I mull over my completion of The West of Loathing and what about it, made me like it so much!
Simple and Fun
Happy hump day backloggers!! So, for the past week I’ve been completely absorbed by the fantastically silly and fun West of Loathing. And after completing it last night, I’ve been thinking a whole bunch about what it was about the game that made it so appealing. Well, I’ve been thinking about that since day 1, but now that I have the entirety of the game under my belt, I think I have a better grasp of what that is.
Although, from a design standpoint, it hit every note it promised. Which includes its endearing and ernest use of stick figure art to it’s overflowing charm in both dialog and wit. I don’t think that’s what made me stick around. It may have been funny and clever in that regard, but around three quarters of the way through the game, I started skimming through most of it, trying to get to what I liked the most. And that was it’s simple yet surprisingly deep mechanics. Its battle system excluded of course.
It’s a system where all you really do is distribute your experience points to increase your characters stats and complete quests as you make your way through the game. Whether it’s you’re moxie for flashing your silver tongue, in order to avoid a fight, or your lockpicking skill to crack open a dresser drawer to aid a lost soul. But then you can also mitigate some of your deficiencies by consuming special items or completing fun and interesting events that may or may not seem connected.
And that’s where the depth comes from! You can juggle these stats and perks in order to help you solve the various predicaments you’ll find yourself in. Whether it’s going in guns blazing, sweet talking your way into a cult camp or trading a bar of soap for a lock so the town sheriff can finally use his jail cell.
Deep but not Complex
But then I started thinking about how much of a difference there is between complexity and depth. That a relatively simple and well thought out system that interconnects each of its parts in a harmonious and intuitive way, will best a tangled web of disparaged subsystems, that only go ankle deep, every day of the week. Really, it’s the difference between being able to jump in and enjoy a game from the outset or having to read a 1000 page textbook then take 3 exams before you can even leave the menu screen.
Not to say that games with complex systems can’t have depth, there are plenty of games out there that have booth, the Witcher comes to mind, or even Breath of the Wild. But those are examples of games where the devs took the time to consider the consequences of each action a player could have on their systems. Just like Asymmetrical did with West of Loathing.
Though, I think it’s much more impressive to think of them putting the same amount of effort into a game that’s so easy to pick up and play. And that’s why I think I like West of Loathing so much.
One Hundred and Twenty Five
Well my friendly neighborhood backloggers, I think I’m going to call it for today. What I love to see is devs making their games so accessible yet having enough depth to keep those of us who are looking for it, satisfied.
I don’t want to talk too much more about West of Loathing since my review should be coming soon, but I thought it would be fun to go over one of the things I’ve pondering these past few days. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and look forward to my full review coming hopefully sometime next week, if not sooner!!
Until tomorrow folks, have a great rest of your day!!!!
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PlayStation 4)
Punch Line (Steam) – The Wife
Borderlands 2 (Xbox One)
Total Backlogged Games: 729 …Sweet Crimbo, it moved!!!
Total Completed Games: 32 …We’re on our way to 40!
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