What Are You Playing This Weekend?

What Are You Playing This Weekend?
Image: VA-11 Hall-A

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?


  • My partner and I have been running through some of the harder challenges in Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition, so probably that, if not the obscene amounts of Puzzle Fighter I’ve been playing lately.

    • The PS1 version of Puzzle Fighter is the only way to go, since it still has the story mode intact that was lost in the re-releases.

      For me? Poking at Nioh since my brother bought me 2 for my birthday, try and get some of my Legendary playthrough of Yak 0 done, and maybe some story missions in PSO2 / FFXIV.

      … that and killing time in HunieCam Studio. Just trying to get all my achieves before moving on to Huniepop 2. Hopefully its as mindblowingly fun as the first.

  • It’s all going to be social stuff for me. Valentine’s Day, my fiancée’s birthday, housewarming for my brother, and playing taxi service for my partner when she works. It’s going to be a busy weekend with lots of driving to locations that are each more than an hour’s drive away.

    If I get the chance, I’ll be doing some WoW maintenance (the weekly event this week is the Pokemon-like pet-battling, which I love), and logging on to the time-gated literary browser game ‘Fallen London’ in celebration of their new Romance Dating Sim/Visual Novel Kickstarter. ( ‘Mask of the Rose’.)

  • VA-11 Hall-A is great, though I think it’s actually quite different in tone to The Red Strings Club – TRSC felt more earnest and perhaps a little serious while VA-11 Hall-A felt more irreverent. Still sincere in parts, but also slathered with a layer of internet humour over it all.

    Absolutely love both though.

    As for what I’ll be playing with the Steam sales running I’ve just bought Disco Elysium and DUSK, so maybe one of those, but I’ve also got Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Life is Strange: Before the Storm to eventually get to, it’s hard to say which I’m going to pick.

    I’ve still got to finish up Kentucky Route Zero at some point too, though I’m not loving it as much as I’d hoped. Great visuals though.

    • Disco Elysium is hella good. (if you life rpg + point-n-click adventures)
      They’re coming out with a ‘Final Cut’ update in March which has full voice acting, more quests and areas. So maybe reason to hold out on starting that for a month.

    • Hellblade is on my perpetual backlog list now that I finally got around to picking it up on a GOG sale. Before the Storm is great. I will never complain about more quality time with Chloe!

  • I’m so proud of myself, I had recently finished Mirrors Edge: Catalyst after I abandoned it years ago. Turns out I was only 1 hour away from finishing the story.
    I tend to do that, stop playing a game when I’m 90% away from completing it. Next is Dragon’s Age Inquisition.
    Here’s to whittling down that pile of shame.

  • New season of Destiny this week, so I’ll probably be spending some time with that.

    But having beaten Nioh 2’s NG++ last weekend (with a build that wasn’t meant to be viable much beyond NG+, and using a weapon I wasn’t properly specced for and ignoring half my set bonuses), and spending the rest of my time putting together a new build for tackling NG+++… I really want to try to reach the final difficulty level.

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