REVIEW: Gal*Gun 2 – PS4

Jul
22

REVIEW: Gal*Gun 2 – PS4

Bang Bang. Gal*Gun 2 sets out to make cupid’s bow look like a ten cent water pistol.

Released: PS4, Switch, Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Rail Shooter, Anime,
Action, First Person
Developer: INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
Publisher: PQube Limited
Release Date: Jul 20, 2018

Excuse me while I reload my pheromones

Okay, let’s be frank here. Gal*Gun 2 is a rails shooter game about pew-pewing love-struck high school girls with a “love gun” until they squeal in ecstasy from all the loving. There is more to it than that, but realistically that’s the central theme throughout the game in case you were either unaware or curious about what this game is about. With that out of the way, I’ll go on to describe how Gal*Gun 2 does it’s best to prevent that from becoming monotonous because there are some variations involved in the gameplay that try to break things up a bit and, to my surprise, it’s done rather well. This review is based off the PS4 release, but the game is also available on Steam and Nintendo Switch ( for those daring souls willing to play this game on the go in public)

You play as an unsuspecting teenager who is suddenly recruited to be a demon hunter by an angel named Risu, representing the Angel Ring Company straight out of heaven, who apparently hasn’t been terribly good at hunting demons and needs your help. A rather cute looking demon named Kurona is attacking the schoolgirls and Risu needs your help to stop her. Well, it’s more along the lines of you doing all the work and Risu being a cheerleader, but you get the idea. She gives you a vacuum cleaner gun called a Demon Sweeper (yep, a vacuum cleaner gun ) and a Pheromone Shot weapon with special goggles that allows you to see mini demons attaching themselves to young girls which makes them…aggressively passionate? I couldn’t really understand if the possessed girls were just meaner or …ahem roughly affectionate. In any case, they can kill you if you don’t handle them first.

Gameplay

Being a rail shooter, you primarily shoot with your love gun. There are two ways that I know of, one is to shoot them roughly 3-4 times and they go “Ohhh!” and collapse in ecstasy. The other method is to somehow guess where their sensitive spot is and shoot, often not where you’d think it is, and then they stop in their tracks with a love arrow to the heart, fading away in effervescent love fizzyness.  You also get combo points for that. They come at you from all angles, far away, behind obstructions, below, above, and even running towards you like a crazed J-pop fan.

There is more to it than that, though. You can also use the Demon Sweeper to actually suck the clothes off of them, leaving them in their underwear and literally embarrassed to pieces. So, the trick is to try and suck off their clothes when you can and shoot them when your cannot because your vacuum gun has a cool down time that may or may not be able to handle all those schoolgirl uniforms. If you are wondering if you can suck more than their clothes off and leave them in the nude – nope. It’s not gonna happen. You also get points for killing, or vacuuming, the mini demons in each level. This helps with the points needed to get to the ending. Very love-struck girls will also shoot words to you in Japanese that you have to shoot or risk being injured. You can suck these up with the Demon Sweeper if needed, but it’s more fun to shoot the oncoming attacks in true shooting gallery form.

Now on top of all this fervent shooting and vacuuming like some sort of rogue Ghostbuster love-child, there are wee little demons, looking like plushie chibi demons of Kurona, that attack you with Skull shots and attach themselves to girls to make them meanies who try to hurt you. With your goggles, you can shoot them off and eventually kill them with multiple shoots, or simply use the Demon Sweeper to suck them up. You can also suck up their Skull shots, but it disables the Demon Sweeper for a time when you do that because it sorta clogs it up with teenage angst.

That’s the essence of the game right there as your character moves from point to point like some sort of peeping tom who fancies a look into bathrooms or under tables to sneak a look at girls at unsuspecting angles. It’s pervy, no way around that. When you move, you can go left to right using the left joystick, quick turns with the D-pad, and up or down with the right joystick. This being my very first Gal Gun game, it look a little practice with the right joystick as I’d get stuck if I wasn’t totally straight when lowering myself down. Other than that, as a rails shooter it’s just a matter of keeping up with all the girls coming at you like you are the manliest person on earth who must be loved at all costs. You can die, but if you kiss a girl after being loved to death you have the option of restarting from a checkpoint or the entire mission.

