Quests are usually more entertaining in concept than execution. Part of the problem is an overreliance on the dreaded fetch quest, and while the game channels the spirit of Gilbert’s adventure heritage by adding in plenty of bits where you combine and use items from other quests to progress further, the game still depends far too heavily on trundling over an area collecting spoils from downed foes over and over again. DeathSpank might be doing it with a sense of humour, but an ironic send-up of the tedious fetch quest is still a tedious fetch quest.
If you like sweet loot, hacking things to death, looking at beautiful landscapes and laughing at good writing, you might want to pick up DeathSpank. However, although the game shines in many areas, it does have its flaws. Questing can turn into a noticeable chore, and I would have gladly substituted some of the “go fetch” missions in favor of some more brainteasers. Still, DeathSpank is a fun adventure worth exploring.
It's partly the difficult balance of pastiche. If whatever you're sending up isn't observed extremely acutely, and your mockery doesn't differ significantly enough from the lampooned material, then the result is often just as hackneyed and predictable as what you're trying to parody.
Such is the case with DeathSpank, which takes the pomp and earnestness of the Western RPG as its rather easy target, throws in a few words like 'thunderstomp', items such as 'chicken-lips' and the odd sabre-toothed donkey - then slips instantly back into repetitive fetch-quests and button bashing combat, losing any satirical edge by aping its subject too closely.