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DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue

20 Aug, 2012

So here we are again. DeathSpank. Thongs of Virtue (called ToV from here on) at that.

And while few things have changed from the first game (or episode or whatever) gameplay-wise, ToV does a great job of fleshing out the original story, as well as adding a new huge and varied playing area for you to explore.

Thumb This is a good game.
The former is certainly a good thing, as the thongs in the first game kind of felt like random plot devices primarily existing for humorous purposes. Now, sure, the thongs are still ridiculous, but as their rather epic back-stories are unveiled, this game seems to be more plot focused. I'm sure a replay of the first game after finishing ToV would be rewarding.

Of course, humor is still one of the game's most important aspects. Now that we've gotten to know the DeathSpank character better, the jokes hit home a little better. That's quite a compliment as I found the first game hilarious, and this is well up there with Monkey Island even though the humor is different.

The different "worlds" are more interesting this time around. You start out in a World War 2 location, and move through 'nam, the wild west, and a pirate world. Not to mention the North Pole, where you take on Santa Claus, making his best appearance as a villain since the debut episode of Sam & Max's second season.

There is more variation between the worlds than in the first game. Finding caves and what not has actually become a bit more difficult, making exploration more rewarding.

So, what has changed gameplay wise? The ranged weapons are definitely a lot better. Sub-machine-guns and flamethrowers are found fairly early on, and the inclusion of heavier arsenal alters combat strategies significantly. Other than that, we're mostly talking smaller changes. The puzzles are a bit more challenging and the quests are a bit more varied. Minor changes, mostly.

Really, in the end, the two games should be looked at as two parts of one larger game. It's an old-school game, one you can sit down and play without worrying too much about remembering crazy controls and gameplay mechanisms. It's a game built on a funny story, with hilarious dialogue and addictive gameplay. You could probably say that it's not a game for everyone, but it certainly should be for every Mojo-er who isn't stuck on playing adventure games on the PC.

Thongs of Virtue is an excellent addition to the DeathSpank saga. If you don't like this, you probably don't like life either.

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