South Park: Tenorman's Revenge Review
A bevy of problems ensures that South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is a tedious ordeal even for those who love the television show.
- A diverse cast of familiar characters.
- Chaotic level design
- Cheap and unfulfilling difficulty
- Stunted jumping mechanics
- Poor camera
- Replaying levels is grueling.
Scott Tenorman has a right to be angry. After all, he was tricked into eating his own parents by one Eric Cartman. Seeking vengeance for swallowing bites of parental meat disguised as chili is understandable, and maybe even advisable. But Scott's vengeance covers such a wide area that innocent victims suffer just as mightily from his wrath. In South Park: Tenorman's Revenge, the foul-mouthed quartet (Cartman, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle) chase after Scott through time and space to snag the Xbox 360 hard drive he stole from them. Losing your saved games is certainly annoying, but the only people who are truly punished are those who play through this wretched ordeal.
South Park: Tenorman's revenge is a four-player, co-op-centric platformer that initially sounds appealing. Each playable character has unique abilities, and you access branching paths of stages by using their different move sets. For instance, Kenny can high-jump and Cartman can bash through flimsy walls, and there are even sections where you transform into their superhero alter egos to give more flexibility to your traversal. When Kyle dons his Human Kite outfit, he can glide to previously unreachable sections, and Stan digs through the ground when dressed as Toolshed. Collectibles strewn throughout stages give each character a purpose, and this is an intriguing setup for some four-player shenanigans.
But things quickly unravel from the moment you fire up the first level. Jumping, the most basic action in any platformer, is extremely sluggish. Characters leap through the air with the clunky grace of, well, Cartman. But while it may be canonically accurate to have these children move like they're fashioned from cardboard, it makes for a lousy adventure. Safely reaching platforms is tricky business because your stunted leaps land well short of your intended targets, and even jumping on foes to kill them is rife with problems. Most enemies require two leaps to finish off, but you ricochet wildly off their heads with a randomness that breeds frustration. And even when you land precisely, dodgy collision detection means that you might be the one who takes damage instead of your ginger-haired enemies.
Poorly implemented jumping controls give way to fundamental problems across the board. The level design is a complete mess. In similar (though far superior) games, there's a logical elegance to enemy and platform placement that leads to a satisfying flow. There's no such rhythm in Tenorman's Revenge. Every object is positioned with a haphazardness that leads to absolutely maddening situations. Moving platforms refuse to line up, putting you in harm's way while enemies throw bombs and shoot lasers as you wait for an opening. Spike-headed enemies stand at the edge of a platform, barring your path to the destination you have to reach. A flying enemy hovers just out of reach, targeting you with a sniper laser while you wait for a platform to arrive.
A challenging platformer with smart design and well-implemented mechanics could make for a great game. But the difficulty in Tenorman's Revenge is downright cheap because every element is so poorly realized. Aggravating knockback attacks, unpredictable physics, and punishing checkpoints ensure your time is full of frustrations. Even the camera, something that's easy to take for granted in 2D platformers, is a mess here. When you set off in single-player, the camera pans so slowly that you might not be able to see dangers that lie below you. Just cross your fingers before you leap because there's no way to see where you’re landing. And when you get hurt, or even die, because you simply couldn't see obstacles, you have no recourse but to scream at the injustice of it all.
You might think that these issues would disappear when you team up with friends. But Tenorman's Revenge is even worse in co-op play. The camera that is an annoyance when you’re playing alone is downright treacherous when it tries to juggle four characters at once. Because characters have unique movement abilities, it's easy to find yourself separated from the group. The camera zooms out in such a scenario, but not nearly enough. Enemies are all too happy to strike you down while they safely hide out of sight. It's preposterous that there isn't a smarter alternative to ensure everyone has a decent view of the action. This is most grating during boss fights. These take place in smallish rooms, so it should be easy to fit everything onto one screen. But if you get knocked off a platform, or your friend climbs a ladder more quickly than you, someone's view will suffer, and death will soon follow. And don't even try playing online. The atrocious lag provides just one more obstacle in a never-ending sea of failures.
You really have to pick your poison in Tenorman's Revenge. If you choose to play cooperatively, the camera is so bad that you just have to accept dying offscreen. But if you venture alone, you have to repeatedly replay levels to advance. Time cores sprinkled throughout every stage unlock later levels. But you can collect only so many on each playthrough because each character has different abilities. If you could switch characters midlevel, it would alleviate this problem, but such a solution is not offered. Instead, you just have to choose a different character each time you tackle a level. And in those places where you have to use Kenny's high jump after opening a door with Cartman's belly bash? You're just out of luck. Unless you use a second controller to drop in with Kenny and then kill him off right away, you're left pining for an item that's just out of reach.
