Gal*Gun: Double Peace
Developed by: Inti Creates (Mega Man 9/10/Zero series, Gunvolt series, Mighty No. 9, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night)
Publisher: PQube (Senran Kagura, BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, Persona 4 Arena)
Release date: August 2, 2016
Available on: PS4, PS Vita (reviewed)
Price: $59.99 on PS4, $39.99 on Vita
In a nutshell: Thwart mobs of horny girls by giving them orgasms (and find true love, of course) in this batshit insane, highly replayable rail shooter.
When provocative bishojo games release in North America they’re typically censored in some way, like Criminal Girls: Invite Only and its annoying pink mist, though Inti Creates’ rail shooter Gal*Gun: Double Peace is anything but.
For Houdai Kudoki, a 2nd year student at Sakurazaki Academy, true love doesn’t come easy. He’s characteristically unremarkable, voiceless, and alone. However, talks of the “super popular legend” speculate that those who see an angel will either become (as the legend says) super popular, or you’ll form a couple with the one your heart desires most.
As luck would have it (sort of), the angel Ekoro arrives to pelt Houdai with a single love shot, but, in an amusing fumble, blasts him with enough pheromones to draw the attention of every female in the village. You’ve just become the sexiest man alive, but frivolous adoration isn’t on today’s menu. According to your new angel pal, you only have 24 hours to conquer your fears and profess your true feelings to the girl of your dreams, or else wake up tomorrow forever alone.
Let’s not beat around the bush any longer: Gal*Gun is a rail shooter where you fire pheromone shots at hordes of horny teenage high school girls, thus giving them orgasms in order to avoid their unwanted (yes, unwanted by the player character, which I thought was a great twist) affection. Kind of a weird role reversal, huh?
Aiming is a little off on the Vita, mostly due to the loose nature of its analog sticks in comparison to the tighter DualShock 4, but it’s nowhere near broken or unenjoyable. You simply move your cursor over the girls and blast them with love bullets until they climax, while the AI takes care of actual movement from location to location.
Pleasuring the passionate passerby stores up a resource that can be spent by triggering a screen-rubbing mini-game called Doki-Doki Mode. Not only does this clear the screen of “enemies,” but will no doubt make you look like a creep in public. To hell with the public though. It’s your job to take these girls to Pleasuretown, USA (er, Japan, I guess?) and if you have to rub their butts and breasts to do it, then BY GOD THAT’S WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!
Oh, I guess this is as good a time as any to explain the game’s subtitle: Double Peace. If you pleasure each of the girls to the point of orgasm they’ll pose together by flipping up two peace signs (which means “victory” in Japan). Make sense?
There’s also interesting boss fight missions that require you to zoom in on a girl’s body in order to hunt down pleasure spots and complete touch-based quick-time events. One mission in particular had a potential love interest stuck in a window, so naturally I had to use two thumbs and press against her booty to shove her through.
With that in mind, if things like sex, suggestive moaning, tentacles, and upskirts make you feel awkward, you’re going to want to play something else.
The combat itself is actually quite fun, especially when I found myself surrounded. Each girl has their own weak spot, be it their head, chest, hips, or legs, and targeting these areas delivers an ecstasy shot that acts as a one-hit kill… or a quicky, I guess you’d call it.
The unashamedly sex shooter is broken up by branching story arcs and various level paths, which wildly increase Gal*Gun’s replay value. My first run through only took three hours, which is a perfect amount of time for a game that asks me to pick it up again and again. After confessing my true love to a childhood friend on my maiden voyage, I unlocked the ability to choose the angel Ekoro (or her demonic rival) on my 2nd go — and there’s still two or three unlockable paths I haven’t even reached yet.
A really cool feature is the in-game social media app called SakuraTalk, where fellow students provide hints on the location of collectibles, or even offer quests that reward you with a handful of in-game currency. You can then buy all sorts of upgrades that make the game significantly easier, like faster climax power, a cod piece to protect your genitals from deadly nutshots, or Angelic Eyedrops that let you see through everyone’s pesky clothing. Well, I guess that last one doesn’t make anything easier.
Like the rail shooters of yesteryear, there’s plenty of hidden secrets to find throughout Gal*Gun’s 7 chapters. You can partake in time sinks, like scanning every girl’s bust line during combat in order to fill out a bestiary (bustiary?) of sorts, collecting costumes (typical anime fare), or even discovering different panties. Collectibles can be a bit of a pain to get sometimes, though. Since it’s a rail shooter, you have no control over your character’s movement — you just aim and shoot — which can make homing in on (or even locating) hidden objects quite troublesome.
Control gripes aside, my only severe complaint is Gal*Gun’s absurd load times (especially on Vita). Levels are short, so you’re frequently in and out of menus, but why oh why are the load times so bad? I’m talking 1-2 minutes per menu here, which is ridiculous. There’s also brief moments of lag from time to time when Houdai’s harem of horny schoolgirls pile up on screen (everybody wants this body, after all), but I didn’t find it to be anything more than a minor nuisance.
If you’re interested in quirky Japanese games, especially unapologetically sexual ones like Monster Monpiece, Senran Kagura, Dungeon Travellers, or Criminal Girls, I highly recommend checking out Gal*Gun: Double Peace. It’s clearly not for everyone, but I was surprised by its charming, strange twist on the rail shooter genre, along with the colossal amount of replay value it provides in its branching story paths, endings, and collectibles. Most importantly though, I was taken aback by just how fun it was.
In an industry full of cookie cutter shooters, dragon slayers, and power fantasies, it’s refreshing to see a game like Gal*Gun move against the grain and just have fun. Is it perfect? Hell no. But in the realm of gaming it’s as punk rock as it gets, even with its happy-go-lucky, upbeat soundtrack. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, you have to respect that.
So go! Go find true love, or wake up tomorrow forever alone! And nobody wants that, right?
*So where’s the final score? There isn’t one. I spent a lot of time conveying my opinion in the above text, and I hope that’s worth more to you than some arbitrary number or a sequence of shaded-in star shapes. Basically, I’m not a fan of scores so I no longer use them. Read the review and judge for yourself if the game is worth your time and money.
Full disclosure: This review was done using a PlayStation Vita copy of Gal*Gun: Double Peace provided by the game’s publisher, PQube. While I’m sometimes given games to review, I pride myself on providing unbiased reviews to fellow consumers, along with constructive feedback to hard working developers and publishers. Whether or not I pay for the game is completely irrelevant.