Monday, March 8, 2021

Heyo, it's time again for my annual check-in here at Coffeecola! And to be entirely on brand, it's a few months late!

= D

If you're reading this, then I would guess that it's pretty likely you're following me on other, more frequently-updated platforms?

If not, here's a quick rundown... Still the editor there and still loving it.  It'd be great to find an assistant editor -- anybody out there?? -- but no complaints, really. We've got a load of great new writers, the old guard are still around and the games are flowing. 

So Videogames. The pod has been around for more than three years and 200 episodes at this point, and I'm pretty proud of that. Still recording with Carlos Rodela.

Twitter Yup.

Instagram Yup.

I'm still playing games, but despite being at home 99% of the time due to COVID, there's always WAY more to play than there is time to play. If something doesn't grab me in the first 20 minutes these days, I bounce out, and even with that crazy cutoff there are still a thousand things that slip past me. 

Otherwise, I'm incredibly glad that we dodged a bullet by the slimmest of margins when Biden was elected, but there are still a ton of serious challenges facing the country and I'm not sure that we're doing enough, quickly enough. And of course, we need to prepare ourselves for constant conservative interference every damn day for the next four years and there is no doubt going to be a hellish Republican comeback in 2024.

Oh hey, ecological collapse, anyone? 

And like... COVID. 

It's incredible how much life has changed in such a short period of time.  It's not even been a full year  since the virus made itself known but everything's transitioned to remote, I only get my groceries curbside, and I haven't been to a restaurant since February, 2020. 

Gotta be honest, it looks like things won't be acceptably safe until 2022, and the idea of staying at home for another year is like... yeah. Roughest on my son tho, t be totally honest. it's funny that people were flipping out at the idea of being indoors for three months when the virus popped up, and because we politicized it and half the country still isn't taking it seriously, we're still dealing with it. 

....And I think that's about it? If you're reading this, you are one of the true believers and most likely a longtime reader/listener... So thanks for being cool like that. 

See ya next year-ish, but in the meantime, don't be a stranger! hit me up on social media, come to GC and catch me on the podcast. 


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Checking in...  

Hilariously, I am late for even my once-yearly check-in here at Coffeecola.

It's been more than a minute since I posted something new here and now that I'm back, I gotta say... I still love my logo. Huge shout-out to Chris Coughlan, who designed it. I really want to try and use it in some way apart from this rarely-updated blog, although I don't see much opportunity a the moment since I'm already juggling two other brands... Still, what a logo. And what a tangent.

Anyway... Let's get the housekeeping done.

Am I still at Yup, for sure. Still the editor there and still loving it. I could really use an assistant editor to share some of the load, but finding people with the chops and the temperament and the willingness to work for basically free (apart from all the games we get) is like, mission impossible. No idea what the site's gonna do when it's time for me to retire...

Am I still podcasting? Yup. Although I am still heartbroken that Corey Motley left the So Videogames podcast due to personal issues, Carlos Rodela stepped in to occupy the second seat and things are still chugging along. The show has been around for more than three years and 150 episodes at this point, and I'm pretty proud of that.

Am I still playing games? For sure, although not nearly as much as I'd like. Free time comes at a premium these days and there's always waaaaaay more things to play than there is time to play them. I've gotta be super selective when it comes to picking what I spend time on.

Am I still on social media? Yep. You can catch me on Twitter and Instagram, although Twitter is still my main jam and the place where I spend most of my look-at-my-phone-while-standing-in-line time. I post way more food pics on Insta tho, so if that's your jam...

Apart from all that, things are busy. My youngest is 10 this year, and I transitioned into being a stay-at-home/homeschooling dad so that takes up a lot of my time. I love it though -- I've always wanted to do it, and I missed out on a lot of his first 9.5 years since I was always gone and working so much. This is a great opportunity to catch back up with him and really get some quality time in.

The wife is now the main breadwinner and she's kicking ass at a job that seemed like an intimidating trash-fire challenge before she started, but she stepped up and took charge, cleaned it up, and now it's humming like a finely-oiled machine. So much respect for her, and so proud -- she's been wildly successful and she's going places. Now, if her gig would just pay her more...

