Review by KarB0MB
"Hero to the Downtrodden."
A 9 or 10, a 9 or 10... I juggled between the two scores over and over for awhile. This game is amazing in so many ways, it's definitely corny and sarcastic with over-kill of each. But it's something that you should like in general if you plan on going through this game. I haven't decided if the amount of unapologetic corny humor was done for witty people, or for the people that needed to be slapped in the face with so much ridiculousness that they couldn't fail to see it. Either way, let's get on with the review.
Story: You play as Deathspank, vanquisher of evil, hero of the down-trodden and in general the man oblivious to most everyone who speaks to him. Deathspank amazingly knows all the random and hilarious things to say to all the NPC's ( Non playable characters ) that litter his world. If you have ever seen the show Archer, then you'll have a good idea of what type of person Deathspank is. Deathspank isn't as openly rude as Archer, but he's equally blind to the things going on around him. You are in search of something called the Artifact, that's all you really know about it, but that's all you need for your adventure. So as you navigate the world you will uncover tons of opportunities to help NPC's with tasks that only Deathspank can handle. As with many other games, you will continue to level up Deathspank in the ongoing quests. Such weapons as the chicken gun will help you on the way, but ranged weapons like that are more secondary. A boot fashioned to the end of a metal rod is such a weapon that will be a mainstay in your vast inventory. In Deathspank you will uncover so many crazy weapons that you'll wonder which insane item will befall our hero next. For a downloadable game this is amazing, the world is large and side-quests vast, you will find yourself wanting to complete every task available just to see what rewards, conversations and funny items you come across.
Graphics: For a downloadable game, this stands out towards the top of the heap. Character models, level design and overall artwork are amazing. For a cartoony game the this really has a ton of detail and vivid colors that constantly smack you in the face. Through your travels you will open up new areas of the world map, each area has different enemies and level design that stand out from the rest. This game looks fantastic in todays standard, but again it's a cartoony world, so to appreciate this you'll need to be somewhat of a fan of this style. This game would have been superior in the SNES days, but the sharp styling and vivid contrast still hold a candle to todays graphical juggernauts.
Sound: This more than anything is where the magic happens. Almost single handidly the voice acting from one person could carry this game. Ok, maybe not 100% true, but the voice acting is far superior to almost any game available to date. The main protagonist Deathspank, is voiced by a gentleman named Michael Dobson. I wish he were part of my family just so I could get him to say ridiculous things during the holidays. It's almost hard to believe that any human could have a voice like this. Not because the pitch is off, but because I can only picture this voice belonging to a cartoony character. If you've ever watched any special behind the scenes production work on a game like God of war, you'll get to see the man behind Kratos voice. I personaly, want to keep Michael Dobson's face a mystery. I picture a man with an over-sized jaw, wearing a super-hero mask and maybe a cape. Regardless of this, the amazing voice over work from him and the supporting characters are second to none. This fact alone will transport you into the world that the developing studio created. Rarely can the character voices and sound do this, but if ever there was a game for other studios to take a note from, then it's this one.
Overall- This game is simple yet complete in every detail. There are a ton of inventory items and weapons you will come across, dozens of dialogue options with the NPC's throughout the world, with groups of missing orphans to recover. Yeah I said orphans... I'm can't remember what games I was playing when I downloaded this gem, but I do know that after I beat this game that I was slightly disappointed the adventure was over. I expected expansion packs galore for the year ahead, but to my amazement, the studio released a second game in the series, Deathspank and The Thongs of Virtue. Even with the second release in my library on the first day of it's release, I found myself still coming back to the first title. I'm not sure if this was due to the simplistic nature of the first game, or the amazing story. Either way, I now have 2 games in the Deathspank series to enjoy for a long time out. But in no way would I suggest passing on the first in the series, the stories not only connect, but each is amazing in it's nature.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/12/11
Game Release: DeathSpank (US, 07/14/10)
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