Developer: Inti Creates
Platform: PS4, PSVita, Switch
Price: $59,99 USD
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
The original GalGun on the PS3 was a relatively obscure game due to its Japan-only release. Years later, the sequel called Double Peace was localized to western markets and caused quite an impact among the otaku crowd, not just because of the themes in the game itself, but because the Special Edition included, among other goodies, stripped panties.
GalGun is not a series that attempts to make excuses regarding what it is about. The goal of the game is to shoot girls, make them fall in love with you and strip off their clothes. While the premise alone will attract a certain niche crowd, many are left wondering if the game itself is enjoyable or not. This review will focus on that.
GalGun 2 takes place over the course of several weeks, contrary to its prequel, Double Peace, which took place entirely in a single day. The nameless protagonist, the player, is chosen by a new angel character to hunt and dispose of demons infesting the school. You receive a handgun to shoot with and a pair of goggles that enable you to see demons. The catch this time is that the goggles have a side effect of making the user extremely attractive to the opposite gender, and are also impossible to remove.
There are six possible endings. Two each for Chiru and Nanako, one for your angel companion Risu, and a Harem ending with all three heroines. Unfortunately, there are no individual endings for each of the side characters this time around.
The events in each of the routes are weak and the plots are predictable. You know everything that’s going to happen just from getting 1/3 into the game. The only reason you even want the story to exist is for the sake of character interactions. It’s alright though, nobody is playing GalGun for the story.
The first time I played Double Peace was on the PC. GalGun is a pretty casual game and reaching the end of the game was trivial, until I realized that I needed an actual high score to see the good endings and unlock certain stuff. There was also the need of violence where it was crucial to buy complete AR-15 rifles. It was then that I realized that the game could be surprisingly difficult, requiring a certain level of memorization and skill. By the time I finished, one of my closing thoughts on it was: “There’s no way I could have played this on a controller”.
My first doubt going into GalGun 2, this time on the PS4, was whether or not the aiming was good enough to perform well in the game. It didn’t take long to realize that my worries were unfounded, as the controls on the DualShock 4 are amazingly solid. There is only so much you can do with the analog sticks but thanks to the motion sensing abilities of the DS4, hitting the targets was easy and intuitive. I would even go as far as saying that it’s the best feeling motion sensing game I have ever played.
The flow of the game starts every morning in school. You can play up to three missions during the day, selectable from a list in your phone. Main events are related to Risu’s plot, Side events are related to each of the heroines or the returning Kamizono sisters from the previous game, and Sub events are missions given by the side characters.
Events can be one of three types. The same classic rail shooting sequences from previous games, looking for hidden objects inside a room, or defending other characters from a swarm of demons. The latter two types are new to the series, likely added in an attempt to widen the variety of gameplay options. They’re neat to do the first few times you try them but also extremely repetitive, unlike the main shooting game mission type.
Finally, DokiDoki Mode returns to the game after being absent from GalGun VR. This time around, rather than staring deeply into a girl’s body parts, you have to directly exorcise demons from their erogenous zones. Rather than clothes becoming transparent as you progress, instead they simply come right off.
The best two improvements in GalGun 2 are the gameplay changes in the rail shooting sequences themselves. In Double Peace, the protagonist moved around the scenario, swinging up and down and turning around, making it a pain in the ass to aim. Also, you could only look forward, outside a very small number of scenes. GalGun 2 movement is based around teleporting between points, completely eliminating all issues with the protagonist’s movement. Furthermore, every scene has targets coming from every direction, with the game allowing the player to turn around 360° to aim and shoot.
Accomplishing missions from sub characters rewards the player with their phone numbers. Having a girl’s number enables you to invite them out, feed her snacks, talk to them, and perform all sorts of actions in private. Normal teenager stuff, like inviting them to your room, kissing, looking up their panties and getting your crotch stepped on.
The music and sounds in the game are the exact same from Double Peace. The new modes and story sequences have a handful of new tracks but none of them are good. The action music that plays during shooting segments does its job of getting the player hyped to shoot down highschool girls, but it gets repetitive almost immediately, specially if you’ve played any of the previous games. I certainly hope that the next game doesn’t reuse the same music yet again.
The game runs on Unreal Engine and its performs very well. The graphics are restricted because the game has to run on the PSVita and it very clearly does not look like high-budget. Until you find out how expensive those voice actresses are to hire, at least. You will know what the expect just from looking at the game’s promotional art.
Other than the cave, the storage room, and your own room, every area in the school is continuous. The entire school is a single area that the player model can move around, although limited to the rail set by the mission you’ve selected. Girls can spawn and attack you from any direction.
While there were major improvements during the rail shooter segments, the new game modes absolutely suck. They are a disruption to the game’s flow and aren’t fun to play at all. Acquiring the phone number for girls usually involves doing the exact same defense missions over and over again, which I’ve tired of doing before completing the list. The story could use a lot of work so that perhaps it might be worth writing something about, and the series really needs new music.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about Gal Gun 2 is how everything in the game is designed to look like a VR game, except it isn’t. The player goggles, the handgun, the teleporting, the aiming and turning. Strangely enough, GalGun2 is exclusive to to the PC, despite the games all being PlayStation exclusives on launch. I wish I could play this on PSVR but alas, I cannot.
As someone that really enjoys rail shooters, GalGun 2 is a very solid game in the genre. Anybody that hates anime pantsu will immediately steer away from the series, but for those that do venture in it, they will find an excellent game. A handful of bad design decisions are present, but nothing that detracts from the overall experience of the game. Make sure to wear headphones and ascertain that nobody is watching.