South Park and the Problem with Side Quests

So the new South Park game finally comes out next week and in preparation for it I have been playing the Stick of Truth. I love South Park and never got around to playing The Stick of Truth when it first came out so I wanted to give it a full on playthrough before I jumped on the second game.

For those who don't know, SoT is an comic take on a turn based RPG and RPG's in general. The game is a turned based JRPG battle system, while also playing on tropes of gaming and rpg's throughout it's runtime. It often makes fun of tropes in video games, while at the same time, using those tropes. Things like autologs, there are a batch of autologs that make fun of autologs, which admittedly for me is funny. It makes fun of the tropes it uses, but uses those tropes regardless.

South Park is a joke of a game and it beautifully uses everything it makes fun of to create a funny and enjoyable experience. So long as you can tolerate South Park's sense of humor which isn't for everyone.

But one thing South Park does that I absolutely hate, and have always hated, is the way it provides side quests. This is something that all RPG's have used and something I honestly didn't realize how much I hated until it became so glaring in the South Park game.

I'm a very systematic player, in any game I play. I like to clear out all my side quests before doing the main quest which moves the story along. It's just how I play games. Even in open world games, I will often go around and complete all the little markers on the map before I go do the quest or mission that the game actually wants me to do.

But what drives me crazy is when a game give's me a quest that is impossible to complete at that time. I don't mean that it is too high of a level, I mean that it isn't possible because you need to have an ability that you haven't unlocked yet.

For example in South park you get a quest from Al Gore to hunt for ManBearPig readings in the sewers. However in order to explore the sewers and complete this quest, you have to complete a certain mission in the main story in which you have a teleport device shoved up your ass. (I'm not making this up).

Whenever this happens in any game, I often completely forget about the quest by the time I get the ability that let's me do the fucking quest. Why can't they just give me that quest once I've gotten that ability? Why front load me with a bunch of shit that I can't possibly do? All it does is clog up my quest log, and place a bunch of markers on the map that I can't deal with. You know how often I will run off to a marker on a map only to remember after I've made the journey that it isn't a quest I can do yet? It wastes my time.

I get it devs you want to front load your quests like this to make the player think that there is ohh so much to do, but it is a shitty way to do it. You don't need to bombard players with a fuckload of wank right out of the gate. Overwhelming a player with nonsense is just as bad, and if you waited until the player learns an ability to unlock the quests that require that ability you actually would do a better job of motivating the player to push onward.

If I'm playing and reach level 5, unlocking...err....hook shot! Yeah let's say I unlock hook shot, and then a bunch of quests pop up that require me to use hook shot to get cool places, that would only motivated me to keep playing and keep unlocking abilities to see what other cool shit unlocks down the road. It's the carrot on the stick that leads players through the game and can be especially helpful at motivating a player through a story that they may not be having fun with.

The original Shadow of Mordor did this well imo. I frankly hate Lord of the Rings and think the lore is poorly written bullshit. But, I loved killing the shit out of orcs, and fucking with the nemesis system got me through the game where the story alone would not have keep me interested.

Fucking ass teleportation...

I'm the complete opposite. I prefer my open world's challenges to be static; I want there to be insurmountable challenges initially that become doable later down the line as I improve. It makes more sense and makes the world more believable, imho. Citing your example, I don't want to get the hookshot, then suddenly everybody I run into needs "a guy with a hookshot" to do something for them. Just seems phoney and breaks immersion, like I know I'm playing a game and not exploring a living, breathing world that doesn't revolve around me and my every action. Think "Truman Show;" they feign and organic society when in fact, everyone is just standing around waiting on Truman to do the next 'thing.'

I'll be honest, Morrowind spoiled me in this regard. From the onset, it is entirely possible to walk it to the final boss (albeit after acquiring certain items that are themselves entirely possible to get right away.) Incredibly difficult? Abso-fucking-lutely, but there were no false barriers preventing you from doing it because the world is static and the way to progress organicaly is by noting when you're in places or situations you're simply not suited for yet. That's where Oblivion and Skyrim fucked up for me; they removed that challenge and changed it so the world levels with you: a level one character isn't going to even SEE Daedric armor in the world until like level 30, so what's the point in exploring? Why go off the beaten path if I'm only going to find another set of iron boots or challenges that I'm perfectly capable of handling? At that point, you have to wonder why is a game even open world if there exist guardrails that ensure your progress is entirely linear and predetermined?

