Category Archives: Gather ‘Round and Give a Shot

Review: VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action


The message above the splash screen gives a fair idea of what we’re in for.

Visual Novel On The Rocks, With A Twist

TL;DR: It’s good. Buy it if you’re cool with lots of reading. Snag it if you want at its Steam page.

Visual novels, for me, largely fly beneath the radar. So often, the stories weigh heavy with anime cliches, painful author-insertion fantasies and thoughtless fourth-wall breaks. While VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (hereafter referred to as Valhalla) isn’t without its share of these tropes, there’s a depth of soul and character present here that defies the standard boundaries of the style.

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Give a Shot: Hatoful Boyfriend

Hatoful Boyfriend 11

Take a moment to ask yourself if you ever would consider kissing a pigeon.

Keep in mind, in the aforementioned exercise you are yourself; you are not a feathered self-analogue. Would you, as a human being, enter into a romantic engagement with an avian paramour?

If your answer is yes, I advise you to get tested for mites with regularity.

If you answer is no, good on you. Now let’s talk about a strange little dating sim/visual novel in which you do exactly that.

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Give a Shot: The Charnel House Trilogy

I feel the need to narrate my life as usual, but it seems the protagonist is doing that for me today. Therefore, please enjoy this hypothetical invisible puppy.

Innit she cute?

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Video: Manos, The Hands of Fate

So Manos: The Hands of Fate, Director’s Cut doesn’t suck, exactly. It simply suffers from Battletoads’ “Turbo Tunnel Syndrome” after a while. Check out the video!

Give a Shot: Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds

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Who are these people, rushing me in waves from all sides? How have I earned their ire, the copper-tasting smack of pipe across my face? Even as I mow them bloodlessly down, I struggle to understand their fury. It’s good, in the face of their violence, I’ve brought my cute jacket and scarf combo along for the ride. And a blazing magical blade, of course.

So, here’s what’s going to happen. WordPress managed to eat my post about the 2D beat ’em up Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds. I spent a few hours writing up the review, and am completely not in the mood to rewrite the entire thing piece by piece.

So let’s try something different. More brief.

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Gather ‘Round and Give a Shot: Grimstorm

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Kind of awesome, if you don’t mind raging and failure

Through a moonlit forest I run with armored feet and tired eyes, swearing I’d been here before. A hooded figure crouches just beyond a campfire, muttering to itself in the firelight.

The castle looms before me, glowering over the landscape like a vulture perched on a cliff. Somewhere within those labyrinthine walls the enemy of all awaits. My blade sings from pommel to tip, a vibrant alto crying hail, hail to the king.

Into the castle I plunge as the first of the king’s guard rises to greet me. My shield stands ready to ward off his attack, my gleaming armor stalwart against —

oops. I died again.

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