The presentation is the lone bright spot for people who enjoy the television series. A wide cast of recognizable characters ranging from Butters to Satan reprise their roles, and their voices and mannerisms make the transition intact. It's hard not to smile at an otter from the future praising Eric Cartman like he's a deity, or the random expletives Kyle mutters when things take a turn for the worse. The flimsy story is certainly not much of a draw, and the backgrounds are devoid of life, but there is enough television charm to make for brief instances of entertainment and humor.
South Park: Tenorman's Revenge cowers behind the shield of its licensed property. Familiar characters are not enough to build an entire game around, and there are such severe problems with every element of the platforming that even South Park aficionados should stay far away from this adventure. Tenorman's Revenge is a messy combination of poor ideas and lousy execution. There's no reason Scott Tenorman's grudge should expand beyond the boy who killed his parents, but anyone who tries this game will suffer at the hands of this mad ginger.
@Gelugon_baat Judging by the amount of thumbs up/thumbs down we have received, I'd say it's everyone else's 'point of view' as well.
@Gelugon_baat I feel sorry for you and anyone who takes anything on the internet with this level of seriousness. Whatever floats your boat. Have fun.
@Gelugon_baat Ok, so I leave advice for you to lighten up, come back a few days later noticing the comment mention, your way too analytical and serious response to my simple advice, and I find you still going at it and proving everybody's point in the process. My God, man. Live and let live. Log off GS and go outside for a change. Sorry for sounding like an a** but... /facepalm
This review is lame.. Like he decided to hate it, then played it to find out reasons. This whole review feels like one reveiwer cliche after another. If you like platforming games this is a good game.. it's a bit hard core and requires some knowing of the levels. But it's a feature full 2d co-op platformer, it's deep, challenging and has some replay value.
@psuedospike Only Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Sim City 4, Fire Emblem, Silent Hill 3, SSX3, XIII and Command and Conquer Generals... Yeah dude... 2003 was all about Wario World...... Consider that the last word.
I'd be interested to know why McShea chose a 3.5 instead of say a 3 or even a 2. GS should go to a 5 point rating system with half points instead of this 10 point monstrosity.
@Gelugon_baat TROLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL You and McShea deserve each other. You're both extremely ignorant people.
@Gelugon_baat You are right to doubt that I won't have much to tell you about other than Treasure games. I will have a LOT to teach you. PS - I had to read that "sentence" of yours like 5 times. Also, being ambivalent is NOT something to be proud of...
Ways this game is similar to Kid Chameleon: 1. Difficult Platforming game requiring precise jumping. 2. Different powers depending on which mask or character you play as. 3. Hidden areas and collectibles to find. I never said Ternoman's Revenge was as good as Kid Chameleon, but I think it is the closest game you could compare this to. I'd ask if you could think of a better example, but from your previous comments I know you will not have any productive thoughts, plus you didn't even play this game so what do you know?
@Gelugon_baat You can't even seem to follow a simple conversation. I was referring to you and the Pirate guy... You are most welcome for the knowledge. I'm glad you wrote that so I know for a fact you don't know much about video games or the history of good games. If you want me to school you on any other video game developers just send me a private message. I'm always happy to enlighten the "ambivalent".
@Gelugon_baat I wasn't talking to you in that post. Also, YOU brought up Treasure by posting the link to the Radiant Silvergun review. I think both of you are just bashing Treasure to try and troll me making you both look dumb. I bet I've played more games than both of you combined have ever even seen or heard about. I'll as ONCE more: What game do you recommend or is your favorite?
@Phil-teh-Pirate >other better games. Like what? Compare Wario World to any other game from 2003. Go ahead. You people don't know what you're talking about. Other than Beyond Good & Evil and KOTOR and the Panzer Dragoon game for Xbox I can't think of many titles that were better then and the mentioned games were from huge companies. Also, why are we even talking about Treasure? You are so so so off topic. --------------------------------- This conversation is now only open to people who actually played Tenorman's Revenge. Isn't it a lot like Kid Chameleon?
@Gelugon_baat I would say both SIn & Punishment games and Bangai-O games are beautiful and challenging. Have you ever even played a Treasure game before or is all this asstalk? So, what is your definition of such? You have a great way of trying to tear down my comments without actually contributing anything to the conversation...
@psuedospike 5 games, 3 of them Bleach tie in's for the DS. You consider these beautifully good games to be on a par with other, better, games out there? You are so in denial dude, so so so in denial.
@Gelugon_baat Good on both accounts. One of the best things about Treasure is they don't cater to noobs. They make games for hardcore gamers. I am not surprised to find that you (Tom McShea) wouldn't like beautiful and challenging games. I'd like to know what games you DO like. Or do you just like harshly criticizing games you don't like or are bad at playing?
@Phil-teh-Pirate -Bleach DS Fighting games (2006, 2007, 2008) -Astro Boy for GBA (2004) -Wario World (2003) They haven't made many original IPs cause they get cancelled early in development in favor of HD remakes cause they will sell better. Treasure is an incredibly small company compared to almost any other. You still have to be incredibly foolish to knock any Treasure game out there, except that McDonalds game, which still wasn't bad in terms of gameplay. Next.
