South Park fans have been let down time and time again by the poor quality of Acclaim's South Park titles. Unfortunately, South Park Rally, while easily the best of the South Park games, continues this losing streak with poor control and graphics.
The story, as if this game really needs one, is that the good townsfolk of South Park commemorate every holiday by holding a go-cart event. These events range from simple races to events where one racer needs to hold on to an item for a certain length of time. For instance, on Valentine's Day everyone assembles at Big Gay Al's place to shoot one another with cupid arrows. The catch is that there's only one bow, making it a fight for control of the bow while trying not to get shot. Once you get the bow, you must get enough distance between yourself and the other drivers so you can get off a few shots without losing it. This setup makes the gameplay fast paced and even frantic at times. To help you fend off or prevent the other racers from passing you, the levels are filled with an arsenal of offensive and defensive objects. There are dogs, cats, and alien lasers, all of which can stall your opposition for a brief period of time. There are also little Terrance and Phillip boxes filled with gas, giving you a momentary speed boost. You can even pick up Mr. Hanky, who patrols around your vehicle, keeping you free from harm for a limited time.
The gameplay, while fairly fun, is hampered by poor control and physics that make the game hard to play. The biggest problem with the control is the vehicles' turning speed. If you get yourself in a tight situation where competitors are coming right at you, you might as well just take it head-on, since turning around takes forever. As does getting your vehicle back on its wheels after it flips, which happens a lot since the car physics are way too floaty, resulting in vehicles bouncing all over the place.
Graphically, South Park Rally looks downright sloppy. The one exception is that all of the characters and their vehicles look pretty decent. The levels and objects on the levels, however, look poor and washed out. A copious amount of pop-up rounds out the depressing graphical presentation. The raunchy quips from the game's characters are funny at first, but they quickly become tiresome.
In the end, South Park Rally's charm, even for the biggest South Park fan, wears thin fairly quickly - especially when compared with Crash Team Racing, a similar, yet nearly infinitely more entertaining PlayStation game. South Park fans may want to rent this game, but it's far too limited to consider for purchase.