All of this is to get a demon point quota within 19 days, a pre-determined number assigned by heaven, so that Risu can go back up to her place among the clouds and you get to your game ending. I wasn’t exactly sure what the grand point total needed was, all I know that is that at roughly 850,000-1 million points I unlocked one of the endings with 10 days to spare. At that point, I just played with the side quests.

Mission Options

Gal*Guns 2 has an open choice mission set with a main storyline, some optional side quest missions, and some “Free” missions that I believe are entirely optional to unlock a few things within the game. To keep things fresh (pun intended), there are a few other mission types. One is a defensive mission that is significantly harder than shooting girls with love bullets. In these defense missions, you must shoot what seems like hundreds of mini-demons who slowly try to attack a girl and make her evil. It’s harder because there are more of them, they come by the dozens, and shooting these teeny-tiny targets on a controller can be a bit of a challenge because I kept thinking this would be a hell of a lot easier with a mouse. Once you get the hang of their patterns, it’s not too bad, even if there is no auto-fire. My hand was a wee bit sore after a few of those. FROM REPEATEDLY PRESSING BUTTONS ON A CONTROLLER. Geez.

Another type of mission is a hidden object mission. I generally disliked these as it involved searching both high and low, and even destroying objects or vacuuming them to locate a little card or figurine within a time limit. There will also be attacks during this and the location of the items varies each time you play the mission, so it’s not something where you can just memorize the location of the items and speed though. I personally dislike hidden object games, so I mostly wanted these sections to be over with and progress though the game. I think I died more times doing these than any of the other missions combined.

Oh, but there’s more! There are Rendevous “Fantastize” Doki Doki missions you can play by simply calling a girl on your phone, asking her to meet up with you, and and caressing the demons out of her. A few of these missions also show up as a required mission in the Main Story or Side Quests. If you manage to get a substantial amount of demons out of her within a short time-frame, her clothes fly off and she’s left posing in her underwear, thanking you for making her feel so much better.

Side Quests

The side quest missions are perhaps the better of the missions, with my eye on the Chiru missions specifically. Chiru is the “girl-next-door” who doesn’t fall for your shtick playing love warrior ( cue the I Am the Warrior music ) and plays hard to get. These are substantially entertaining and well worth the time involved playing them. The odd thing was that I had no idea how to get to them until, quite by accident, I gave her a ton of snacks while just chatting away with her. So, for those wanting to unlock that mission set, give her a bajillion snacks and she’ll stick around to the end with, from what I know, two unlockable endings.

Another side mission is Nanako, your childhood friend at school. She also has some opening up, but it’s more along the lines of surprise than falling deeply in love, at least that was my impression. I got bored with this side mission up to about the end and just skipped it in favor of Chiru. I won’t write any spoilers, but her story is quite different with at least one mildly eye raising scene.

There are also two demon hunters, Maya and Shinobu, that have some side missions as well. I *thought* I finished them all, but I must have failed to win the Doki Doki challenge on Maya or something because that story arc stopped after awhile. I could have replayed it, but I didn’t feel like it. I believe Shinobu is from Gal Gun Double Peace, but since I didn’t play that game I’m going off internet whisperings for that info.

How it Plays

With all that variety in a rails shooter, you get a fairly entertaining experience with plenty of story and a mild amount of challenge until the very end where it ramps up a bit ( died a few times on Chiru’s boss ). Expect about 7-8 hours to finish with a few endings, and roughly 20 or so hours if you want to complete everything in the game with, from what I understand, at least seven endings. Therein lies the problem with Gal*Gun 2, I honestly did not want to keep playing more than twice. There is only so much I can take with all that cute lovey-dovey shooting and as I said before, I didn’t care for the hidden object games at all. Doki Doki Mode, where you can caress the demons and clothes right off someone, is okay, but after a few of those you sort of want to move on. The game does well with it’s structure and keeps things moving, but after eight hours I’d had enough and I don’t see it having a high replayability factor unless you are an achievement hunter who wants all those endings.

