Thursday, April 12

Review: Gal*Gun 2 [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Playing Gal*Gun 2 on the Switch is a bit mind-blowing for me, having covered Nintendo’s consoles and games in the N64 era. The notion that their notoriously puritanistic ways have completely departed the building isn’t just hopeful talk, between this and Metropolis: Lux Obscura there can be no doubt. While I’ve played some “interesting” games with themes like these on PC my normal impression is that they’re heavy on the more adult-oriented content and light on actual gameplay. After hearing so much about Gal*Gun 2 I wanted to put it to the test and see what all it really has to offer.


In case you weren’t aware of the general set up in the game, get ready for the weirdness to begin. You’ve been chosen by an angel named Risu to help her rid your school of demonic forces lead by a demon named Kurona. Armed with a set of goggles that help give you the sight you’ll need for your mission you’ll with with a pheromone gun to try to cure the many girls in the school of their demonic possession. For most this will be a matter of either shooting them repeatedly or finding which zone is their weak point to cure them with a single shot. These just happen to be their face, their chest, or their bikini area. Tougher work will need to be done on girls who’ve got little chibi demons somewhere on them, requiring that you first shoot those off before you can cure them.

Speaking purely in terms of gameplay there’s the more action-oriented part of the game and then there’s “the rest”. In general stages will shake out into 3 major types: Missions where you’re moving around and are almost constantly under attack yourself, missions where you’ll need to try to defend one or more people against a consistent stream of demons, and missions where you’ll need to very carefully look around to try to find mini figures hidden in a space while periodically fighting off demons. There are also bigger boss-type fights at times over the course of the story but there aren’t very many of them by comparison. Completing these stages will award you candy, decorations for your room, and occasional upgrades to your equipment. The candy leads into the other part of the game, and that mostly plays out like a moderately to incredibly creepy/pervy version of a dating game at times. You can talk casually with your classmate and your neighbor as well as call up anyone you’ve helped on an optional mission for a rendezvous… and it is here where we’ll get into where the game gets more bizarre and, at times, uncomfortable.


The first time I met with someone I called them up, told them where to meet me, and she just showed up. I didn’t think too much of it, though I noted that you could choose different clothing and poses for the girl you were meeting with, then obviously with the ability to rotate around them and change angles you would be mildly pervy. Then I saw another option, Fantasize, and it got quite a bit crazier. In this mode, a variation on the normal game, you’ll basically be looking for hot spots on their body, and when you find them if you shoot that spot repeatedly demons will pop out to some excited sounds from your companion. If you are able to spot the demons and rid her of them quickly enough, note that she’s getting into all sorts of more interesting poses to help you find spots better, at some point the majority of her clothes will disappear in a magical flourish, leaving her in little more than a skimpy bikini. This is an optional mode so you can steer clear of it if you’d like. However, it’s also not the most jaw-dropping thing in the game, that would be your attempts to exorcise demons from your friends. Oddly these sequences cut over to more classic anime art rather than being done with the in-game engine but in order to be cleansed they need to be tied up and sprayed with your “holy water”. Yeah, it goes there, though I suppose you could certainly find worse out there. Rather than comment further I think I’ll just leave you with that to ponder.

Over the course of playing the game I will say I was impressed with the fact that even though it very obviously is targeted at a specific audience who’d probably buy it regardless underneath it all there’s a reasonably decent game. It may be a bit repetitive but then again most shooters are in some way. Some stages, especially the ones where you’re trying to find the mini-figures, are actually pretty challenging and if you’re not on top of your game you will fail missions. Though the story takes some really odd turns and may turn things a bit too uncomfortable for some people there’s also a notable effort to try to make something out of the hodge podge of ideas and themes in the game, again doing a better job than I would have imagined for a game like this. Gal*Gun 2 is by no means a by-the-numbers thin veneer of a game on top of a bunch of pervy and weird stuff, which it likely could have gotten away with. Instead it is a middle-of-the-road game with decent mechanics that just happens to have a bunch of stuff that you wouldn’t want to be caught playing in public or by any of your loved ones. It’s very actively not a game that’s appropriate for everyone but I give it credit for indeed being a legitimate game in its own right.


Score: 6.5

Pros:
  • Rather than being a slapdash veneer of a game on top of a bunch of weird stuff it is at least offers engaging, though a bit repetitive, gameplay
  • There are things in the game, due to their outrageousness, that made me laugh
  • Some of the dialogue has amusing observations and commentaries on games

Cons:
  • The audience for this, for a variety of reasons, is going to be pretty narrow
  • While you can mostly avoid the more pervy stuff in the game even sticking to the straight and narrow you’ll inevitably collide with some portion of it
  • Missions where you need to find the mini figures can require annoying precision to find what you’re looking for