skimp out on her, either, giving her all kinds of flavor dialogue in battle that she takes into the main game when you’re done with this DLC. The overall story of the DLC is another example of how the South Park RPGs manage to seamlessly mix an epic plot line together with the silliness of kids playing around (Mysterion the vigilante recruits heroes to save his beloved sister, who has been seduced by vampires and will soon be inducted into their coven and turned to one of real-world terms, Kenny’s crashing some vampire-obsessed kids’ birthday party because he’s annoyed that his sister wants to be friends with them). The bit where The Human Kite is replaced by his alternate reality version for the puzzle-solving elements is amusing. The fact that you get to beat the shit out of “Corey Haim” is more than a little satisfying. And it even all ends on a kinda sweet note, too, which is an unexpected bonus in a South Park story.

Overall, Dusk Over Casa Bonita is exactly the kind of side-story that you’d hope for from this game, related in spirit and style to the game proper, while being its own engaging adventure. Unless you don’t like South Park’s second RPG to begin with, you’re probably going to like this add-on as much as you like the main game. However, with all that said, this thing was released for $12, and is still sold for such. But it’s not gonna give you 12 hours of gameplay, or anywhere even close to that, and while it’s certainly enjoyable, it’s not so amazing that it’s worth such a steep difference between price and content provided. So I do recommend Dusk Over Casa Bonita, but only if you can get it on a good sale, as I did--I waited and bought both this and the next DLC at a discount of 75%, which I think is far more fair a price.

Bring the Crunch: This DLC, unfortunately, didn’t really hold my interest very much. Bring the Crunch is a side story in which you investigate some horror-film-style murders happening at a special needs camp in the woods and...there’s just not a lot to it, honestly. This adventure leans hard into poking fun at generic horror flicks and Scooby Doo episodes, and, well, there’s only so far a parody of those things can go. When the appeal of a slasher fic parody dries up, there’s just nothing substantial to work with here--the villain and his plot aren’t interesting, the surprise conflict at the end is forced and barely funny, the story as a whole constantly feels like it’s stopping and starting as you move it along in tiny spurts rather than a cohesive narrative, and while you can do Jimmy as the central figure in a story under the right circumstances, this doesn’t seem to be one of the times that it works. Mintberry Crunch is a decent character addition (and has an interesting gameplay mechanic), but he seems kind of shoehorned in--at least Henrietta’s addition makes sense in Dusk Over Casa Bonita’s story about conflict between edgelords. Mintberry Crunch doesn’t really have any ties to anything in this DLC besides what he himself brings to it.

With that said, there’s some decent humor here and there in Bring the Crunch (its final line is actually pretty hilarious, in fact, and a perfect South Park-style ending), so I can see a much bigger fan of South Park than myself enjoying this as much as the last DLC package--your mileage is gonna vary. Even for someone who loves everything that South Park touches, though, it’s still not worth the $12 by a wide margin--I’d recommend getting it on a major sale, if ever.

So how does the second South Park RPG do in terms of its add-ons, overall? Eh. Not great. I mean, I enjoyed Dusk Over Casa Bonita quite a bit, and Bring the Crunch has some decent moments...but neither one is worth the price, considering how short each add-on is. It’s too bad, because if Ubisoft weren’t trying to price-gouge its customers, I’d have probably rated South Park RPG 2’s add-on scene as mildly positive, overall, which is sadly far above the average. It sure as hell is a step down from the last DLC-possessing RPG I played, Nier: Automata (DLC rant on that coming in the near-ish future), although that might not be an entirely fair comparison, I suppose. Still, I’ve seen considerably worse sets of DLCs, and if you can get Dusk Over Casa Bonita for a fair price, at least, it’s worth it.

1 comment:

  1. The price of this DLC seems crazy for me. Each of them costs more than what I paid for The Fractured But Whole.