Other than all this, I've got some non-game side projects going with some super-talented folks that will take me to parts of the country I've never been, so that should be A Thing. Nothing to share on that now, but I'll prolly be tweeting about it when the time comes, so keep an eye on the timeline if you're curious.   

Oh, also, I have a basement now. Super excited about that! It leaks when it rains and I gotta watch some YouTube videos in a hurry to teach myself how to fix it, but still, it's always been kind of a dream to have a basement space and it's just Really Cool to finally be able to check that box.

I think that's about it? If you're reading this, you are one of the true believers and most likely a longtime reader/listener... So thanks for being cool like that.

See ya next year. Ish.   ^_^

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Full Circle  

So it's been nearly a year since I posted here... If you've been waiting for an update, sorry to keep you hanging!

Seriously though, I hope you're following me over on Twitter, at, or listening to me on the So... Videogames! Podcast. This blog may have gathered quite a bit of dust, but I'm still churning out content on a daily basis.

So why am I posting here?

Last night I had a TON of stuff to do... Just an endless number of tasks left on my plate, and I was fading fast as the evening rolled on. I usually make a late-night cup of coffee to give me a little boost, but I wasn't feeling it. My other go-to is a Red Bull, but we had none in the house.

From out of the depths of my memory banks, I recalled a recipe for an old-time pick-me-up that I hadn't had in years... Can you guess what it was? And no peeking at the top of the page, that's cheating!

Yes indeed, I mixed up an honest-to-god cup of coffeecola that night, and it was both delicious and the equivalent of military-grade rocket fuel.

So what was the recipe? I'm glad you asked. Back in the day I used to use brewed coffee mixed with coke, but I gotta be honest, it tasted like shit. The difference this time was that I still used regular coke, but instead of brewed, I added in a spoonful of Trader Joe's instant coffee, and it was great.

When you mix the two together, it foams LIKE CRAZY so you gotta be careful not to make a mess. It's a pretty thick foam and pretty bitter -- the dark coloration you see above is little streaks of concentrated coffee that rose to the top instead of mixing in. 

Once you slurp that down, the actual coke/coffee mixture is pretty tasty. Go easy on the coffee so you don't overpower the coke, but when you get the balance right, it goes down smooth. So smooth, in fact, that I made myself a second one right after, and let me tell you, I got things DONE that night!

Give it a try if you're feeling bold!

(And hey, if you're reading this? You're one of the select few who've been following me since the early days. Thanks for being here!) 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

...It's been almost a year since my last post. I kinda missed the old blog, so I popped back in to check things out, and it was good to see this familiar face again.

Life is super busy these days, and I started this blog when I had a lot more time on my hands...

Since then, my kids have gotten older, I've been working more hours at my day job, GameCritics has hugely expanded and we're putting out more content than ever before, the So Videogames podcast I do with @CoreyMotley has been keeping me busy...

...and hell, I even try to play a game here and there.

But as I look back, I realize that I've kinda missed the off-the-cuff stuff I used to post here. I originally thought I'd do something similar and just post it at GC, but that didn't really pan out. Too busy editing other people's work and doing a review of my own, once in a while.

My free time situation has only gotten worse, but who knows... Maybe I'll pop back in and do a little rambling once in a while.

If you saw this, you're awesome.  ^_^

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening – Special Edition

Main Review by Brad Gallaway on April 4, 2006
Score: 8.5

It’s interesting that Scott mentioned my quote about preferring games that revolve “around what you do, not how you do it” in regard to DMC3 because I think this is one of the rare times when my usual stance doesn’t apply. Frequent readers of the site will know that I have no love of this series, and I’d say that the original Devil May Cry is one of the most overrated games in recent memory, its numerous flaws and rough edges granted a complete “pass” by fans the world over. However, after playing through Dante’s Awakening, I think I can finally see what people like about this series… though I would argue that it wasn’t really there until now.

Before going further, my second opinion is based on the Special Edition of DMC3, released domestically under the PlayStation Greatest Hits banner. There are a number of differences between this version and the version that Scott reviewed such as a new boss encounter, the ability to play as Dante’s twin brother Vergil, and a bonus mode with a 100-floor dungeon. However, all of those things pale compared to the most significant addition: adjustments to the difficulty level.

