|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hothead Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 21, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
You would think that with this amount of plunderage the shops would play a more important role. Unfortunately, since the majority of weapons, armors, potions and health items can be scavenged off a downed enemy, it basically negates the use of money in the game. The inventory even comes equipped with an item grinder that converts your possessions into their base monetary value, but its really only used to make room for better quality items you still wish to hold on to.
The overall presentation of the game is unique. It gets away with using more two-dimensional textures than most games do these days because of its limited camera angles, and yet somehow it works well for itself. The game world also appears to have a slight curvature thats easily distinguishable when wandering from place to place. Parts of the landscape rise and fall beneath the horizon line of the foreground, and it almost feels like youre walking around a giant globe. The transitions when moving from one area to the next are nicely done as well. Colors gradually transition from day to night, depending on the area youre in, and youre treated to subtle environmental cues like raindrops or snowfall to acclimate the setting. Overall, there are certainly more visually appealing downloadable titles on the market, but thats not to say DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue isnt without its charm.
If youre looking for a difficult game, then you may want to look elsewhere. The checkpoint system is very forgiving, as death is boiled down to respawning at the nearest outhouse. These shanty poop-shacks are widespread throughout the DeathSpank microcosm and even offer you teleportation as a means of transport. It comes in handy since the bulk of the game involves an assortment of comical fetch-quests to keep you occupied during the riddles of the main plot. The game itself is quite lengthy and can span upwards of 15-20 hours to complete, depending on if youre one to finish many side-quests.
There is even a local cooperative aspect that might keep you and a friend entertained for a short while. It feels tacked-on, as it doesnt include any online co-op (which would have been a very welcomed addition), and the second player is extremely limited in what he can do. The co-op characters are basically meant as a support class in RPG standards, and theyre really only good for healing themselves and killing the occasional miscellaneous foe.
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue is a solid release considering its $15 price tag, hours of gameplay, and vast amounts of hilarity. The quality voice acting is spot on with its comedic timing, and the overall look of the game is very unique. There were a few frame rate issues that were experienced intermittently and the lack of a decent co-op mode was disappointing. Action-RPG fans will certainly have fun with this release, although its similar to the original, and if youre into thongs and role-playing then this game is a win-win.
CCC Freelance Writer