Eh, I can take it either way. I like that South Park forces you to complete story missions before all side-missions get completed because it kinda' forces you to continue the game.
I tried the whole 'play side missions first' in Skyrim and got a max level character with a home, lord of everything, with all the DLC done before ever climbing those mountains to see the old dudes. And at that point I'm sure I could one-shot every main quest enemy left.

Silentpony:
Eh, I can take it either way. I like that South Park forces you to complete story missions before all side-missions get completed because it kinda' forces you to continue the game.
I tried the whole 'play side missions first' in Skyrim and got a max level character with a home, lord of everything, with all the DLC done before ever climbing those mountains to see the old dudes. And at that point I'm sure I could one-shot every main quest enemy left.

The difference between South Park and Skyrim though, is that Skyrim's side content is procedural and never ending. So you couldn't do "all" the side content. South Park doesn't have that issue and there is very much a finite amount of stuff. The problem is that you can really get a vast majority of the side content early and well before you could get the abilities required to defeat it. I think it would have suited the game better to have the side content open up to the player as the story progresses, I feel that it would have kept the player's focus broader than the way they do it here.

Maybe I am also just neurotic.

Do you have adhd or bipolar disorder? Not a jab just curious. You describe something that could be interpreted as symptoms of these.

South Park deployes old adventure convention of expanding your world by giving you access to new areas of world via new abilities and items you get as you progress. At the same time presenting to you 'access points' literally from start.
The whole excercise to your mind (adventure, hidden objects gameplay) is that you should have walked by these (now usable) parts of the world many times at this point of the story and memorise (partly subconciously) where they are. When you are given proper tool, your brain should make the link to these and procure the 'A-ha! I know where to go and what to do! I am smart!' moment.

If you don't find it satisfying or entertaining, that's fair. However if you find it difficult or it gives you mood swings and frustration, then my initial question stands. If the answer to any of these is yes, I wouldn't play games with this type of shtick.

Jamcie Kerbizz:
Do you have adhd or bipolar disorder? Not a jab just curious. You describe something that could be interpreted as symptoms of these.

South Park deployes old adventure convention of expanding your world by giving you access to new areas of world via new abilities and items you get as you progress. At the same time presenting to you 'access points' literally from start.
The whole excercise to your mind (adventure, hidden objects gameplay) is that you should have walked by these (now usable) parts of the world many times at this point of the story and memorise (partly subconciously) where they are. When you are given proper tool, your brain should make the link to these and procure the 'A-ha! I know where to go and what to do! I am smart!' moment.

If you don't find it satisfying or entertaining, that's fair. However if you find it difficult or it gives you mood swings and frustration, then my initial question stands. If the answer to any of these is yes, I wouldn't play games with this type of shtick.

No I don't have either of those. My opinion stands in that I don't feel like that presentation for side quests is a good one. You might see an access point in the beginning of the game, but not able to use that point for 10+ hours into the game which is very easily forgotten. Forgotten by anyone, not just me.

If you don't have that problem then good for you. I'm sure a lot of people have my problem and a lot of people don't, it all depends on how they view games, how they play, and since everyone plays games differently it is all subjective anyway isn't it?

Thats more of a flaw of non-linear games or open world if you prefer that term.

When you let the player go wherever, they will inevitably stumble on something outside of an actual order they can do it. Barring scaling everything, which tends to make a bland experience. Even games with that sort of scaling like Skyrim have a few exceptons (If you pop into a Dragon Priest without some levels you're in trouble, and IIRC, there were a few spots you needed the Dash shout you get from the mainline).

Straight up giving you a quest that you can't complete is a bit annoying, like a faulty instruction. But its an expansion on elements like seeing an out of reach piece of heart in Zelda, or the other islands on a world map before you get a boat/airship in older Final Fantasy. At the same time, if NPCs or items just didn't appear until you reached a certain benchmark, it'd seem weird in an open world that something just blatantly came out of nowhere, unless you write it into the storyline a reason for things to be moving around.

Seth Carter:
Thats more of a flaw of non-linear games or open world if you prefer that term.

When you let the player go wherever, they will inevitably stumble on something outside of an actual order they can do it. Barring scaling everything, which tends to make a bland experience. Even games with that sort of scaling like Skyrim have a few exceptons (If you pop into a Dragon Priest without some levels you're in trouble, and IIRC, there were a few spots you needed the Dash shout you get from the mainline).