@Gelugon_baat Much of anything such statements would do - Engrish much? And yes I am a proud fan and customer of Treasure games since Dynamite Headdy when I was a kid. Why should I not be a fan of great games? Your loss dude. @unbentonslaught No, but you're stupid and seven! *sticks out tongue and runs away*
@psuedospike I've read some of the things you've been commenting on reviews, and I've come to the conclusion that you're either eight-years-old, or just stupid.
PS - Radiant Silvergun is a perfect 10 not an 8.0 if you HAVE to score it. It is THE genre defining best shooter ever made hands down. Further proof that, you Gelugon_baat, if that is your real name (Tom) don't know what you're talking about. Course I am the world's biggest Treasure fanboy, so I am biased...but I'd rather be a fan of one of the best video game developers and makers in the world than a die-hard fan of a mediocre untalented critic. Oh, snap.
@Gelugon_baat 1. You post waaaay to damn much. 2. Climb out of McShea's butthole. 3. Your avatar pic is hideous.
To me this is just another example that Tom isn't a good gamer and I believe he doesn't finish the games he reviews. I also believe that hes not really a hardcore gamer at all. Although I do agree with some of his points I don't think the controls were to bad at all and 3.5 is saying this game is mediocre when it's easily a 5.5 - 6.0 in my opinion which is an average game. If I were Gamespot I would give him another job at the office because I haven't agreed with a review of his since I don't know when, also he has a bad habit of complaining about controls on any game he doesn't like which reminds me of my brother who is one of the worst gamers I know. Some of the errors hes made in reviews, and other articles like getting names of well known game characters confused and him not knowing about the aiming in SS is just too much for me to believe hes a true gamer, and I think if he stays at Gamespot he should just be doing interviews or something... Maybe he'll learn a few things about the games hes been so horribly reviewing Many of his review have errors, he's even got characters names wrong in reviews and his Skyward Sword review in my opinion shows that he doesn't finish the games he reviews. Anyone who played through even 10 minutes of Zelda SS would see that the games aiming wasn't using IR,I mean you could lie on your back and play while you aimed the wand at the roof to aim,anyone who didn't pick that up within ten minutes is no gamer.
So this is the same turd that gave the Simpsons Arcade a 3 and complained about the story? LOL. Given that this loser has zero credibility as far as I'm concerned, and how I enjoyed the demo, I'll prob DL the full version next time I'm bored.
Not that I meant to create controversy but is incredible how we get cold feet about games labeled as bad by GS. I don't doubt this sucks, South Park wacky atmosphere is something that only the TV series can make it right.
@psuedospike @TomMcShea Unless Tom truly enjoys himself some vaseline on toast, then platformers in general are not his favorite game of choice which would more than likely give it a tilt in the negative direction (unless he takes his own likes/dislikes into account and consciously weighs opposite of them to counter balance his ratings). Find most of Tom's reviews on, but these low scores always leave me wondering... 3.5, really?
funny that you can tell it's this reviewer just by seeing the score. all other reviewers gave this game a lot higher..but this guy always complains about broken gameplay that just makes it seem like he doesn't know how to play lol
Tom McShea is bad at games. Let me just say that, first of all, every game Tom gives a really low score is a game he can not play well. Whether its because he just can't grasp the simple platforming control mechanics of this game or the intuitive controls of say LOZ:SS he must beawful at most genre of games! I had my doubts about this game and wrote it off as just another licensed crap game, but I was pleasantly surprised! From the easy to very hard level progression to the infuriating baddie placement this game is fun. It kinda reminds me of Kid Chameleon for Genesis in many ways. Playing as the different boys from South Park is fun and varied (Kenny being the best with his super jump). The multiplayer is fun and can be down right hilarious when someone pushes someone off a cliff for no reason or uses you as a platform. I wouldn't say this game isn't without its flaws, but for a South Park fan and even someone who LOVED the @#$% out of Meatboy this game is worth your Microsoft monies. Trust me, I actually enjoy playing vidya games!
Dangit Tom, you usually rate games somewhere where I rate them, and I was looking forward to this game. Will still give the demo a try, just to test it out myself. Camera is one of things that should 'never' impact a video game, yet it happens over and over again. There's cutting corners in games, and then there's just plain doing it wrong, and camera falls into the later rather than former.
"Cheap and unfulfilling difficulty" This is a positive of Dark Souls and Demon Souls I have heard...
@SecularSage -- My favorite genre is platformers, so I'm the go-to reviewer for any game that comes out in that genre. And co-op games? I adore them. Not sure why you wouldn't want me to review licensed games. I can give you an honest assessment of the game instead of being swindled by familiar imagery. I wouldn't be doing my job if I just gave licenses I enjoy (like Simpsons and South Park) a free pass.