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DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • So many weapons to choose from
  • Awesome graphics
  • Changing armor and weapons
  • The jokes that fall flat
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • The bosses that spank you

When your name is DeathSpank, your work is never done. That’s why it’s no surprise the annoying loveable protagonist is back at work on Xbox Live Arcade and the PS3 Network, this time collecting six magical and evil thongs.

Ron Gilbert dubbed the original DeathSpank as a mixture of “Tales of Monkey Island” and “Diablo.” The resemblance to ToMI’s writing style is apparent: the jokes are piled on hard and fast, layer after layer, so even when they fall flat (often) there’s always another one only a click away. Sounds like Monkey Island.

Part of the reason the jokes fall flat is that though the dialogue is usually funny, or at least humorous, the game’s emphasis is on the characters’ flamboyant accents and tones. Which means that nearly every line is spoken slow and with way too much emphasis. On top of all that, you have to read Death Spank’s dialogue only to have to listen to him say it right after. Experiencing every punch line twice ruins almost any joke.

And then there’s that pesky Diablo comparison. It’s kind of legitimate... both games have loot, micro-quests, and more hack and slash than if M. Night joined Guns N’ Roses (Get it…? Hack and Slash?). But mostly, they’re completely different games, and comparing the two doesn’t give DeathSpank’s addicting armor-cum-costume changes and impressive 2.5 dimension graphics enough credit. After an impressive debut and a quick second release, DeathSpank can now stand on its own without riding unwarranted coattails.

Those that liked the first will almost certainly like the second, but if you never got your spank on the first time around, you can skip the debut. But be warned, the game doesn’t waste time acquainting you with characters or game mechanics. Luckily, when you get stuck, there are a plethora of fortune cookies to pick up in the game – each can be used to supply a hint if you get stuck.

For the perfectionists out there, there are tons of missions to accomplish and most gamers will never have to touch a fortune cookie. Unfortunately, mission structure is quite repetitive: Go here, kill this, collect this, return, rinse, repeat. Even boss battles are surprisingly dull, not to mention difficult. Early on DeathSpank makes fun of you for dying, suggesting maybe you should turn down the difficulty, but that he won’t respect you much. Luckily, if you get really stuck a friend can press start and get to slashing up baddies alongside DeathSpank. There’s enough here for the game to be worth the low admission price, and what it lacks in ingenuity, it makes up for in personality.

Oct 8, 2010

More Info

Release date: Sep 22 2010 - Xbox 360
Sep 21 2010 - PS3 (US)
Sep 22 2010 - Xbox 360
Sep 21 2010 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Hothead Games
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Mild Language

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9 comments

  • sheepy94 - October 11, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    @reaperman22 What about people who complain about people who complain about first posters?
  • bigfatround0 - October 10, 2010 12:14 a.m.

    this game is pretty good
  • ShaneCedt - October 10, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    Yeah, I don't "get" this game series. Jokes were lame and I've had my fill of Diablo-type gameplay already.
  • reaperman22 - October 9, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    i have the first game and what little i played of it was fun, i just haven't had the time to play it and ive been addicted to a whole heap of other games. also to all the people that complain about first posters, you are just as bad as them and personally i just think your a bit jealous
  • Baron164 - October 9, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    I still haven't played the first game... Too many games to play and not enough time...
  • VictorRay - October 9, 2010 3:19 p.m.

    ganonpork, you are fail. the graphics look really awesome, the humor (from the first game) was kinda lame to me though
  • Ded - October 9, 2010 3:18 p.m.

    Not finished this yet.. the first game was so left open for the sequel, I'm curious to know if they have a whole line of these in the works :D
  • Robx - October 9, 2010 3:13 p.m.

    @Ganonpork http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciG-Xs7mBwU
  • Ganonpork - October 9, 2010 3:05 p.m.

    first

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