Shaun Joy   Zephyrhills, Florida, United States
Software Engineer who talks on the internet way too much.

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Video Showcase
Top 15 Overlooked Games of 2019
Review Showcase
Target Audience: Story Lovers

In an industry where you see heartless sequels and cash grab titles, it is a breathe of fresh air to see a title such as VA-11 Hall-A not only succeed at being a fun and interesting experience, but be a dark horse candidate for video game writing of the year. A seamstress would be jealous at the way that VA-11 Hall-A is able to weave a story that connects from the start to its finish, while still hooking the player into wanting more. This is going to sound like high praise (and it is), but this is an Edgar Wright movie if it was in a video game form. Everything feels well thought out in terms of its implementation, as even the small side elements of the story and presentation help to complement the overall product. It's gameplay mechanics, while minimal, do help in create a branching plot, and making you feel like you're affecting the story. Patrons will get mad at you for getting them drunk the night before against their supposed wishes, or will love you for helping to cheer them up, because you gave them a drink they didn't ask for, but truly wanted. Look, it's not going to blow you away with gameplay: it's there to complement the story, but it's done with reason: to make the overall experience better. And of the games that I played this year, there's only one or two that I will probably remember 10-20 years down the road: And VA-11 Hall-A is most definitely one of them (along with Danganronpa 2). It's a game that shows the best of what games as a storytelling medium have to offer: and for the 15 dollar price tag, you can't ask for more bang for buck. It's a must buy if you like ANYTHING to do with storytelling.

Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltG79r9k8e8

  • Done from the heart. Personal elements of the story feel very, very real, to the point where you may be holding back some tears. It pulls on heartstrings without exploiting you.
  • Fun and interesting characters. Even the smaller non waifu characters have something interesting about them, making you want to learn more about them.
  • Its comedic timing. Jokes are woven into the story naturally, not just there, looking out of place while trying to get a cheap laugh.
  • But on the flip side, it's serious portions of the plot are done rather well. And it never feels awkward (unless it WANTS to be) in the contrast between the serious and humorous parts of the story.
  • Writing that weaves a tale that's not only interesting, but is able to discuss topics with a surgeon like precision. Presents both sides of things constantly, and is there to ask questions, not tell you. It's a game that wants you to think about things after you stop playing it. And it does that wel.
  • Understands its subject material to a T. Things like the 4chan post threads feel real, and yet appropriate to the plot. Nothing ever really feels out of place.
  • The small moments where the game does something that you wanted to see from it. During playing, I thought “man, I really would like to see who I'm playing as as the bartender”. And lo and behold, the game seemingly read my mind, and showed me the bartender.
  • Its pacing. It kept a steady pace that drove home to its finale, keeping me interested from the start to the end. It's one of those games where I could see someone easily beating it in one sitting (about 7 hours in the main story), because they got hooked, and didn't want to let go.
  • Multiple endings will make you want to go play the game repeatedly, and you'll then notice how the overall story weaves together, like an Edgar Wright film. Little details pop up that make you go “OH!” as you find another connection you missed before.
  • Rewards those who pay attention to all the small details.
  • The soundtrack is a delight up and down its playlist. I love the jukebox idea, as it fits well into the game, and the cybernetic/futuristic themes that the music is going for is a delight to listen to.
  • The aesthetic replicates the old japanese PC-98 days rather nicely. It feels like an old adventure game, and yet is still pleasing to look at.

  • If you're looking for strickly gameplay: you're looking in the wrong place. Don't get me wrong: the gameplay here is natural for the experience they are going for: but the game is much closer to a visual novel then some of its store tags.
  • It can feel a tiny bit trial + errorish at times when trying to find the alternate path for things. Part of the problem here is the load/save system: once you are mixing a drink, you can reload or have to wait. It's sorta silly why it stops you on that.
  • To really get the most out of the game, you have to play it multiple times. You won't be able to really do what you need to do in the first run.
  • I do wish the game gave you a notepad or something in game. Patrons will reference parts of the game that you'll struggle to remember (especially if you don't play the game in one sitting).
  • At times, you can feel like the game hasn't given you a hint of what it really wants you to do, especially on the smaller mini games that pop up.

If you want more reviews/information regarding games I've reviewed, visit my curator. Dragnix Curator
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Nix's Knacks - Public Group
Looking at games fairly, yet with a hint of caution.
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Recent Activity
2.1 hrs on record
last played on Apr 16
67 hrs on record
last played on Apr 16
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