Last week, XBLAFans ran down the 25 best XBLA games to be released on the Xbox 360. This week, some of the games that didn’t make the cut get a second chance as select members of our staff make their cases for their personal XBLA favorites.
Of all of my favorite games on XBLA, DeathSpank is easily my guiltiest pleasure. It’s the kind of game that’s hard to recommend; just saying the title out loud feels bizarre. The reason I love this game is simple: it’s one of the funniest games on the platform. DeathSpank wants nothing more than to be a hero to the downtrodden, but unfortunately he’s also a bumbling idiot. His voice acting — every line is delivered perfectly — and writing make him a hilarious character.
The main story is the usual “defeat the evil king” cliche, but it’s done in a very entertaining way. The quests will have you doing the most ridiculous things — when was the last time you played a fantasy game where you had to collect unicorn poop? DeathSpank’s adventures take him through a distorted fantasy world that compliments the character perfectly. The world unfolds akin to Animal Crossing’s rolling pin-shaped world. Scenery is nothing more than colorful cardboard cutouts, giving the world a cartoony wonder that makes it so fun to explore.
The whole game is one absurd adventure, and while not every joke hits its mark, the overall tone does leave a great lasting impression. DeathSpank is simple and fun and deserves to be checked out by anyone tired of playing games that take themselves too seriously.