|System: X360, PS3||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: July 14, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2 Local)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Fortunately, the games inventory system is also set up well, helping the player manage what would otherwise be an unruly deluge of items. Players can set the inventory to automatically equip the best available armor, which is incredibly useful and saves a huge amount of time. When rifling through your item screen, you can also sort all your inventory by item types by simply pressing a button. This was great news to me, considering the frequency of incoming items and the fact that I hate leaving my inventory in an untidy manner.
The surprisingly large world of DeathSpank is both distinctive and varied. Most objects appearing on-screen, such as houses, trees, flowers, etc., are 2D. However, unless youre moving the camera around, youll rarely notice. The 2D objects blend well with the 3D terrain in the game. Your perspective and the 3D world function similarly to that of Animal Crossing: Wild World. You are given close to a ¾ perspective and the environment has a curvature to it that has the stuff in the distance disappearing below the foreground. This style looks great and makes the game feel unique.
On top of the unique visuals, good combat, funny dialogue, and lengthy playtime, DeathSpank also provides something that is largely ignored in most modern games. Of course, Im speaking of local two player co-op. A second player can jump in at any time as Sparkles the Wizard. While Sparkles doesnt enjoy many of the things that DeathSpank does, such as leveling up, getting new equipment, having his own life bar, making dialogue choices, or even a voice, he can be incredibly useful. Sparkles can only do four things, which are shoot a flame jet, create an exploding decoy, throw magical attacks with his wand, and heal the group. While it may be more rewarding to control DeathSpank, playing as Sparkles does have its own rewards. Healing the group just as youre about to die, dropping a decoy so the group can escape, and laughing at how much of an afterthought the character appears to be can all be entertaining.
If you like to laugh and play action RPGs, DeathSpank is definitely the game for you. With a unique and beautiful world to explore, tons of loot to collect, over 100 quests to complete, and a plethora of humorous voiced-over dialogue, this game is easily worth its modest fifteen dollar price tag. While you may not have as much fun playing as Sparkles, playing through the game with two players is even better than playing alone. Either way though, be sure to pick this one up to start dispensing some justice.
CCC News Director