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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature - West of Loathing Review

Default RPGWatch Feature - West of Loathing Review

June 7th, 2018, 11:24
A supernatural comedy western RPG with stick animated figures, might not be what everybody is waiting for. Yet West of Loathing did manage to enter the top 10 of the RPG of the Year for 2017, so forgottenlor started the game up and penned down his opinion about the game.

I tend to be sceptical of games which advertise humour as a feature. I also am turned off by cartoon graphics. I nevertheless decided to buy West of Loathing when it was on sale for three reasons. First, the reviews were excellent, and it got a number of RPG of the year votes from people on this site. Second, it is a very reasonably priced game, even if its not on sale. And lastly and most importantly I was looking for a game that would run smoothly on my slowly dying and soon to be replaced 5+ year old computer. West of Loathing is a supernatural comedy western. So its not your typical RPG, let alone your typical computer game. Therefore, I've decided West of Loathing deserves a somewhat atypical review. So here it goes.



Everything these days is considered an RPG if it has an inventory and some character developement. But, yes, I'd say West of Loathing really in an RPG, and not just superficially. The game starts in your house, where you say farewell to your family before heading out west, and continues in the town of Boring Springs. This makes up the prologue chapter. You are given a number of choices as you progress through this chapter. First you can choose from one of three classes that are typical RPG fare, namely a ranged fighter (the snake oiler), a magician (the bean slinger) and a melee fighter (the cow puncher). Each of these classes offer some nice twists, though. The snake oiler, for example, cannot only poison enemies with his snake lasso, but can also summon snakes to fight for him. You are also given a choice of one of three non-combat skills (lockpicking, foraging, or haggling).
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June 7th, 2018, 11:24
Thanks forgottenlor
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June 7th, 2018, 11:58
A good read, thanks.
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June 7th, 2018, 12:02
Thanks for the review, @forgottenlor ! Very fun read, and now I am seriously considering to give this a go. I don't actually mind the black/white graphics and it sounds like has more depth than it looks.

Second, many gamers want challenging combat and West of Loathing is lacking that.
I actually disagree with this statement, seems to me that a majority of gamers demand simplified/easy combat system more each year.
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June 7th, 2018, 14:16
Hmm, I can't believe this review didn't mention the online cult game Kingdom Of Loathing, on which this game seems to be heavily based upon (it's produced by the same people). The stick-man style of graphics are pretty much identical; I'm assume the the sense of humour is too. I never got into KoL, though my then GF used to play it pretty obsessively back when it was popular.

It's about time these muppets produced something else that people actually want to play. They got lucky with KoL years ago, when it was still possible to spend two weeks knocking something together in PHP and make money from it (which is literally what happened). I think they've tried a couple of times since to produce other games, only to have failed pretty badly due to the stakes being a lot higher now.
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June 7th, 2018, 16:08
This is yet another game that I keep meaning to pick up, and after reading this review I just finally might have to do that. Thanks for the review!!
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June 7th, 2018, 16:28
I like the art style for West of Loathing personally.

Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I actually disagree with this statement, seems to me that a majority of gamers demand simplified/easy combat system more each year.
We actually reached the point where players demand skip-able combat actually.


I'm not sure if that is the result of games having crappy combat or people thinking RPGs are an evolution of visual novels though.
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June 7th, 2018, 17:08
Thanks, forgottenlor! I was captivated by West of Loathing, but the black/white contrast was a real strain on my eyes. Had it not been, I would have continued to enjoy it.
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June 7th, 2018, 17:42
Personally, I'm a huge fan of games that don't require a huge amount of space on the hard drive.
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June 7th, 2018, 19:20
Thanks for another top-drawer review, forgottenlor !
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June 7th, 2018, 20:07
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Thanks for the review, @forgottenlor ! Very fun read, and now I am seriously considering to give this a go. I don't actually mind the black/white graphics and it sounds like has more depth than it looks.



I actually disagree with this statement, seems to me that a majority of gamers demand simplified/easy combat system more each year.
I agree with you in general, but I was thinking of the audience on RPGWatch, many of whom I know are fans of difficult turn based combat. Kordanor and Pladio come to mind, and I think you have also mentioned in the past that you enjoy challenging combat.
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June 7th, 2018, 20:09
Originally Posted by Kyrer View Post
Hmm, I can't believe this review didn't mention the online cult game Kingdom Of Loathing, on which this game seems to be heavily based upon (it's produced by the same people). The stick-man style of graphics are pretty much identical; I'm assume the the sense of humour is too. I never got into KoL, though my then GF used to play it pretty obsessively back when it was popular.

