South Park: The Fractured But Whole
To fully appreciate a South Park game, you need to have a decent appreciation for the long running TV show, and inappropriate jokes. The Fractured But Whole is a dirty, inappropriate joke filled adventure that, if you take it to seriously, you will miss out on all the fun. For those easily offended, take a hard pass on this experience. But for those looking for a good laugh, despite personal beliefs – this is the experience for you.
M rated – or R rated in comedy – titles on the Nintendo Switch are few and far between, which is understandable when you think about Nintendo’s core audience – younger fans and families. There is still a large fan base that doesn’t fit into either of those categories, and it is a fan base that Ubisoft tapped into when releasing South Park on the Nintendo Switch.
If you ignored the combat aspects of The Fractured But Whole, you’d figure you were watching a 2oish hour long episode of the show. The same great writing you’ll find on your TV screens is what you get when loading up the game on console. You’ll play as a generic characters – created by you – in the South Park universe, working with your friends to…well…I can’t spoil it too much. It’s a great experience though, one that plays off the funny imaginations of kids, and the realities that the adults within the game must deal with daily.
As stated before, it’s like one long episode, so if you enjoy the storytelling within the show, this will fit right into that mould. If you don’t enjoy the show…I’m not sure why you are still reading.
Puzzling your Way to Victory
The game makes progression very simple. Anything with a yellow glow to it can be interacted with. Generally, this is limited to doors, cupboards, and drawers, but also extends to other things within the numerous environments you will explore. Puzzle pop up from time to time, but they are generally fairly simple, and after a few hours, the game unfortunately recycles the same puzzles over and over again, giving you your first dose of repetition.
Still, the first time you interact with the environmental puzzles there is a sense of accomplishment when figuring them out. The same goes for the items you will begin to collect. Early on, you’ll accumulate a lot of resources which you won’t understand what to do with, but once you are given the various tutorials, looking for and collecting various items will become it’s own game-within-the-game.
What will ultimately pull you away from the “this is a South Park show within a game” is when you enter into combat. Combat is turn based and utilizes a grid system. Depending on which allies you bring into battle with you, a number of different strategies can be utilized to beat the games variety of enemies.
This is where you will get your second dose of repetition. Depending on the difficulty setting you choose when starting your adventure, these battles can be pretty simple. Even on the harder difficulty levels, combat eventually gets fairly predictable, and the strategy is basically lost.
That being said, repetition is only bad if what you are actually doing is lacking entertainment. Fortunately, the game continues to throw random lines of comedy, moments of pure insanity, and even the predictable and frequent, “Car” as everyone scurries off the street to allow and adult to pass through. It’s all fun to engage with, and bringing different allies into battle with you will always change the way you interact and prepare for fights, whether big or small.
Listen, any South Park fan is going to have a BLAST playing The Fractured But Whole; for those who find the humour in South Park a bit over the line, nothing is different in this experience, and you are probably best to just keep on moving. For a good amount of fun, however, there really isn’t anything as light hearted and funny available on the Nintendo Switch, making South Park a fantastic option. Just remember to activate that Parental Control if you have young kids around!