The Fractured But Whole: Who paid off the Classifications board of Australia?
This game was shattered within a few days of playing it. I couldn't stop playing it, even through the awkward scenes where you have to find out where Classi is (oh you'll know the scene when it happens, I don't want to spoil it). During that scene I wondered how it got through the classifications board when entire scenes from the previous game were removed, don't get me wrong those scenes were over the top and fairly vile, but the subject matter of this one was a little more offensive than the previous ones. To add to my confusion, why is it ok for a child to inject themselves but it's not ok to use syringes in other games? Has something happened to the classifications guidelines that I'm unaware of?
Anyhow back to the game. The Stick of Truth set the bar high for South Park games after a string of average or just bad games before it. The Fractured But Whole with all its delays (a NPC at the bus stop makes fun of the DLC bus being a year late in random dialogue) was able to blow TSOT out of the water. When I first saw that the game would be using a turn based tile system, I was scared. Pure turn based Final Fantasy style combat is hard to screw up, simple, complex but also overdone, so I can see why they might have wanted to change it up. The problem with tile based combat is that it can make the game feel slow, again, this game seemed to overcome that.
There were many battles where all hope was lost with only one character alive (just). I'd threw a revive onto an ally, who then did the same and on and on until the entire party was alive... and beating the crap out of the 6th graders. Tides were turned fast in this game, and some memorable moments were had where right before the last battle, I was down to less than a handful of hit points, but I'd somehow put myself in a position where the remaining opponents were unable to horizontally attack me. With no meds left I took one final chance attacking the boss of that fight, taking him down to within one last attack. I forget what happened after that but they never moved and I was never attacked, so I ended up winning the battle, one that I should never have won.
Throughout the game I was thinking about how much content, throwbacks and other game assets that went into the game and how Matt and Trey would have been juggling this as well as creating three seasons of South Park at the same time. I have to salute those guys and their teams for giving this world a fresh RPG that can be played by regular people without being overcome by the many mechanics that are in other RPG's these days. Hopefully we'll see more RPG's springing up and less lacklustre FPS' being pumped out in the near future.
Overall the game was solid, kept me wanting to continue the story after every mission and never went stale, which was weird because there were times in TSOT where that happened. I was playing it on Mastermind level (unsure if there was any difference as I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they put those levels in there as a placebo), and I didn't have to grind anything to progress sitting on Level 10 by the end of the game (of 15 levels). I didn't think that I'd finish it so fast (coming in just under 24 hours gameplay), with it being the final game that I finished of 2017. Well worth the wait.