The Ninjabot

PAX Report: Getting People Drunk in VA-11 HALL-A

Posted on September 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm by Victor Chaves

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VA-11 HALL-A (or simply Valhalla) is an incredibly quirky title that serves as a bartending simulator set in what the game’s website (oddly enough titled waifubartending.com) calls a “cyberpunk dystopia”. Think something like the film Blade Runner or the classic Kojima game Snatcher. As a bartender, you’re goal is to make rent by selling customers drinks that you think they would pay for.

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Note that I said “would pay for” as giving the drink they want won’t always yield the best outcome. The demo I experienced at PAX had a girl come up to the bar while livestreaming and asking for something sour for her to react to. Using the easy-to-understand interface and simple-yet-effective recipe lists, I concocted something sweet instead. To my surprise the girl, although miffed, appreciated that I gave the drink and attempted to convince my character to do something to appease the livestreamer’s fans. This open-ended gameplay that doesn’t hold you to specific drinks for the sake of exploration is invigorating in the usual “simulator” games that litter Steam. This title basically wanted me to make every drink for every character.

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The dialogue was entertaining, the setting is refreshing, and the anime art style is more than an attempt to mimic the eastern visuals but rather create a style that sets itself apart from others. The music gives an air of an 80’s Phantasy Star Online, which fits perfectly with the setting and criticizing patrons that bother you for a sip of spirits.

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My short time with the game left me chomping at the bit for the full-product, and knowing that it will be coming this Winter to Steam and later Vita as well as iOS, I look forward to pissing off as many people as I can with odd drink mixes in VA-11 HALL-A.

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