Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PS4
Developer: Inti Creates
Release: 11th April 2018 (EU) / 24th April 2018 (NA)
Anime boobs, probably the only thing one thinks animes are about. “They´re just perverted cartoons!” This line shouldn´t be unfamiliar to many fans of this ever more popular form of entertainment, including me. Funnily enough, Gal*Gun 2 plays on this exact cliché like its predecessor, promising busty rail shooter action, full of moaning, half-naked, obedient anime girls. PQube truly doing God’s work here.
Playing as the typical non-voiced anime protagonist, we discover a strange box on our desk one day. In it is a VR headset, … a hairdryer and an angel that congratulates us for being chosen by heaven itself? Naturally, both these things are part of a special device to battle demons and now it´s our duty to fight them before they completely invaded the school.
Do I even have to say how dumb the story is? Obviously, nothing about it can be taken seriously, not the flood of clichés nor the silly characters. From the clumsy angel, who will soon call us “master” to a demon girl, forcing herself to infuse every sentence with the world “HELL”. Between missions we´re presented with various dialogues between those two and how they´re fighting themselves with the ever-same words. It´s entertaining and that´s everything it wants to be. I had genuine fun watching those two stereotypes, which are surprisingly well written at that, interact with each other.
Especially since most of the time, their disputes often circulate at either bashing the obedient angel or being bombarded by puns, it´s perfect for quick play sessions. However, I never could play more than a few hours per day, as the whole thing just gets repetitive, while the lack of tension contributes its own share at making the events “worthless” to follow. Only the fact it´s not possible to actually skip those scenes, even if you´ve already seen them, is probably the biggest problem when I just wanted to have some fun shooting at moaning girls. When they´re neither well animated nor captivating, being forced to sith through the entirety of those first-person cutscenes, often became a chore towards the end.
The Characters are where the true heart of Gal*Gun 2´s narrative lies, offering us a quite diverse cast of both romanceable side and main characters. From the angel girls to our childhood friend or even younger but cute neighbour, shut-in girl. During breaks or after finishing a day, it´s possible to increase their affection meter by … giving them sweets or rather flood their stomachs with sweets. After gifting them 3-4, special events trigger, ranging from deeper conversations about their struggles in life, side missions that push the meter or even some lewd photo sessions of them in swimsuits.
While it´s possible to pretty much romance them all, both the time and sweets limit prevents you from actually doing that. So of course, I had to go with my beloved otaku Chiru (best girl) and got way more enjoyment out of it than the main plot ever gave me. The dialogues are just as silly and fanservice loving as one would expect from such a character else but somehow I could actually listen to her longer than just a few minutes. Maybe it´s due to the animation, writing or attachment they game creates with wonderful event CG art. Interacting with them is just a ton of dumb, yet great fun.
Last but not least, Gal*Gun 2´s core, the rail shooter passages, where we have to free girls from demons until they´re moaning. Despite the premise, its underlying system can become quite deep. On the one hand, every girl has 4 “body zones”, three of them usually take normal damage and one, normally random, lets you one-shot them with one hit. On the other hand, little demons can snatch onto the girls to create a shield, requiring to be shot first before dealing any damage. Since they´re really tiny, in particular, if the girls are far away, that can be a challenge. Combined with the ability to suck up those tiny demons, granting more points and rewards at the end of each stage, there´s a surprising amount of variety here.
Even though the shooting mechanic never changes much, with strength upgrades being the only way of progression, Gal*Gun 2 isn´t an easy game. Mostly due to the fact levels tend to swarm you with girls from all sites later on. While their only form of attack is shouting love confessions, that have to be shot down before impact, or giving you love letters, a few hits easily lead to a game over. As a result, stages draw most of their challenge from forcing you to concentrate on everything at the same time, making it more of a stressful but fun experience. It´s a solid rail shooter base, drawing most of its appeal from the hectic pacing and silly humour.
Said humour though is more of a two-sided sword during the gameplay. I most trailers you´ve probably seen dozens of girls in their underwear or getting their skirt sucked away. So, unsurprisingly, one may think the whole game looks just like this. However, as indicated by the fact Nintendo approved it for their console, Gal*Gun 2 doesn´t often go beyond some little moans. Seeing underwear is more of a rare case, reserved for later on, yet, never becomes a huge part of the whole game. Sure, the romancable girls may present themselves in swimsuits or short skirts, there´s nothing truly outrageous or unseen. At no point was I surprised by the obscenity. The gameplay, in particular, suffers from the ever same moans, lacking many forms of progression alongside the upgrades to the gun. It all feels like the world stays still while we traverse through it.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem lies in the mission structure itself. They´re just way too lengthy and repetitive. On the one hand, they normally last around 5-7 minutes, consisting of the ever-same locations, enemies and design. Gal*Gun isn´t a series made for hours-long play sessions due to the repetition and static world but the long missions actively work against this principle. Playing Gal*Gun 2 feels boring after some missions, forcing at least me to stop, yet, I can´t progress very far since everything takes so damn long. On the other hand, the tasks always stay the same too. Either defeating dozens of girls or defending someone, mixed with an occasional boss battle against a bigger enemy.
Gal*Gun 2 on Nintendo Switch, a portable console if you allow me to remind, is probably just the right fit nonetheless. Able to quickly drop in and out, because of both the console and easy gameplay, I found myself enjoying my bursts with the game way more than anticipated. The quite short loading times between stages, nice visuals for a Japanese game and integration of motion controls, make the whole game an almost perfect experience on the Switch. If only the fan wouldn´t ramp up so damn high and motion controls could be disabled during first-person cutscenes but enabled in the shooter passages by default.
It may not be the booby experience one might hope for but Gal*Gun 2 is still a fun game to play. It´s a fun rail shooter, that may suffer from too long missions and other flaws but can provide enough silly entertainment to overshadow them. Not a masterpiece but nearly the exact thing it promises to be: A fun shooter with a lewd nature.
[A Review Code was provided by PQube]