Monday, December 13, 2010

DeathSpank Thongs of Virtue - SKIDROW

DeathSpank Thongs of Virtue - SKIDROW

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Hothead Games
Genre: Action Role-Playing
Release Date: Nov 30, 2010 (US)
Hoster: Mediafire
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It's only been a couple months since the release of the first DeathSpank and we're lucky enough to already have a sequel. The Diablo-style action RPG from the mind of Ron Gilbert (Secret of Monkey Island) proved to be one of the most addictive games of the year, so a second visit from the Hero to the Downtrodden is quite welcome. DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue is more of the same -- same gameplay, same music, same sense of humor. But that won't be a bad thing for anyone who enjoyed the first romp.

DeathSpank is a hero's hero; a champion so intent on doing good that he can't help but assist every last poor soul that crosses his path. From rich aristocrats to redneck hicks, everyone has a quest for DeathSpank and he cannot say "no." That's what these games are all about: running errand after errand after errand for people. One minute you're recovering stolen feminine products for a damsel in distress and the next you're convincing a drunken pirate to give up the keys to his pirate ship. I happen to love the formula and find myself compelled to complete every last quest and sidequest. Along the way you'll gain experience, level up, and collect hundreds and hundreds of weapons and items to equip.

Thongs of Virtue picks up a while after DeathSpank left off, with the hero having defeated who he thought was his arch nemesis -- only to learn there are others in the circle of evil that need be brought to justice. While this sequel does feel very much like the original and sends you on the same sorts of quests, you will be traveling to quite different locales. Gone are the mostly fantasy areas of DeathSpank. Here you'll be visiting battlefields that recall World War II, the Old West, and robot factories. You can play with a bunch of fun new weapons and battle new enemies.

The new ranged weapons are a significant improvement to your arsenal. I don't know about you, but I found the crossbows pretty ineffectual in the first game and ended up ignoring them. In Thongs of Virtue you have access to machine guns, bazookas, and lasers -- really fun stuff. They're effective at taking out enemies from a distance and provide many more strategic possibilities in battle. You also have a variety of explosives at your disposal such as poison and ice grenades.

Some of the sidequests are plucked straight from the first game. Remember the spelunker who was afraid to do his own spelunking and the Thongoloth researcher who wanted you to take readings for him? There is more of that business to do here. Even though I'd done this stuff before,I really didn't mind -- DeathSpank is just that much fun.

The first game allowed a second player to join in at any time and control DeathSpank's sidekick, Sparkles the Wizard. Sparkles is back in Thongs of Virtue, but a second secondary hero has also been added: Steve! Steve was raised by ninjas and rides a miniature unicorn, instantly making him one of the coolest videogame characters around. Unfortunately, two-player mode still leaves something to be desired as both players share a health bar and player two can't use any sweet loot. I prefer to do my DeathSpank questing on my own.

Don't worry if you haven't played the first game -- the episodes are self-contained and the storyline is ridiculous nonsense anyway. Handy in-game tutorials have been added that will explain the ins and outs of heroism as you make your way towards the fabled thongs. There is also a clever hint system where you find fortune cookies lying around that can be eaten for a nudge in the right direction.

Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 (or equivalent with SSE2 support) running at 1.7 GHz Processor or greater
Memory: 1 GB of ram, 1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
Hard Disk Space: at least 2 GB of free HD space
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X1900 GT 256MB and the Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB cards; Shader 2.0 and 24 bit depth buffer support required
DirectX: DirectX9 Jun 2010
Local co-op requirements: A controller is required for the second player



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