Developer: Hot Head Games
Release Date: 10/25/2010
For Fans Of: Poop Jokes, RPGs, Justice
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The Good: Hilarious dialog, great voice acting, charming art style, tons of quests, enemies, weapons, and items, huge open world to explore
The Bad: Constant healing gets extremely annoying, killing enemies gives you very little XP, gets repetitive after a while, some quests are vague on where to go
Dispenser of Justice! Hero of the Downtrodden! Those are just a couple of DeathSpank’s other names in this hilarious action RPG from Hot Head Studios. You play as the silly hero DeathSpank in his quest to find The Artifact and kill the evil king Lord Von Prong. LVP wants DeathSpank’s magical Thong to become more evil, but in the mean time you need to do some saving of the downtrodden.
The overall story isn’t much, but the banter with NPCs is what really makes you crack up with the obvious stabs at RPGs and other games. It will take different shots at the genre without even saying anything some times like one quest has you pleasing an orphan in the Demon Mines to put in your orphan bag. You must run into town and get everything she needs, but the store just so happens to have everything you need when you get there like a cell phone and a pony! This is an obvious jab at RPGs whose stores always have what you need.
The game also has some more childish jokes like collecting unicorn poop, finding help letters in dragon poop, and helping villagers make their dirt and stone soup taste better using various animal parts. While this humor may not be funny to all, most will get a kick out of it and DeathSpank is chalk full of it. Of course the gameplay is important to and DeathSpank lets you assign four different weapons at a time to use and there are a ton of weapons, armor, and different types of potions to use. You can even eat various foods to heal up like pizza, fries, magic mushrooms, and root beer. When you whack enough enemies you get to unleash your Justice meter which are power-ups for certain weapons. The game consists of a huge map that you can wander around and travel via outhouses spread throughout the world. There are a ton of quests and you’re looking at about 10-15 hours of gameplay here that is very entertaining.
The game has two major flaws and this is the fact that no matter how high you level up or how good your armor is you will be guzzling potions and healing items every 5 seconds. Enemies re-spawn when you re-enter an area and you can’t move on to some until you are a higher level or those enemies will kill you quickly. This makes progression slow at first and forces you to complete quests because that’s the only way to really level up. You get very little XP killing enemies even if they are a higher level than you. I found this very frustrating and made the game less enjoyable because of all these weird quirks. I also found that some quests were vague on where to go and using fortune cookies spread around give you hints, but those are just mostly useless.
The visuals are nice, but technically the game is very simple, but there is a huge variety in enemy types and you really won’t get bored on that end. The best part about DeathSpank is the humor in the dialog and the funny voice actors who over exaggerate voices. Even as an action RPG the game is fun and challenging for anyone looking for something out of the ordinary to play, plus it has co-op play for anyone wanting to share the fun and jokes with a friend.