Straight up giving you a quest that you can't complete is a bit annoying, like a faulty instruction. But its an expansion on elements like seeing an out of reach piece of heart in Zelda, or the other islands on a world map before you get a boat/airship in older Final Fantasy. At the same time, if NPCs or items just didn't appear until you reached a certain benchmark, it'd seem weird in an open world that something just blatantly came out of nowhere, unless you write it into the storyline a reason for things to be moving around.

I hate to say it but I think a more Ubisoft approach would be a good idea here. Similar to getting to the top of the tower and seeing those icons appear on the map, when you get a new ability your map could highlight the new quests available that required that ability to complete.

This isn't about hidden locations, collectibles, or that kind of thing. That stuff is perfectly fine by me to be viewed before they can be obtained. My problem is when the game tells you, "I need you to go into the sewer and fight the army of giant rats down there," but doesn't mention that you can't do this quest until you get X-ability from X-story mission hours further into the game.

If they changed the quest to something like, "The Sewer is infested by super intelligent rats. They set up barricades and traps that are killing people. We need you to defeat them, but you need to prepare for the traps first. Get the defuser ability, then go deal with those rats." By simply rewording the quest you tell the player that they'll need to go get a new ability before they'll be able to handle the actual quest. Thus it not only will remind players to go handle the sewer level once that ability is gained, it also doesn't make the player go into an area they can't progress in and thus doesn't waste their time. A game can have filler content without wasting the player's time, and giving a player a quest they can't finish or even attempt without warning them is wasting their time.

CritialGaming:

I hate to say it but I think a more Ubisoft approach would be a good idea here. Similar to getting to the top of the tower and seeing those icons appear on the map, when you get a new ability your map could highlight the new quests available that required that ability to complete.

I don't disagree with the opinion, if you have a quest and for whatever reason the progress is barred they could have flagged something saying "Complete mission X, or "Wait a bit" (Mass Effect did the latter all the time with the trust missions).

I am ironically amused by the reply considering Stick of Truth is an Ubisoft game though, lol.

Seth Carter:

CritialGaming:

I hate to say it but I think a more Ubisoft approach would be a good idea here. Similar to getting to the top of the tower and seeing those icons appear on the map, when you get a new ability your map could highlight the new quests available that required that ability to complete.

I don't disagree with the opinion, if you have a quest and for whatever reason the progress is barred they could have flagged something saying "Complete mission X, or "Wait a bit" (Mass Effect did the latter all the time with the trust missions).

I am ironically amused by the reply considering Stick of Truth is an Ubisoft game though, lol.

Ubisoft published, but Obsidian developed. Yeah it is a little ironic though :). I hope Fractured But Whole does it better.

CritialGaming:

Seth Carter:
Thats more of a flaw of non-linear games or open world if you prefer that term.

When you let the player go wherever, they will inevitably stumble on something outside of an actual order they can do it. Barring scaling everything, which tends to make a bland experience. Even games with that sort of scaling like Skyrim have a few exceptons (If you pop into a Dragon Priest without some levels you're in trouble, and IIRC, there were a few spots you needed the Dash shout you get from the mainline).

Straight up giving you a quest that you can't complete is a bit annoying, like a faulty instruction. But its an expansion on elements like seeing an out of reach piece of heart in Zelda, or the other islands on a world map before you get a boat/airship in older Final Fantasy. At the same time, if NPCs or items just didn't appear until you reached a certain benchmark, it'd seem weird in an open world that something just blatantly came out of nowhere, unless you write it into the storyline a reason for things to be moving around.

I hate to say it but I think a more Ubisoft approach would be a good idea here. Similar to getting to the top of the tower and seeing those icons appear on the map, when you get a new ability your map could highlight the new quests available that required that ability to complete.

This isn't about hidden locations, collectibles, or that kind of thing. That stuff is perfectly fine by me to be viewed before they can be obtained. My problem is when the game tells you, "I need you to go into the sewer and fight the army of giant rats down there," but doesn't mention that you can't do this quest until you get X-ability from X-story mission hours further into the game.

If they changed the quest to something like, "The Sewer is infested by super intelligent rats. They set up barricades and traps that are killing people. We need you to defeat them, but you need to prepare for the traps first. Get the defuser ability, then go deal with those rats." By simply rewording the quest you tell the player that they'll need to go get a new ability before they'll be able to handle the actual quest. Thus it not only will remind players to go handle the sewer level once that ability is gained, it also doesn't make the player go into an area they can't progress in and thus doesn't waste their time. A game can have filler content without wasting the player's time, and giving a player a quest they can't finish or even attempt without warning them is wasting their time.