It's about time these muppets produced something else that people actually want to play. They got lucky with KoL years ago, when it was still possible to spend two weeks knocking something together in PHP and make money from it (which is literally what happened). I think they've tried a couple of times since to produce other games, only to have failed pretty badly due to the stakes being a lot higher now.
I have to admit that I've never played Kingdom of Loathing, and that I avoid browser games in general. If I've played the predecessor of a game, I'll often mention it in a review, if not I do my best to judge a game on its own merits.
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June 7th, 2018, 20:18
This is a fair review. I played West of Loathing and enjoyed it for what it is: an inexpensive, small-scale, technologically simple humorous RPG. It worked for me as a palette-cleanser between a couple of larger-scale, more heavyweight games. Not everything has to have massive choice/consequences, AAA graphics and an Epic Storyline(tm). Sometimes you're in the mood for a game that lets you use a hammer and nails to build a crate out of boards, then loot the crate for items because that's what you do with crates in RPGs. This is that kind of RPG.
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June 7th, 2018, 20:42
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I have to admit that I've never played Kingdom of Loathing, and that I avoid browser games in general.
Sorry, I didn't mean to come over as hostile. I'm not sure what referencing a 15 year old browser game would have added. It was a good review Maybe I can get my then GF to give it a try!
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June 7th, 2018, 20:44
I am a huge fan of this game. I volunteered to review it some months back but never did. Thanks FL - I may still do it so I don't plan on reading this just yet.

I didn't think I could do a review justice without a replay as one of the other two player types, and I am not keen on replaying, especially since it will be the same game, despite the three ways you can complete your goal. Also, your sidekick can be one of the three player types.

I can say, its excessively brutal on the occasional making a mistake because you can't restore to a previous save. Its designed to make you start over if you want to do that.

The authors went on Reddit to promote the game and their talk then was to remake KoL for Steam with the WoL engine as their next game.
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June 8th, 2018, 13:41
Originally Posted by Kyrer View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to come over as hostile. I'm not sure what referencing a 15 year old browser game would have added. It was a good review Maybe I can get my then GF to give it a try!
No worries. I didn't take your comments as hostile, and just wanted to clarify how I wrote my review.
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June 8th, 2018, 13:45
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
I am a huge fan of this game. I volunteered to review it some months back but never did. Thanks FL - I may still do it so I don't plan on reading this just yet.

I didn't think I could do a review justice without a replay as one of the other two player types, and I am not keen on replaying, especially since it will be the same game, despite the three ways you can complete your goal. Also, your sidekick can be one of the three player types.

I can say, its excessively brutal on the occasional making a mistake because you can't restore to a previous save. Its designed to make you start over if you want to do that.

The authors went on Reddit to promote the game and their talk then was to remake KoL for Steam with the WoL engine as their next game.
I did not mention the one save, as I never actually considered reloading. In general I dislike games with one save, not because of not being able to go back, but because in the past have I had saves go corrupt in games I've played over 10 hours and was intending to finish, which I find very annoying.
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June 9th, 2018, 08:22
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I like the art style for West of Loathing personally.



We actually reached the point where players demand skip-able combat actually.


I'm not sure if that is the result of games having crappy combat or people thinking RPGs are an evolution of visual novels though.
I think it has something to do with expanding the game's playerbase beyond it's normal audience. In other words, when developers begin reaching out to busy hockey moms and business dads, more of these kind of absurd demands are brought up…

"Hey, I've such a busy life and to be frank I'm not really comfortable with those keyboards / controllers, so why not make combat skippable? I'm here for the story anyhow and you can't expect me to learn something I don't like! Unfair even to ask."

Now before you call me an elitist, I understand the issue with busy life perfectly well as at the moment stuff in my real life prevents me from enjoying complex rpgs as much as I used to, but I don't expect games and developers to pamper me. Even though I have less time, I want to use that time on games that matter to me. And those are complex rpgs.

ps. Awesome review as always forgottenlor! Great job.
Last edited by Dez; June 10th, 2018 at 01:34.
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June 9th, 2018, 21:09
Great review thanks for taking the time to write it up for us.
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June 9th, 2018, 22:43
Thank you for another great review, Forgottenlor !!
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