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South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack – Nintendo 64

South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack – Nintendo 64

ChefsluvshackPlatform: Nintendo 64

Developer: Acclaim Studios Austin

Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment

Release Date (NA): October 31, 1999

Genre: Party Game

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

South Park is a mega franchise that needs no introduction. In fact, if you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you’re at least somewhat familiar with the cartoon show or its famous characters. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve experienced the ups and downs of South Park’s branch into the video gaming industry. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a popular movie, cartoon, or television show and turn it into a video game. Just look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 007 Goldeneye, or The Walking Dead video games. But not all movies/shows are graced with proper development, much like Ratatouille and Beavis & Butt-head. “But it’s the late 1990’s and South Park is sweeping the nation!” you say… “Shut the hell up and just enjoy your show! You want too much!” says I.

chef's luv shack 4

South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack is not the first South Park game. The self-titled South Park was the very first South Park game to be released, playing much like a Turok game with its first-person perspective, shooter elements, and more. So for those hoping to play a revamped version of the original South Park game, you can keep dreaming because [fortunately] they never released a South Park 2. But what they did release next was an oddball party game titled South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack. I can only speculate, but I reckon this game was made in a bandwagon effort to cash in on the popular party-game genre, as popularized by Mario Party and Sonic Shuffle. Unfortunately, Chef’s Luv Shack pales in comparison to those 2 classics, selling you a brand name instead of an enjoyable experience.

chef's luv shack 1

In Chef’s Luv Shack, you get to choose one of the four main characters to play as, but it really doesn’t matter who you pick because everyone plays the same. Up to 4 players can play, but not all 4 are needed to play. In fact, you can actually play with just yourself (ha) and win every single time because the game doesn’t insert any computers to play against. The ultimate goal of the game is to have the most amount of money at the end of the final round. You get money by answering questions right (which are presented to you between mini games), and by your placement in the mini games. Essentially, that’s the gameplay in a nutshell. A round of play consists of answering 3 questions followed by playing a mini game.

chef's luv shack

While the animation, voices, music, and sound effects are all very consistent with the television show, there’s nothing about this game that is even remotely as fun as watching an episode of South Park. This game suffers a similar fate to Beavis & Butt-head on the Super Nintendo. Just because a game has similar animation and a few funny jokes, that doesn’t mean you’re providing fans with a quality experience like your show. One of the major issues with Chef’s Luv Shack overall is that it doesn’t provide gamers with the feel of being in the show! Isn’t that what we want when we play a game based on a TV show, book, movie, etc? We want to feel like we’re actually controlling Cartman and we’re finally integrated into the town of South Park. That feeling is non-existent from start to finish and never even peaks its head. On a rare occasion, a mini game will provide you with a few seconds of enjoyment, but you and your friends will soon be wishing this was a game composed entirely of mini games and no trivia.

chef's luv shack 3

Some of the mini games are actually pretty enjoyable and fun to play such as “Bad Kitty,” a game in which you control Cartman’s cat in a Donkey Kong style game, trying to reach the top platform while avoiding the rolling balls. But others are embarrassingly poor such as “Eat This,” a game in which you mash A and B to move your character’s arms to shovel pie into your face in a pie-eating contest. Games can last anywhere from 2 seconds to a little over a minute, depending on how bad/good you and your friends are, but on average the games last around a half minute. With over 20 mini games, variety isn’t usually an issue, although there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason as to why any particular mini game is chosen other than some sort of random roulette.

If I could say something positive about Chef’s Luv Shack, believe me, I wouldn’t hold back. I’ve been a fan of the television series since season 1 when I had to watch it at my friend’s house since my parent’s wouldn’t allow such vulgar cartoonism. But honestly, there’s very little to enjoy about the game. Most of the trivia questions are, in fact, REAL questions about real life stuff. That’s not fun or funny. Other questions revolve around the show. No matter what the question is, it’s really just about picking the right answer for money. Pick the wrong answer and… well, whatever. Nobody cares about the money. The only thing anyone cares about is getting through the trivia as fast as possible and getting to the mini games.

chef's luv shack 2

There’s no real humor to be found anywhere except for the random and [very] infrequent witty one-liners from the show’s cast. When Christmas of 1999 rolled around, Chef’s Luv Shack was one of three terrible video games based on South Park to be released in less than 2 full years, making players like me question whether or not I should ever buy/play another South Park game again. TO THIS DAY, I have not played any other South Park game since I played South Park Rally in the year 2000, which wasn’t terrible but still couldn’t save me from my nightmares. Why haven’t I played any South Park games since then? Becauthe I’m thuper thcared, thankth for athking.

Chef’s Luv Shack does very little to separate itself from the exciting and fun nature of the original Mario Party game, instead taking gamers into a frustrating world of poorly developed mini games and repetitive and boring pop-quiz filler segments. Let me take that back… It separates itself exceptionally well because it is far below the standard when put side by side with any other party game on the market. From poorly designed mini games to boring questions and an overall shoddy concept, Chef’s Luv Shack should never be bought or played by anyone ever again. The game does not do the show any justice. This game would have been dismissed entirely by critics and fans if it weren’t for the South Park brand and vibe throughout. A hundred thumbs down.

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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  1. InfiniteKnife
    InfiniteKnife says:

    I played this one on Dreamcast. I thought it was pretty fun for what it was. South Park mini games. Talk about a blast from the past

  2. Screw this game, I’m going hoooooome~


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