fobwashed's DeathSpank (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Death Spank hits the right notes, but just a tad bit too softly

  This is a game from one of the minds that brought about Lucasarts golden age of adventure gaming with his crowning achievement being those Monkey Island games. It's pretty much a diablo type game where you have direct control of your guy, and there's a ton of loot and you go and do quests till you finish. The big thing in this game is it's humor and it's hit and miss.

The game is pretty funny at times Every item, weapon and piece of armor has it's own short description and more than once I actually chuckled at the description. For instance, there's a helmet called the "howling helmet" and it's description was something along the lines of "great defense but I can't hear myself think". There's a ton of that stuff and also the in game dialog can be pretty humorous at times.
The game's visual style is colorful and fun to look at The game isn't technically amazing or anything but it has a nice style to the way everything is displayed. When you're running around, it's almost like you're on a small planet because as things go towards the horizon, they start to tilt away from you. Sort of like when you're running around on planets in the new Mario Galaxy games or Animal Crossing. Also, all the doodads like houses, bushes, background elements are all drawn to look as if they are cardboard cutouts which is also a nice touch. Your character and all the enemies you fight are fully 3D and they've done it in a way where everything looks spiffy.
The saving and fast travel system is good I never felt like I had to play longer than I wanted to reach a save point since I could just turn it off whenever. Also, a lot of the quests have you running around all over the place so the fast travel system in the game was very welcome and I used it very frequently.

The combat is decently fun but in the longrun I was just killing stuff without too much thought. You do need to block to survive since you don't have too much health but all in all I felt the combat was lacking but good enough that it wasn't a bother.
The loot is plentiful but not really that interesting Aside from the funny descriptors for all the loot, I never really paid much attention to it. There is never any doubt about which loot is better since it's all cut and dry. This piece gives you +20 hp and this other piece gives you +22 hp. There was never a decision for me to make about whether I should keep my old gear or change to the new stuff. The game goes so far as to have an option to auto equip any new gear you find as long as it's better than what you have on. I guess on one hand, taking all that decision making out of my hands was better for keeping the pace of the game up but I didn't really feel any sort of attachment to any piece of gear and my character was an everchanging doll.
The story was not very interesting It tries real hard to be funny and sometimes it succeeds and sometimes. . . it doesn't quite fail but there's something to be said about something that is trying to be funny but just isn't. The main story was not very interesting and I was pretty much just playing since the game was easy and mindless fun rather than being pulled by the narrative. I actually can barely remember the story now and I just finished the thing.

Can't really think of anything that was bad or painful The game was well put together and a decent amount of fun. I can't think of anything that really bugged me during my playtime.

The game was fun, but not great. I think it might have been 10 or 15 bucks on XBLA and I got in at least 6 or so hours so it's not a bad purchase. There's just too much else to play nowadays for me to recommend this game over anything else but if you want to just run around killing stuff and getting loot for a while, you could do much worse.



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