See, I feel even that solve breaks immersion. At least in my tiny mind, I like for my worlds to be full of problems to be solved, not just yellow trails leading me to someone who knows the exact problem, knows the exact solution and is still intent to sit back while I fix it by myself. Actually, that's a gripe I've had with games since time immemorial: quest givers who don't want to help! "Help, I seem to have 10 lost pages from my book of spells somewhere in the Forest of The Gilded Back Hairs; would you find them for me?" Uh, how about you come WITH and we'll split up and look for them together? It IS your shit, y'know...

I guess the difference is I like exploring, even if that means I hit some brick walls from time to time; at least I don't feel like I'm just riding the rails from one perfectly scaled event to the next. You should see my Morrowind guide; it's full of dog ears and highlights from where I stumbled into a cave or ruin I couldn't handle and wanted to remember to come back to.

I think a reasonable compromise would be to allow the quest to be discovered, but put the mandatory "brick wall" up sooner which is something several games have done, I'm sure, i.e.: let you stumble across the sewers, but there's an obstacle that requires the diffuser ability closer to the beginning and not after you've spent 20 minutes and wasted half your consumables items.

CritialGaming:

Jamcie Kerbizz:
Do you have adhd or bipolar disorder? Not a jab just curious. You describe something that could be interpreted as symptoms of these.

South Park deployes old adventure convention of expanding your world by giving you access to new areas of world via new abilities and items you get as you progress. At the same time presenting to you 'access points' literally from start.
The whole excercise to your mind (adventure, hidden objects gameplay) is that you should have walked by these (now usable) parts of the world many times at this point of the story and memorise (partly subconciously) where they are. When you are given proper tool, your brain should make the link to these and procure the 'A-ha! I know where to go and what to do! I am smart!' moment.

If you don't find it satisfying or entertaining, that's fair. However if you find it difficult or it gives you mood swings and frustration, then my initial question stands. If the answer to any of these is yes, I wouldn't play games with this type of shtick.

No I don't have either of those. My opinion stands in that I don't feel like that presentation for side quests is a good one. You might see an access point in the beginning of the game, but not able to use that point for 10+ hours into the game which is very easily forgotten. Forgotten by anyone, not just me.

If you don't have that problem then good for you. I'm sure a lot of people have my problem and a lot of people don't, it all depends on how they view games, how they play, and since everyone plays games differently it is all subjective anyway isn't it?

Fair enough, you just don't like this particular genere's approach to it.

Given other voices though I would be strongly opposed 'Ubification'. This particular company and their brands stand for the least quality and most bland and lazy world and plot building imaginable in recent decade. Even Bethesda puts in more work into quality and coherence of world and gameplay and their games are notoriously riddled with bugs and have bland, smorgasbord approach to content.

EDIT
Think part of uncomfortable feel could come from being trained by 'quest log + quest system (markers, tips)'. Gamers got trained into pavlov's dog reaction to being given 'a quest'. It's no longer part of the world, its not something intriguing or problematic in world that may reveal something new if proper action is taken. Instead it's a chore. Given by guy with a marker, that requires set of conditions to be met in order to recieve reward and cross it off the list.

It depends how much time is between problems and solutions as well how good the UI is. South Park is a short game so having something that will help you with something you tried a few hours ago isn't a problem. If it's not the case, if the game highlights points you couldn't access earlier then making a mental note is easier.

I've been playing Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2, and for all their faults, I love how the games absolutely do not hold your hand. No quest markers, no waypoints, nothing but a (sometimes horrendously vague) journal with what you've learned, and the world to explore. Which of course does include quests you cannot immediately complete.

I think it's better that way, honestly, it makes the game feel more....whole? Connected? Not realistic, but like, NPCs don't know you don't have the X required to get their Y when they give you the quest, they're just asking for help.

The Witcher 3 had it with Monster Contracts, where you could stumble upon one that was level 35 when you were like, level 8. And TW3 had the idea to tell you the levels of quests, at least.

TheFinish:
I've been playing Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2, and for all their faults, I love how the games absolutely do not hold your hand. No quest markers, no waypoints, nothing but a (sometimes horrendously vague) journal with what you've learned, and the world to explore. Which of course does include quests you cannot immediately complete.

I think it's better that way, honestly, it makes the game feel more....whole? Connected? Not realistic, but like, NPCs don't know you don't have the X required to get their Y when they give you the quest, they're just asking for help.

