I don't get VA-11 Hall-A

I finished the game last week and something just feels off in the writing. The thing is that the story just... stops, there is no conclusion to most of the plot lines in the game and it just feels empty afterwards. We do have a conclusion to the heroines problem but in a game set on a job which romanticizes hearing the stories of others the heroine's problem aren't very high on the list.

Now, I don't need every subplot wrapped in a nice bow but a lot of characters and back story are hinted to have significance only to leave the player in the end blue balled. And either be used way too much without being much more than filler or as a one time wonder without elaborating. I'll also criticize that the writing is a lot of times isn't good or capitalize on the unique setting but rather engages in "modern day problems only with anime memes inserted".

To put a comparison, "Papers Please" is virtually better in every manner than VA-11 Hall-A. It presents a dystopic present better, it engages brief glimpses of other people's problems much better, it combines the backstory with the main story more seamlessly and it gets you to care about the main character well without needing several pages of text.

inu-kun:
I finished the game last week and something just feels off in the writing. The thing is that the story just... stops, there is no conclusion to most of the plot lines in the game and it just feels empty afterwards. We do have a conclusion to the heroines problem but in a game set on a job which romanticizes hearing the stories of others the heroine's problem aren't very high on the list.

Now, I don't need every subplot wrapped in a nice bow but a lot of characters and back story are hinted to have significance only to leave the player in the end blue balled. And either be used way too much without being much more than filler or as a one time wonder without elaborating.

It sounds like you failed to meet the conditions to get the various character endings. All of those side characters do in fact get resolution, if you actually manage to help them resolve their problems. It's even possible to get all of the character endings in one playthrough, though that's not the easiest task (I've done it, myself).
I do admit some of the puzzles are really annoying, like where one of the conditions to get a particular character's ending is to not give her what she asks for at one specific time. You can find a guide pretty easily online.
It might sound dumb to make it easy for the player to miss out on the resolution to most of the game's subplots, but it's a visual novel, that's not uncommon.

Inu, do you remember the point where Art Von Delay came into the bar, acted like the bartender was a NPC in Shadowrun, tried to get information out of her with a "bribe" only to find out that that wasn't how things worked? I think you're like him in that you're looking at this with the wrong mindset. VA-11 is not the story of a heroine who solves everyone's problems. It's the story of someone who works a 9-5 job and happens to see a lot of people going through personal stuff. And like a real person who sees that kind of stuff in their job, it doesn't all get wrapped up neatly for all to see. Even then, a lot of stuff does get settled. Sei gets a new job, Kira Miki is getting married, and in Dorothy's hidden ending, you figure out who Anna is

And as someone who loves Paper's Please, there's around six named characters and none of them are developed nearly as much as any of the characters in VA-11 with the possible exception of Jorgi. Yes, there are amazingly sense situations you find yourself in in Papers Please, but it isn't so much about characters as it is the game putting the player's moral code through the wringer to see if it can hold up. And it does an excellent job, but Paper's Please isn't a game I would say is about the characters. The main character, well, he's a blank slate. He's whoever you want him to be. He can be anything from a brainwashed citizen, to a aspiring revolutionary, to a corrupt bastard out to make as much cash as possible.

*suddenly gets Max Payne flashbacks*

Ahem. Yeah I actually have a Steam code for Papers, Please and I don't know what to do with it. I feel like after hearing a bunch of reviews about it and seeing people talk about it, I've already gotten the entire gist and point of the game and I don't need to play it now.

erttheking:
Inu, do you remember the point where Art Von Delay came into the bar, acted like the bartender was a NPC in Shadowrun, tried to get information out of her with a "bribe" only to find out that that wasn't how things worked? I think you're like him in that you're looking at this with the wrong mindset. VA-11 is not the story of a heroine who solves everyone's problems. It's the story of someone who works a 9-5 job and happens to see a lot of people going through personal stuff. And like a real person who sees that kind of stuff in their job, it doesn't all get wrapped up neatly for all to see. Even then, a lot of stuff does get settled. Sei gets a new job, Kira Miki is getting married, and in Dorothy's hidden ending, you figure out who Anna is

The thing is I don't expect everything to be wrapped up but when a game dangles in front of you interesting world building elements you kind of expect for them to be elaborated on. In the end I feel the setting of the game was superfluous and you could easiely have just put it in a modern day city. It might have been the point, though.

 

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