Title: Gal*Gun 2
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Genre: Rail shooter, galge
Developer: Inti Creates
I am a huge anime fan. One genre that never seems to get old is called “Slice of Life.” A lot of sub-genres are incorporated into that but the unchanging factor is the high school. You'll always find a story where a guy is surrounded by girls after his affection. Enter the Gal*Gun series. For one reason or another, the protagonist has the attention of the entire female student body. Gal*Gun 2 is no different; get ready to beat the girls off with a stick. Or if you prefer, suck their clothes off with a vacuum gun.
Gal*Gun 2 – Let's Take a Peek
Common sense dictates that the neverending battle between heaven and hell would take place at a Japanese high school. Enter Risu, a cute yet clumsy angel that needs your help. It is forbidden for angels and demons to battle directly on Earth. That means she will enlist your aid in stopping the demons running amok at your school. Led by Kurona, these demons possess schoolgirls and make them misbehave. Gear up with your Pheromone Shot and Pheromone Goggles to combat the demonic menace. There is only one little problem. Your gear has the side effect of making all females around you fall madly (emphasis on mad) in love with you.
Meet the Special Ladies In Your Life
Only two female students are seemingly unaffected by your gear. One is your childhood friend Nanako Tamasaki; the other is your next-door neighbor, Chiru Kondo. If this seems painfully convenient, trust me it gets better. Three of the four girls driving the plot have special endings. Gal*Gun 2 is not a galge in the traditional sense, but it definitely utilizes that format for storytelling. With a total of seven different endings to experience, completionists will spend some time with this title.
Shoot Your Shot
Despite having five different mission types, Gal*Gun 2 is limited in its scope of gameplay. Every mode requires that you shoot and/or suck up mini-Kurona demons. Often, the demons will attach to the girls and you have to either shoot or suck them off. Shooting them off requires additional action but using the vacuum function gets rid of them. It may also strip any girls in the vicinity down to their undies. The mission types are as follows:
- Regular – reach your destination and prevent girls from knocking you out.
- Defense – protect a small group of girls from a demon onslaught.
- Search – find all of the specified items within the time limit.
- Purification – drive demons out of target girl; have her reach “Doki Doki Mode.”
- Versus – one on one battle against Kurona (or… )
You have twenty days to reach your demon busting quota. You will reach it early and the game may give the option to skip to an ending. Sometimes you can get multiple endings in one playthrough. New Game+ allows you to keep your items and upgrades. You may want to write down your conversation path as some endings require specific choices.
The Luckiest Boy In the World
The protagonist of Gal*Gun 2 has a whole lot of eye candy to look at. Text suggests otherwise, but he seems to be the only boy in this school. At one point Nanako even mentions how she feels like they are at an all-girls school, save for you.
There is nothing award-winning here in terms of graphics. One must consider however, that the game is going for an anime look. It pulls that off perfectly. The primary focus is making the characters look right with less attention on backgrounds. You will instantly feel like you are playing an ecchi, slice of life anime.
One very nice touch that anime fans will appreciate is the transition from live action to drawn stills. It gives the feel of comparing an anime to its manga source material. In terms of performance, Gal*Gun 2 has a solid framerate with no slowdown. I only encountered one instance of the game freezing during dozens of hours of play.
Verdict: Give Gal*Gun 2 a Shot?
Anyone could pick Gal*Gun 2 up and have fun. That said, the game is going to appeal to a very specific audience. If you are not a fan of the more wacky, Japanese games and/or anime, you are unlikely to pick this up. While there is no nudity, be aware that the entire game revolves around yanking the clothes off of females in their teens to mid 20s. Not to dissuade, but it is ironic that gamers the age of the protagonist cannot legally buy this game.
The story does not take itself serious at any point in the game. Anime fans that recall shows like Noucome or To Love-Ru will know what to expect. Fourth wall breaks, references to pop culture and cheesy puns are the order of the day. Top that off with Chiru Kondo, whom you cannot help but love, and the recipe for enjoyment is there.
The Not So Good
Unfortunately, recipes do not always come out right. Gal*Gun 2 is by no means bad, but it is a rail shooter you have to replay a lot. I have beaten this game probably ten times or more and it definitely wears on you. The biggest problem is that completionists will tear their hair out trying to complete the game. Even when you know how to get a specific ending, make the slightest mistake and you have to start all over. Not an easy pill when a “speed run” takes several hours.
Gal*Gun 2 is meant to be replayed several times. If you are not lucky enough to get multiple (new) endings in one run, it takes a minimum of six playthroughs. Without a guide this game is mildly difficult to work with. The $60 price tag does not help at all. A lot of gamers these days are one and done with a title like this. I must warn against buying this game if you do not intend to complete it, especially Switch owners. The twenty day calendar can be completed in one sitting. The PS4 trophy system will bring you back over and over. Switch owners may just find themselves frustrated.