After getting a surprise release during the last Nindies showcase from Nintendo of America, Shadows Over Loathing from Asymetric is ready to rock. Check our Shadows over Loathing review!
After getting a surprise release during the last Nindies showcase from Nintendo of America, Shadows Over Loathing from Asymetric is ready to rock. I got to review West of Loathing on Nintendo Switch back in 2018 and had an excellent time with the game, so I was more than ready to check out what Shadows Over Loathing is bringing to the table. While, as the name suggests, West of Loathing had a charming turn-based RPG adventure with a Wild West twist, Shadows Over Loathing is charming turn-based RPG adventure with a noir feel to it since it’s set during the prohibition era.
The intro segment will give you a good idea of what to expect during your time with Shadows Over Loathing. You’re having some trouble as you walk down the street, so you step into a diner. The issue? You’re wearing a magazine over your face! This will prevent you from being able to talk to other characters, or interact with anything to move the story forward. As you move around the diner, you can even feel a little sign on the counter that you can’t see. The game notes it’s probably instructions for what to do in case of magazine related emergencies. And that’s the type of humor and the style of quirky situations you’ll find yourself on as you play through this one.
Once you do make your way into the bathroom and use the magic properties of water to remove the cursed magazine from your face, you’ll be able to take a closer look in the mirror to see yourself. It’s then that the game will allow you to customize your character’s look by allowing you to select what your face is like. Once you go over to the counter with your face, you’ll get to select a name, either from the available options, or from entering one. Select a last name from the optins or enter one, and you’ll be set!
You’ll quickly learn that meat is the currency that makes the world go round. Want a nice cup of coffee? Then you’ll need to pay one whole meat for it! Why are you in that diner in the first place? Because your uncle Murray has sent you a letter asking you to help him out with his antiques store at Ocean City. Unfortunately, upon arriving at Ocean City, you’ll find out that your uncle is nowhere to be found!
There are plenty of quests for you to complete along the way, with the first one popping up during the prologue. After getting on the bus to Ocean City, you wake up from the monotony of the ride once the bus has come to a complete stop. You expected to see Ocean City out your window, but it turns out you’re still on your way there and the bus is out outta gas! The driver filled up the gas tank, but it seems that this trip needs one full gas tank and one additional can. You must, therefore, take the empty gas can and find some gas to fill it up so that you can get to Ocean City.
As you progress through the game, you’ll gain access to new perks based on your actions and the interactions you have with other characters. Take, for example, that first chat with Ethel, the lady at the diner’s counter. If you choose a couple of specific dialogue options, you could walk away from the conversation with the Big Heart perk. What this does is boost your max HP by three points. That might not sound like much, but having three extra HP at the start of the game can certainly make a difference during combat.
There are three different classes for you to choose from in the game: Pig Skinner, Cheese Wizard, and Jazz Agent. A Pig Skinner favors physical attacks, using their muscle to solve most problems through a direct approach. A Cheese Wizard uses the intellect and mysticality to get the job done, using hard elemental cheese to damage its opponents and soft cheeses to heal wounds. A Jazz Agent uses moxie and rhythm to get through the world in style. When in battle, it will attack with subtlety as it weakens enemies to find the right window of opportunity to move in for the kill.
Just like West of Loathing, Shadows Over Loathing features turn-based combat. This means that once you enter a battle, you’ll have to make the most of the choices you can make. You could use a bat to take a swing at an enemy to give it a good thwack. If you find a haunted duck call, you can use it to decrease some of your enemy’s stats. Maybe throwing a rock at an opponent from a safe distance could also be a viable option?
As you defeat enemies and bosses, your character will gain experience points – you know, the good old-fashioned XP we all know and love. You can also gain XP by performing classic actions such as flushing the toilet or lying about working at a gas station so that you can enter it to look for gas so that you can bring it back to the bus so that it can finish its trip to Ocean City, only to find your employee file inside of said abandoned gas station a minute later, thus proving you were actually telling the truth. You know, the usual.
You can use XP to purchase additional skills for your character. Spend 15 XP on Strong Back to add one extra point of muscle so that you can lift heavier things, break fragile things, and deal more damage with melee weapons. Or maybe you’d like to unlock the Good Eyesight skill for a whole 30 XP! It’s a good one to have since it will boost item drops and meat drops by 20%. You could also spend 15 XP on the Fashion Sense skill that increases your moxie by one whole point.
Be sure to check your inventory every now and then so that you can see what your current stats are and what areas of your body don’t currently have an item equipped to them, or which ones could use a better, improved item. You can equip items to your head, arms, and chest. You can also get some pants and shoes. There are even slots for an accessory and for a ring! And you should also equip a familiar just in case.
Shadows Over Loathing features several options for you to interact with. Along with changing the master volume and the volume for music and effects, you can activate or deactivate combat sounds, activate or deactivate rumble, change the speed for dialogue and combat, change the difficulty – by choosing between Easy, Relaxed, Normal, Hard, and Eleven – activate Pacifist Mode to remove any dialogue options that would lead to a battle, activate HDR rendering, show the in-game time, mark the arachnophobia option so that you don’t encounter spiders, or activate the aracnophilia option, so that you un into soooo many spiders. Oh, and there’s also a haunted option. Don’t activate it!
Having had a lot of fun with West of Loathing, I was very much looking forward to checking out Shadows Over Loathing on Nintendo’s console. We get the same fun and quirky style of writing for a very entertaining experience, turn-based battles, and a stickman black and white presentation with a prohibition era twist to the formula. Shadows Over Loathing is out on Nintendo Switch at a $23.00 price.
This Shadows Over Loathing review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Asymetric.