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South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack

Lesbian Role Models and Famous Gay Cowboys

By Annie Choi and Aaron Isaksen

You’re on a game show. Poorly-made cartoon children are your opponents. A man in a powder blue tuxedo is asking a question, from the category “A Form of Herpes”:

What is the study of herpetology?

A) Study of Herpes

B) Study of Reptiles

C) Study of Hookers

D) Study of Pearl Jam

If you can answer this question (and have fun doing it) then you’ll probably enjoy South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack for Nintendo 64, Playstation, Sega Dreamcast, and PC. If you couldn’t answer the question then you’ll probably still like the game, but just suck at it.

You all know South Park Elementary’s lecherous lunch provider, Chef. What you probably don’t know is that Chef doesn’t just cook up salisbury steak or give sex advice to those loveable, crappily-animated kids. In his spare time he hosts a public-access game show. That’s right, children, he’s the powder blue tuxedo-wearing host of “Chef’s Luv Shack.” The game show is supposed to feature “gorgeous bathing suit models” as contestants, but you’ll just have to settle for Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny.

The game allows up to four players and features mini-games in each round. Mini-games are short competitions which range from pie-eating contests to spanking Mr. Mackey’s monkey ... literally.

The categories are hilarious -- “Lesbian Role Models,” “DNA-Holes,” “Damn! Leonard Maltin,” and “I’m Thuper! Thanks for Athking!” Some questions deal with South Park trivia (“Snack Cakes”), while others deal with trivial popular culture (“Famous Gay Cowboys”) or even a little bit of history (“Historical Boat Rides”). The main problem with the game is that there are not enough questions and categories.

After a few rounds of playing, questions repeat and the fun level drops a few notches. Another minor problem with the game is that the lead scorer of the game consistently gets to choose the categories. There’s little chance for the losers to pick categories.

There is hope for losers though -- there are plenty of chances to double, triple, or quadruple scores in a Jeopardy!-style Daily Double round, collecting “Cheesy Poofs” for extra points, or by spinning the “Wheel of Fortuitousness.” The wheel gives the player opportunity to lose or gain points, play a mini-game round for more points, or win absolutely nothing at all.

The mini-games, like the questions, repeat after a few rounds. Since up to four players can play, the mini-games’ repetition isn’t much of a problem. Some noteworthy mini-games include “Asses in Space,” where you play Terence or Philip by battling colorful, butt-shaped ass-teroids, and “Bad Kitty” where you play Cartman’s infamous Kitty and jump fireballs in order to infiltrate Cartman’s “Cheesy Poof” stash, À la the original Donkey Kong.

The graphics and animation, like the Comedy Central show, is crappy, but that shouldn’t matter because you shouldn’t be watching it for animation quality. More importantly, the game has the most amazing soundtrack ever, including work by Isaac Hayes of Shaft fame.