Hero to the Downtroddeded…ed

A couple of weeks back, I finally bought a game for my new Playstation 3: DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue. Yes, you read the name right ;) My dad and I were trying out various demos and the DeathSpank cover/icon stood out for us on the screen because it was bright yellow.

And yes, I played the second game before playing the first.

Basically, DeathSpank is a hack-and-slash game like Diablo 2, only very tongue-in-cheek, funny, and colorful (something hardcore Diablo fans hate). It’s enjoyable: a mindless, satisfying hacking mixed with–gasp!–fights where you need to take a step back and strategize. Loot is ever-present and ever-changing, money is relatively easy to come by (just keep hitting the barrels!) dialogues with NPCs are usually funny, and fully-voiced, to boot.

Both games seem to stand well on their own, but after finishing the second game, I wanted more DeathSpank–so I bought the first game, too. I missed the bazookas and grenades in the second game, but I had an unlimited and ever-upgrading crossbow (and special bolts if I needed them) versus the pistol of the first game (succeeding gun upgrades were always limited-quantity: if I used them as my primary range weapon, I’d run out of bullets shooting barrels).

There are only three things that I found relatively annoying while playing the game:

  1. The hard limit of five potions per type in DeathSpank’s inventory made me keep going back to the towns just to restock when I’m having a particularly challenging time with a boss
  2. Auto-save is well and good, but I’d also like to choose my own save points, so that I can go back in time and undo some of the possible damage I’ve done. To be sure, it’s not immensely important–but I can be a stingy little girl and after dying countless of times in the Swamp Cave trying out various strategies, I’d really like to go back to an earlier save point and not have wasted all those potions (which are all relatively expensive). User save points also encourage me to go back and replay certain scenes and discover what might have happened if I chose something else–but without it, no way am I going to go back and play through the WHOLE GAME again just to get to that particular fight.
  3. Related to that, once you reach end-game, there is nothing much to do. You have all that gold (where was it while I was levelling?!) and all those nice shiny epics, but then what?

All that said, there’s a lot of mindless hacking, blood is aplenty, and humor abounds. DeathSpank is a very entertaining and engrossing game, and well worth its price (US$14.99, S$20.90).