I tried playing the first release of DMC3 and was completely put off by the absurd challenge present.  I know that Scott said it wasn’t very much different from any other action game, but I would have to strongly disagree. I don’t mind some difficulty, but I’m also not in the market for a stress anxiety disorder.  I thought that Capcom was crazy for some of the choices they made, but everything I didn’t like the first time around has been completely rectified.

With the simple inclusion of mid-mission checkpoints that should have been there in the first place, almost all of my frustration was completely eliminated.  Besides that, the Easy difficulty is now even easier than it was before (for those who want it) and the new Gold Orb restart system lets players continue the battle exactly where they died. Since all of these changes are optional, the same level of challenge is there for players who crave it, but it’s only a good thing to have more options. I can’t stress enough what a significant improvement in design and accessibility these new changes are, so huge kudos to Capcom for that.

Now that my thumbs and blood pressure can finally take a break, it was a lot easier to appreciate the things that Dante’s Awakening brings to the table. The variety in weapons is excellent, and Dante has butter-smooth animation to bring his ferocious attacks to life. Like I said earlier, this game is one rare example where “how I do it” actually takes precedence over what I’m doing. Switching on-the-fly from whirling nunchuks to sparking pistols to flaming uppercuts and finishing a group of reapers with a french kiss from a rocket launcher is entertaining enough on its own to make up for the simplistic goals of each level, although I must say I am a bit surprised to admit it.

 Impossibly, the cutscenes are even more over-the-top than the action, and while I don’t usually appreciate this sort of Goes-To-Eleven approach to videogame virility, I have to disagree with Scott and say that it works here. Similarly, I thought that the game’s attitude towards characterization and storytelling were equally effective-- neither will win any awards or stand out as an example of excellence in writing, but there is a strange release in experiencing something rabidly, offensively gonzo and being okay with it.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening still has some issues.  Regardless of the difficulty, I don’t think I will ever be a fan of going back and repeating stages for the sake of collecting upgrade points, and the developers should invest in a copy of God of War to learn a few things about good camera placement.  However, I can’t deny that DMC3 is a runaway freight train crashing through the walls of moderation with a load of nitroglycerin and testosterone in tow. And besides, I thought that purple bat-shooting hooker-guitar was pretty cool.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

You Can't Vote With Your Heart -- You Need To Use Your Brain  

Welcome back to Coffeecola! It's been a while.

Fair warning, tonight's topic is not about videogames. Sorry, but it's gotta be done. 

So, my wife and I have been talking about the upcoming election a lot -- pretty much every night -- and I think we're both still in shock that America has somehow come to the precipice of putting a racist, fascist, sexist demagogue who doesn't even try to masquerade as a reasonable person in charge of the country. As ordinary people we feel like we don't have a lot of power to directly affect events that are larger than us, but we can do something

I had been considering writing a piece or starting a twitter campaign to unite good-thinking people against Trump, but the wife beat me to it, and she speaks for both of us below. She doesn't have a blog or any visible place of her own to post her message, so I'm blowing the dust off of Coffeecola tonight to give her a platform, however meager it is. 

These are her words, and I support them entirely.


I didn't know if I would say anything. Wasn't sure if I was someone who should say anything… But I decided I should, and I am.

So, this election… I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing about it, talking about it, fighting about it. I know I am, but I make sure to keep reading. I keep informed, even when I don't want to hear one more rotten thing about any of it.

I don't like to discuss politics -- it tends to get people upset and confrontation is not a comfortable thing for me. I know what I'm going to say here will probably cause some to get riled up. It isn't my intention (I swear, I don't like to fight or argue!) but I feel like I need to say this because we're on the precipice of something terrible in this country, and I don't want to look back and regret that I didn't add my voice. I don’t want to look back and know that I kept quiet.

I was not thrilled with any of the choices we’ve had for the presidency, before the nominations or after. The one thing I know with 100% certainty is that I won't vote for Trump -- no way in hell.

I felt that Bernie had a better chance to take on Trump than Hillary, but now that decision is out of my hands. He isn't a nominee, period. I know there are many out there that feel completely shattered by that, and I get it, I really do. I saw how he rallied people, how strongly people felt for him but he's no longer a choice.