The mechanics work well, with some minor difficulty in squatting, and the graphics hold a solid framerate on the PS4 Pro. Aiming with a controller isn’t ideal, but it works fine and I barely used the zoom scope at all because it frankly slowed me down. I just aimed well enough and made it through without much trouble, even for someone who mostly sucks at shooters. It’s casual, don’t sweat it if you don’t play shooters often. There was one odd thing that I am certain is a sort of easter-egg, but I was unable to figure out how it worked. Click on your touchpad on your PS4 controller during a mission and to get a quick surprise. If anyone else figures out how to play in that area let me know.

Graphically, the game says Unreal Engine, though it does not say Unreal 4, so it’s possible the game is done in an older version, I’ve no idea. With the anime styled graphics and visual novel sort of 2D-3D presentation, I don’t think it makes much difference. It’s vibrantly colored and doesn’t look dated due to the graphic style, so it’s fine in my eyes.

Sonically, the music is cheery and lollipoppy if that makes sense. Whether you like the audio or not is up to you, but I found myself lowering the volume on the music down to the lowest level myself. The sound effects are the primary means by which I was able to follow the action, using the mostly sensual sounding moans to indicate I had “hit the spot” and could move on to the next target before I was killed by sweet nothings floating through the air. My hats off to the sound design team, your work totally makes the game more enjoyable and easier to play.

Verdict

Gal*Gun 2 does a lot of things well with an emphasis on variety and keeping the gameplay interesting for what amounts to a simple rail shooter. While somewhat tamer that previous iterations from what I have read ( this being my first Gal Gun game ), my guess is it was likely tamed down to avoid censorship issues in different countries, though I still doubt many teenagers would be willing to play this in front of their mom. There is no actual nudity that I am aware of after a few regular playthroughs, so keep that in mind. Beyond being a rail shooter, Gal* Gun 2 is a Bishōjo game and stays true to that throughout the gameplay. If you are trying not to raise any eyebrows or possibly offend someone playing this, you are likely going to have a bit of explaining to do in order to play this game in, for example, the living room in front of your mom and 9-year old sister. I can totally see folks perhaps squirreling this game away on their Switch in their bedroom when no one is looking.

To me, this game does feel a lot like House of the Dead, but in an odd way more interesting with the larger amount of variety and interactive mission storylines. In a very strange way it even reminds me of some parts of a Call of Duty single player campaign with targets coming at you from all sides and being pretty much hunkered down in one area. It’s casual without being oversimplified to the point of becoming as easy as a kids attraction at a local carnival. The game is balanced well, keeps things moving with different mission types, has some rather well written high-school style stories, and has better than average weapon mechanics for a rail shooter that gives the player some options on how best to defeat a mission and max out the points. When you fail, you get a slap on the wrist and try again. It’s very low key and something to play when you want to sort of de-stress from more frenetic gameplay.

With all this in mind, I don’t think it’s worth a $60 price tag on PS4 or Switch. I saw that the Steam price is $47.99 and it’s $43.99 at Amazon right now for the PS4 version. My personal feeling is to wait for this to be a $30 or under title, but that is up to you. It’s totally worth a rent if you have a rental service in your area. Otherwise, I’d rate this title a Save for Later if you are looking for a fun little rails shooter making girls blush.

About dangerhighdoltage

I wish I was a gravelly-voiced action hero with a scar on every corner of my face from all the ninjas and zombie hordes massacred along my path of destruction. However, I'm rather clumsy. I can walk and chew gum at the same time at least. My favorite genres of late are butterfly field simulators and co-op Plinko carnival games. The occasional puzzle-platforming-RPG-hacknslash-owwwmyheadhurtsfromthisdamnpuzzle-storydriven game is fun too.

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