South Park: Chef's Luv Shack Review

By: John Doe

Chef's Luv Shack could best be described as an entertainment vampire. It exists only to suck money from your wallet and to drain you of any pleasure. Trying to capitalize on the success of You Don't Know Jack, which incidentally is a great game, CLS merely tries to dazzle you with that irreverent humor found in Comedy Central's hit cartoon. Unfortunately, this game is about as entertaining as the cartoon is drawn well. Even die hard South Park fans are balking at this one.


Matt Stone and Trey Parker are spreading themselves pretty thin these days. Maybe that explains why there are a fraction of the voices that you would expect in a game that relies on the spoken word. Hearing the characters (Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman) say the same things over and over again is like living with a parakeet that has been watching too much South Park. The soundbytes themselves seem distorted and not clean at all. And not only do they sound poor but they somehow contain about 1% humor, which is odd, because I personally think Trey and Matt are seriously funny. I saw the South Park movie three times this summer and laughed my ass off each time, so my sense of humor is still in check.

Basically the gist is this: Up to 4 players can play as Kenny, Cartman, Stan or Kyle (more characters might be selectable). The length of the game can consist of 2-8 rounds. An 8 round game for 4 players takes about an hour or so, thanks to the load times. The gameplay is simple: Chef asks a question and you answer it. Neat huh? If you get it right, you win cash. Once per round you'll be asked to double down. This is where you can bet some or all of your earnings. At the end of each round will be a mini-game. Most of these mini-games are based on either ancient videogames like Sprint, Donkey Kong or Asteroids or are a "keep your eye on this object' while someone moves it around quickly. Chock these ho-hum games up to a very poor mans Mario Party.

The questions aren't that difficult for an adult, yet some will stump kids who can't remember what 1993 was like. Example: What band wrote "Yellow Submarine"? One decent aspect of CLS, is that if you guess incorrectly, you aren't told the proper answer, so that you may get it again in another game. This at least adds to the small replay value of the title, because you sure won't be hampering to play those mini-games more than once. After playing a few games, I conclude that the majority of the questions are lame-o, and will neither educate you or interest you. What color is Mr. Mackey's shirt? Who gives a %$#@?! Trivia does not have to be trivial, and that is one of the biggest problems with this game. At the end of the game there is the lightening round in which I had to answer 7 out of 10 questions correctly or some aliens were going to anal probe Cartman. Unfortunately I succeeded and therefore spared Cartman the humiliation he so rightly deserves. $#%@!

Complaint Dept. You mean I get to bitch some more? Cool. Aside from the game not being fun, funny or interesting, there are also really annoying load times. You'll find yourself twiddling your thumbs while waiting for the next question. Actually, I didn't twiddle my thumbs, I just spent the loading time looking through my game collection, trying to make a decision on what game was the worst I played this month. Guess what won?

In the end the whole game seems to be mixed bag. It tries to be cool and hip but it's missing the soul of South Park. South Park is much more than potty talk and crappy drawings. I would have expected more from Matt and Trey but I don't think they had much to do with this title. If you are a huge SP fan, than by all means check this game out with some friends. It may be good for a night or two rental, but you wouldn't want to commit serious coinage to a purchase. This game should have and could have been much better.






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