The Witcher 3 had it with Monster Contracts, where you could stumble upon one that was level 35 when you were like, level 8. And TW3 had the idea to tell you the levels of quests, at least.

See I fucking hate Divinity and the way it does things. Look I get that there is some enjoyment of figuring shit out yourself, and the exploring aspect is a nice thing to have in games. But for me, exploration should be something I do INSTEAD of questing. Skyrim did this well, rewarding you for just going off running around to where-ever-the-fuck. But when you actually wanted to do the objective the game asked of you, there was a marker for you to follow.

I play games for fun, and my limited time to play games means that I need a game to not beat around the bush. So I want to be told where to go for a quest. It's not even that world breaking honestly. If someone buys you tickets to a baseball game and tells you, "Come to the baseball field at sundown" as your only directions for getting there you would probably be pretty annoyed. If an NPC wants me to clear monsters from a cave, the least they can do is tell me where the fucking cave is. Seems reasonable to me.

Additionally the Witcher 3 is basically a perfect game imo. And the way it handles things is also very good. If you want, you can explore your ass off and pretty much clear all the side quests on your own without ever having to be told about them. Or you can check the side-quest board in town and fill your map with markers. Whatever you want and however you want to experience the game is up to you. That's fucking awesome!

CritialGaming:

TheFinish:
I've been playing Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2, and for all their faults, I love how the games absolutely do not hold your hand. No quest markers, no waypoints, nothing but a (sometimes horrendously vague) journal with what you've learned, and the world to explore. Which of course does include quests you cannot immediately complete.

I think it's better that way, honestly, it makes the game feel more....whole? Connected? Not realistic, but like, NPCs don't know you don't have the X required to get their Y when they give you the quest, they're just asking for help.

The Witcher 3 had it with Monster Contracts, where you could stumble upon one that was level 35 when you were like, level 8. And TW3 had the idea to tell you the levels of quests, at least.

See I fucking hate Divinity and the way it does things. Look I get that there is some enjoyment of figuring shit out yourself, and the exploring aspect is a nice thing to have in games. But for me, exploration should be something I do INSTEAD of questing. Skyrim did this well, rewarding you for just going off running around to where-ever-the-fuck. But when you actually wanted to do the objective the game asked of you, there was a marker for you to follow.

I play games for fun, and my limited time to play games means that I need a game to not beat around the bush. So I want to be told where to go for a quest. It's not even that world breaking honestly. If someone buys you tickets to a baseball game and tells you, "Come to the baseball field at sundown" as your only directions for getting there you would probably be pretty annoyed. If an NPC wants me to clear monsters from a cave, the least they can do is tell me where the fucking cave is. Seems reasonable to me.

Additionally the Witcher 3 is basically a perfect game imo. And the way it handles things is also very good. If you want, you can explore your ass off and pretty much clear all the side quests on your own without ever having to be told about them. Or you can check the side-quest board in town and fill your map with markers. Whatever you want and however you want to experience the game is up to you. That's fucking awesome!

I mean, I get what you mean, but there's degrees. One the one hand, you have Morrowind with it's "I need you to kill dudes in a cave. The cave is North East of where I'm standing." Except, how far North East. And then there's four caves there. On the other extreme you have stuff like Fallout 3/NV/4, or even, yes, TW 3, where they give you a giant glowing line with a sign saying "GO HERE." Divinity, Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny and most of the current crop of "retro" RPGs have a middle ground: No glowing line, but the directions are way better. And the markers that appear (which tend to be few) are for important landmarks so you can get around.

I prefer the middle ground to either extreme, and I prefer the glowing line extreme to the "basically no directions" one, but they're all valid, they just won't appeal to everyone. For every person like you (with little time to play, therefore I want everything spelled out) there's a guy with more time that enjoys figuring things out without the game telling them.

And there is something to be said for a game organically developing. If all the quests that require X open when, and only when, you acquire X, it feels more like a videogame than if you can stumble on one without having X. Whether you think it's bad or not is up to the player.

TheFinish:
snip

To add to the Witcher 3's perfection. You can turn off the Hud if you want the truely explorative experience.

I am okay with a video game feeling like a video game though, because it is a video game. A game can be immersive without having to be so vague with things, or ultra realistic. Like you said, there are degrees.

When I am playing a game, I know I am playing a game and that is okay. I don't want that game to jerk me around with bullshit for the sake of immersion. In some games being vague works, Souls games for example, but in other games it just doesn't. RPG's I feel like they don't fit in this because that whole "Yeah go do some shit, whatever" vibe doesn't strike well for me. I am on an epic quest and I want that quest to feel epic because of the story and the writing or everything around me.

