NEWS - Monday, July 27, 2009

Microsoft Nixed: South Park Suck My Balls for XBLA

 At a San Diego Comic-Con panel, South Park Digital Studios’ Creative Director Chris Brion revealed some of the names Microsoft nixed for the upcoming Let’s Go Defense Tower Play XBLA game. Among those given a no were: "South Park Suck My Balls," "South Park Snowballing" and "South Park Barrow, Barrow, Suki,Suki." This wasn’t the end of compromised. Gone too is the "Chasing the Dragon" Achievement and the original art for the "How to Eat with Your Butt" icon. A language filter also had to be added to bleep out potentially offensive words like [bleep] and [bleep]. Don’t worry, the filter is turned off by default, ensuring that South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play will warp your fragile little mind.

 But let’s talk about what’s in the game. And that includes 15 unlockable characters. To this point, Microsoft would only discuss the four boys (Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny), but today we learned a few more: Wendy , Bebe, Token, Clyde, Craig, Jimmy and Timmy. We’re also pretty certain we spotted Butters when the select screen flashed for the briefest second during the demo. Sad news: Chef is not in the game. This isn’t due to any kind of rights issue; the developers just felt they didn’t feel right using the character following the death of Isaac Hayes.

 Shown for the first time at the panel was Level 8 of the upcoming game. The Great Wall of South Park begins with the boys tasked with protecting Tong Lu Kim’s "sh***y" wall (aka city wall without accent). The first section of this two-part level is very wide open. It’s just a large rectangular arena of snow with a direct path vertically bisecting the level (with a massive snowball rolling through about every 30 seconds). That means you have a lot of freedom in where you place towers. The smartest strategy may be to create mazes with snow walls to funnel enemies towards a choke point.

 The first of eight waves are sixth graders on bikes. They move quickly, which is why impeding their progress with some walls can help you survive. Later waves include ordinary citizens wandering about and causing problems and zombies.

 None of the newly revealed characters were used in the level. Once again we saw the four boys in action. Cartman used his Carpet Bomb attack and Kenny his Welfare Check power (which causes all enemies on screen to drop one token). Those tokens are used to buy towers which can be set anywhere in the snow.

 South Park XBLA features six towers, but two more are unlocked if you beat the "brain-meltingly hard" challenge levels. The bonus towers are said to be well worth the effort and should dramatically impact your ability to defend South Park with unholy destructive force.

 Let’s Go Tower Defense Play is a test bed for the relatively new South Park Digital Studios (founded in late 2007). South Park’s co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were scared off of licensing videogames after the disastrous string of garbage titles licensed a decade ago. But, as Brion explained, the creative team had almost no input in those games. Tower Defense Play is completely under their control. If it’s well-received, they have plans for a much bigger and far more ambitious South Park game. Fingers crossed.

South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play! hits Xbox Live Marketplace on October 7.



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