Now what?

It’s this "now what?" that’s been bothering me so much. There are so many articles and experts out there that talk about all the reasons why a third party can't win this presidential election. They explain in detail how to make a third party a viable choice -- we must start locally and work up from there. The fact is that we, as a country, have not been doing that. So basically, what we are left with is the two party system. Democratic or Republican, Clinton or Trump.

Even knowing that their third party choice can't win, I still hear and read people say…

"I can't in good conscience vote for Hillary."

"I have to follow my heart and that isn't Hillary."

"I have to vote this way and make a statement."

I hear you. I can totally see why you feel that way. I mean, I really like the idea of voting for someone other than Clinton, but what I want most is for Trump to not win. The fact that people aren't terrified of Trump becoming president and doing everything in their power to stop that from happening makes me incredibly sad.

Privilege is a word used a lot lately and I know it makes some people bristle to even hear it, but it is so much a part of this election.

I have privilege, a lot of it. It doesn't mean I'm rich or that everything is easy, but it means I am not directly affected by a lot of the terrible shit out there. I'm white, I'm straight, I'm cis, I grew up in the suburbs, I speak English, my husband is white, my child is white, I am not physically or mentally disabled, the list goes on.

It is because of this inherent privilege that I have a moral responsibility to do everything I can to make sure Trump does not become president. If he does, it is guaranteed to go poorly for people who are not me. He will do things that I will 100% disagree with, but it will be nothing compared to what will happen to people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community or any people who veer away from what Trump deems acceptable.

I can not and will not allow myself the luxury or the privilege of voting for someone other than the only choice that has a chance to beat Trump. I owe it to every single person out there that doesn't have the privilege I do. This is my way to fight for them, and to do what I know is right by making sure Trump isn't allowed to win, even if it means that the lesser of two evils wins the White House.

I get wanting to do what you feel is right in your heart. I get why Clinton is seen as a poor choice. But if we’re being honest --truly honest -- then we know that she is a better choice for the country as a whole than Trump is, and we know that no one else has a chance to beat him.

Please, please, please see beyond yourself and realize how truly serious and dangerous this election has the potential to be. We are in a situation where we must sacrifice for the greater good – we must not vote for who we feel we want to vote for, but we must vote for someone who can beat Trump.

So now I’ve said my piece, but there’s more to be said.

I've been following Shaun King on Twitter and Facebook -- he's a justice writer for the NY Daily news. He wrote a great article about being an absolute supporter of Sanders, and why he feels he must now vote for Clinton and not a third party. Give it a read, it's worth it, I promise.

There’s also this one from The Stranger, written by Megan Burbank. It offers some great points.

Please do the right thing. 


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Blowing The Dust Off  


Wow, so it's been a while since I updated, and yes, this is going to be one of those posts.

If you're reading this then I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't been writing anything here at Coffeecola lately -- not trying to make excuses, but the simple fact is that life has just gotten too busy. Between the day job, running Gamecritics at night, spending time with the family and trying to, y'know, actually play some games once in a while, I had to cut back on some things and the blog was one of them. 

On the plus side, I'm still writing, reviewing, and generally being out there... That energy just hasn't been focused here, though. I don't plan to stop blogging, but it's not the priority that it once was. I'll still post things that aren't a good fit elsewhere, but I think my days of multiple updates a week are probably over, at least for now. 

If you still want to keep up with me and what I'm doing, here are four good ways.

1> I'm still the editor at, and all of my written reviews run there. 

2> I'm active on Twitter, and you can follow me at @BradGallaway. I'm more frequently available at night than I am during the day, but if you tweet at me, I'll usually respond. 

3> Although our recording schedule is semi-random these days, we're still putting out new episodes of the Gamecritics Podcast

4> If you want more of me in your ear, I'm also a very frequent guest on the VideogameBreak Podcast, and while it has a very different flavor than GC's own homebrew, I think it's a lot of fun. 

So, this might be the last post here for a while, but I'm not taking this blog down and I'm sure there will be new bits popping up here and there. In the meantime, thanks for all your support and I hope to keep interacting with everyone who's been reading in the ways listed above.