You know how there are games on your wishlist, or in your library, that you should have played years ago? Or TV series and movies people recommended to you, and you thought, “Yeah, that’d be right up my alley?” And then you just never end up going back to them?
Well, I’ve been having that with VA-11 Hall-A. The cyberpunk bartending visual novel is the kind of thing I knew I’d be keen on since, well, before starting at Kotaku Australia. But since one of our US colleagues picked up the game, I figured, ‘That’s OK, I’ll cover something else in the interim.”
And then time went by. The Red Strings Club came out a couple of years later, hitting some very similar beats. It wasn’t exactly a visual novel — more of a light point-and-click adventure with a few puzzles — but the vibe was the same.
And then Coffee Talk came out. That reminded me of VA-11 Hall-A again, and yet again, I left it by the wayside.
Eventually, after seeing that VA-11 Hall-A was getting a sequel — a sequel set in a bar run by the friend of VA-11 Hall-A‘s owner, funnily enough — I finally got VA-11 Hall-A on the Switch. (I then realised it’d been added to the PC via Game Pass, but no matter.)
Anyway, it’s totally my jam. Similar to SC2VN, I love that slightly more interactive styling for visual novels. And I know there are a ton others like it — the Zero Escape series has been recommended to me for ages, and I know I’d get into Danganronpa if I gave it the time. But for now, it’s been a good time to work through VA-11 Hall-A with N1RV Ann-A coming out. (No idea on when it’ll come out, but I imagine we’ll see a release date for this year or next eventually.)
So finishing up some virtual cyberpunk cocktails? That’s my weekend, among some other personal stuff. But what about yourselves — what are you playing?