Sandboxes like Skyrim loose their luster because I don't want to have to find my own fun, I paid for you to give me fun, not hunt it myself.

CritialGaming:

TheFinish:
snip

To add to the Witcher 3's perfection. You can turn off the Hud if you want the truely explorative experience.

I am okay with a video game feeling like a video game though, because it is a video game. A game can be immersive without having to be so vague with things, or ultra realistic. Like you said, there are degrees.

When I am playing a game, I know I am playing a game and that is okay. I don't want that game to jerk me around with bullshit for the sake of immersion. In some games being vague works, Souls games for example, but in other games it just doesn't. RPG's I feel like they don't fit in this because that whole "Yeah go do some shit, whatever" vibe doesn't strike well for me. I am on an epic quest and I want that quest to feel epic because of the story and the writing or everything around me.

Sandboxes like Skyrim loose their luster because I don't want to have to find my own fun, I paid for you to give me fun, not hunt it myself.

TW3 does not work if you turn off all the HUD. Trust me, I tried (but you can try it yourself if you want). The Journal directions are horrendously vague or nonexistant. I mean if I played it now I could get by because I know where everything is, but a new guy that never played it? Good luck.

As for Souls games, obviously being vague works. They're Metroidvanias with a different coat of paint. If you went full handhold in them with where you had to go it'd be horrendous. And as for RPGs, again, it's a matter of tastes. Especially since in not all of them are you in an EPIC QUEST from the very beginning, particularly CRPGs; where it's an escalation most of the time (see Pillars of Eternity for an example. Heck even New Vegas.). It all depends on the context of the game. And this is without touching the fact that side quests AT ALL in an Epic Quest kind of game are sort of dumb. If your main quest is super Epic why the heck are you botherting with side dishes that most of the time don't even relate to your Epic Quest.

As for Sandboxes, the whole point of a sandbox is to make your own fun with what the developer gives you. For a whole lot of people, finding the fun is part of the fun. That doesn't mean they're wrong and you're right or vice versa, it's just different tastes.

Thankfully there is enough variety (for now....who knows in the future) for all tastes. So you didn't like South Park's side quest shenanigans. That's alright, you don't have to. Will they fix it in Fractured But Whole? Most likely not, since it's Obsidian, and that kind of design is something they always do. Just gotta live with it.

My problem with sidequests is that they unbalance games with leveling structures that lack auto-scaling.
I love 100-percenting rPGs, but if I do too many sidequests, I'll be overleveled for the main quest, and if I put off sidequests, I'll be overleveled for them when I come back to them. Sometimes if I don't do them, I'll be underleveled.

Souplex:
My problem with sidequests is that they unbalance games with leveling structures that lack auto-scaling.
I love 100-percenting rPGs, but if I do too many sidequests, I'll be overleveled for the main quest, and if I put off sidequests, I'll be overleveled for them when I come back to them. Sometimes if I don't do them, I'll be underleveled.

Just remove levels. Problem solved. An RPG doesn't have to be about leveling up, I don't think. Insert a durability system so that the player keeps using new gear but doesn't get overpowered, kind of like in the new Zelda. What incentive would the player then have to do side quests? Fun.

This is a really weird complaint considering how short the game is. It's just a bit of added content. It's not like you are playing a final fantasy.

I find collectables and treasures that do that the most annoying. At least most games with sidequests have journals and markers that can remind you exactly where a particular quest is so when you have what you need to progress you can actually know where you're supposed to go. With collectables and treasures they're interspersed throughout the map without any markers provided to so much as let you know they're there even after you locate them, and on top of that most of them quickly become useless unless acquired immediately. The end result is that you either need to have really really good memory, a guide, or have to run around the entire map over and over every time you obtain a means to obtain some of them. At the very least there should be markers placed on the map whenever you locate a collectable or treasure, preferably one that identifies exactly what's needed to get through it whether you currently have it or not.

I never had a problem keeping things in mind for the South Park games, remembering most of the areas doesn't seem that complicated. On the other hand, I also wouldn't have a problem with the game including a way to skip this content if there are people it truly seems to annoy. I mean, I spent $80+ on the game and the season pass; I feel like I have a right to play it the way that is the most enjoyable for me. Others should have that same right.

Take out all the side quests, though, and you have a pretty sparse game.

 

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