(http://www.deathspank.com) Rated T for Teen by ESRB. DeathSpank is a refreshing entry to the genre of action role-playing games thanks to creator Ron Gilbert. Gilbert is well known for his work on LucasArts titles such as Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. For those not familiar with those LucasArts titles, they are considered classic video games thanks to their ingenuity, humor, and innovative gameplay. DeathSpank continues this tradition with its humor, storytelling, and game design.

 

(http://www.deathspank.com) Rated T for Teen by ESRB. DeathSpank is a refreshing entry to the genre of action role-playing games thanks to creator Ron Gilbert. Gilbert is well known for his work on LucasArts titles such as Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. For those not familiar with those LucasArts titles, they are considered classic video games thanks to their ingenuity, humor, and innovative gameplay. DeathSpank continues this tradition with its humor, storytelling, and game design.

In DeathSpank, you are DeathSpank, a mighty hero, but with a slight bit of buffoonery similar to a Looney Tunes character. You are on a quest to retrieve “the artifact”; and without spoiling the plot, let’s just say “because it’s your destiny (said with as much ironic sarcasm as possible).”

Presentation/Graphics:
The world of DeathSpank is viewed from an isometric perspective with lots of different settings. From graveyards, trashpiles, forests, to even hellish lava caves; DeathSpank runs around in his purple thong, giving everything and everyone in his path a good thrashing, completing quests and earning loot.

The style of the game is cartoonish and doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Lots of self-referential fairytale humor. The game is interspersed with fun shadow-style cutscenes like one would see in a movie about an epic battle.

       

Sounds:
DeathSpank shines bright with every NPC having stellar voice acting. DeathSpank’s voice acting is superb as well, but if you’re like me, you’ll be sick of hearing “I AM….DEATHSPANK!” for the millionth time when meeting a new character. Upon hearing the cartoonish voice acting, you’ll be immediately transported back to the glory days of LucasArts games and be charmed silly. I couldn’t help but want to interact with everyone in the game just to hear what crazy voice they would speak with. The witty, funny dialogue will keep you coming back for more.

The sound effects in the game are great. Lots of toilet humor and funny animal noises, and the “thwacking” of enemies sound satisfying.

       

Gameplay:
If you’re into looting, collecting loot, trading loot for cash, and comparing loot, this is your game. DeathSpank has a TON of various armors, melee weapons, ranged weapons, magic, perks, and special items to try out. All are cleverly named like the “Chicken canon” or the “Sword of smiting.” And there are ways to combine weapon effects as well to create special moves. If you’re the type to get addicted to dungeon raiding for loot, DeathSpank is right up your alley.

If you don’t mind the repetitive gameplay of button mashing to smite enemies, this is your game too. Unfortunately, this is where DeathSpank falters. The game mechanics of whacking away at enemies gets monotonous. Walk up to an enemy and hit one of the four attack buttons till they die. It’s that simple. There’s a block button but I rarely found the need to use it.

As you hack and slash more enemies, you fill up your Justice meter which can unleash a strong attack, depending on which weapon you assigned to it. These effects can be smartly used, such as stunning a group of enemies to make hitting them over the head easier.

       

Innovation/Longevity:
DeathSpank is a welcomed addition to anyone’s Xbox Live Arcade or PSN game library. The game is perfect for casual gaming sessions since there are plenty of checkpoints, and there’s even a local co-op 2 player mode, so you can share the humor and looting experience with a friend. The game has three different difficulty levels so it will fit anyone’s tastes; but unless you love Ron Gilbert humor, one play through is enough to hear all the witty dialogue.

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