Platforms: PC (reviewed), Nintendo Switch
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: PQube Games
Release: 6th September 2019 (EU Switch), 10th September 2019 (NA Switch), 1st November (PC)
Gun Gun Pixies is another one of those weird titles you would only expect from Japan and partly from Compile Heart. Following the flood of intriguing yet kinda creepy ideas, a game about tiny girls shooting other, bigger girls is just the natural evolution and I’m all here for it.
Playing as two secret agent kind of girls, it’s their job to infiltrate the girls dormitory, documenting their activities, problems and daily life without being detected. The fact they’re only a few centimeters tall is an essential factor for that role too, of course.
Sounds like an excuse for fanservice and well, it partly is. Gun Gun Pixies doesn’t have a deep main storyline or whatever, there are villains and general threats but most of the time, each chapter is rather self-contained with the fanservice banter, lewd jokes and whatnot mixed into basically everything. In this regard, the game knows exactly what it should deliver to please its audience and the translation makes a good job at transforming jokes or puns to work most of the time without much effort.
What surprised me though is the rather neat character drama in every chapter. Since the pixies also have to help their subjects when they see fit, exploring what troubles a particular girl, why she behaves suspiciously etc is the main part of each section. Those range from lighthearted, girlish things focused on the previously mentioned strong lewd writing to actual human problems like fear of being too fat. It’s never executed flawlessly but Gun Gun Pixies tackles some interesting subjects I haven’t seen a lot which surprised me and actually infused the whole experience with a breath of fresh air.
In its other departments, Gun Gun Pixies is very much what anyone would expect after seeing the first trailer. The whole thing is trying its hands at a third person shooter with an okayish gameplay. You run around, kill enemies with weapons that feel reasonable good to hit enemies with. There’s some tactical depth with picking up ammo, as that’s a fairly limited resource and relies on you knowing how to proprotionate it, aim well and keep ammo restocking supplies in mind. Since the objectives vary from defending certain things to simply annihilating the enemies, there’s also quite a variety in how to maintain a steady supply of ammo.
This is enhanced by pads that give you boosts in all kind of ways, basically enforcing the mindset of planning some sort of route or positions to survive quite well. Since the game is surprisingly challenging at some points, partly because enemies eat a few too many bullets and everything is kinda stiff regardless, Gun Gun Pixies’ experience is really fun if you have a fetish for planning routes or tactics. Surprising.
Naturally, there’s also fanservice during the gameplay parts, pretty much everywhere. From seeing panties, feet fetish sections, naked bath sessions, you know the drill. At the end of each chapter it’s also necessary to cure the girls by shooting certain spots while they moan and roll on the ground for… obvious reasons. It’s pretty similar to most fanservice seen in games and mainly profits from the fact we’re playing as a tiny girl and not an invisible floating hand or whatnot.
Graphically and technically, Gun Gun Pixies is more of a mixed bag. The game itself doesn’t look any worse than let’s say Gal Gun 2 or Compile Heart’s other games, mostly better in the PC version to be honest, it just is so unsurprising. The style doesn’t really add anything new or unique stuff, most of the menues are clearly PS Vita oriented in my eyes and the portrays are also quite lacking in originality. Additionally, the PC version, while I had access to it before it releases on 1st November (but it’s apparently already complete), suffers from some problems like having an unreliable interface with some resolutions or those not being correctly displayed as well as the aforementioned quite hard to navigate interface for mouse and keyboard users. In exchange though, it runs surprisingly well and supports the usual Japanese port stuff like higher resolutions, 60fps. Similarly, the English script is equally functional but doesn’t protray many of the puns in a truly adequate fashion and has some rough edges.
Gun Gun Pixies is one of those perfect 25-40 Euro lewd timewasters if you need some lewd fun. While it offers some nice ideas in the character stories, most are quite basic similar to the rest of the game not bringing much new to the table except its basic premise. So, unless you really love those type of games, the current asking price may be to steep for you.
[A Review Code was provided by PQube]