Review: The Baconing (XBLA)

Review: The Baconing (XBLA)

Spanktopia (a totally not-real place that needs to be a totally real place) is being destroyed. DeathSpank, hero of Spanktopia, has become the unwitting cause of its destruction. Donning all of the Thongs from his previous adventure, he inadvertently created an evil clone of himself, the AntiSpank, who has turned Spanktopia into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. DeathSpank must stop his dastardly doppelganger’s destructive deeds by burning all of the Thongs. And of course, there’s only one way to destroy a Thong…bacon fires.

If you’ve played DeathSpank in any way, shape, or form before…you’ve pretty much played The Baconing. The graphics, while still just as appealing as in the two previous entries in the series, are also still just the same as the two previous entries in the series, with very little progression. The combat, while still just as appealing and entertaining as in the two previous entries in the series, is also still just the same as the two previous entries in the series, with very little in the way of new mechanics of concepts. The dialogue, as one of the major strengths of the DeathSpank series, returns with just as much wit and awkward embarrassment for the protagonist as before. Co-operative play, while still thankfully present in some form, is still limited to local players only.

It feels like playing the same game you’ve played twice before, just with new backgrounds.

There are some differences in how the game is played.

The bad: There is less of a need for thinking and finding solutions, and more of a need for just killing things mindlessly. Food seems to be harder to come by when defeating enemies, such as the Stoopid Chickens, who now drop more money/items/etc than precious bodily nutrients. There aren’t really any new enemies, just the same old enemies dressed up as cyborgs. Yeah, it means you already know a lot about how these enemies will operate, but where’s the variety? Where’s the challenge of something new? I suppose the increase of ranged attackers offers some challenge, but it’s not quite what I had in mind. Finally, this game is far more difficult than the previous games in the DeathSpank series. You will die. A lot. Get used to it.

The good: The shield was a nice addition that affects how you play the game. It helps block ranged attacks, but you can’t melee from behind it, so you find yourself timing your defense and your attack to suit the enemies around you. If you’re surrounded by both melee and ranged enemies, that timing can become vital. The map now shows a larger area, along with names of locations and landmarks. It won’t show you where locked outhouses are, but they’re still pretty easy to find when you’re nearby.

If you loved DeathSpank, loved DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, and gently cried yourself to sleep when you finished the game and found your life as yet unfulfilled, then The Baconing is a game you have no choice but to buy. If you thought Deathspank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue were pretty cool, and you guess you wouldn’t mind playing through another DeathSpank, The Baconing is a game you should probably buy. If you liked DeathSpank, and thought DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue was good, but eerily similar to DeathSpank the First, then The Baconing is just going to further that opinion, and it is a game you should probably think about before buying. And obviously, if you disliked DeathSpank or DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, you probably will still dislike The Baconing, so go ahead and give yourself a pass on it.

Overall, it’s not a bad game. It just shows no real progression from the previous entries in the series. Is the same game in a new shell worth 1200MSP? I guess that depends on which of the aforementioned categories you fall into.

Review

ProsCons
Same strengths as previous DeathSpank games.Same as previous DeathSpank games, dumbed down a bit.
Rating
65 out of 100

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