We take a look at Gal*Gun 2 from Inti Creates and PQube, but the question is, how do you follow up the naughty antics of Double Peace!? With even more naughty antics, that’s how!
A Change of Perspective
When covering Gal*Gun: Double Peace I mentioned that rail shooters were a neglected genre of games that I held near and dear to my heart, but have kind of faded from memory in recent years. With its healthy dose of humor, lewd shenanigans and eye popping anime cuteness it really revitalized my love for games just like it. Rail shooters… not lewd anime games (that has never faded). However, with light guns no longer being a thing and a controller just not cutting it, it really felt like something was missing. I mean, the mouse works well enough, but I really miss and crave the tactile feeling of those plastic pistols.
Well, Inti Creates is once again colluding with PQube, to bring us a brand new entry in the Gal*Gun franchise, Gal*Gun 2. But this time around they want to immerse you all up in that anime, with a VR centric rail shooter stuffed to the brim with naughty antics! Truly… I mean TRULY, the only way they COULD have improved upon the perfection of its predecessors was VR panties and gosh dang it, they did it!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t dive headset first into this quintessential VR experience, but I was super curious to see if this departure adapts well to standard controls or if the changes were too drastic and would ultimately hinder this hotly anticipated sequel.
Pantsu Demon Hunter
With the floodgates opened after the localization of Gal*Gun: Double Peace, it was only a matter of time before we would see another sequel make it to our shores. Honestly, it would have been an absolute travesty if it didn’t! Fortunately, the fine folks over at PQube understand our needs as bishoujo fans, and shortly after the Japanese release, Gal*Gun 2 became available to one and all!
Similar in concept to the previous entry, in Gal*Gun 2 you play as a lowly student attending the series staple, Sakurazaki Academy. Only this time instead of being unjustly shot by an overabundance of love arrows causing an entire academy of love struck girls to ambush you at every turn, you instead are “voluntarily” recruited by Risu, an elite angel working for the Angel Ring Company. She has been tasked with ridding the academy of all demons before they inevitably take over and needs your help to do it.
To help with this endeavor, Risu equips you with a pair of the AR Co. goggles that allow you to see and interact with any demons or angels you encounter (and cause any girl to fall madly in love with you). That and the trusty dusty Demon Sweeper which grants you the power to defeat the demons and of course fend off all of your obsessive suitors with euphoric accuracy!
High Octane Otaku Action
Another game rife with high octane otaku action and questionable motives is all well and good, but truthfully how could Inti Creates follow up Double Peace with a game that not only captures both our hearts but also our dirty minds? I guess the first step would be to improve the visuals and give us all new girls to ogle over and romance! Which is exactly what they did!
With higher fidelity character models, a new rendering engine and even more colorful environments, Gal*Gun 2 is absolutely stunning. It’s not only the visuals though, the attention to detail when it comes to the animations (especially facial animations), are impressively fluid. Each character is very expressive and their body language truly adds to their personalities.
Unfortunately, improved graphics doesn’t hide the fact that 98% of the environments and characters you’ll encounter throughout the game are the exact same as Double Peace. Short of the three new love interests and, of course, the one new environment, your bedroom. Which is a bit disappointing because one of the funnest parts is discovering each of the new characters, but at least you can decorate your bedroom, so it has that going for it! That being said, it’s still fun to see those familiar faces and environments and be able to appreciate the visual overhaul! This is also probably more apparent if you’ve played both Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2 back to back like I did. The same could be said about the music as well, which doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor. Not that that’s a bad thing, because it’s just as upbeat and lively as ever and every time you jump into a new mission, it brings a smile to your face.
Candy Laced Romances
One thing that has definitely changed for Double Peace though was the gameplay. Which in some aspects has improved significantly over the previous game, but in others instances I’m not sure how I feel about them. Most notably is the focus on a more VR friendly set up. So rather than behaving like your typical rail shooter where you automatically follow a set path, like you’re on rails, and shoot targets in the background and/or those that are trying to intercept you, in Gal*Gun 2 you’re much more stationary. By that I mean, you’ll be fixed in a single position until you “eliminate” each of the girls, then you can choose a new location to “teleport” to.
In one sense, I appreciate this new set up, because it gives you more of a chance to explore each location and its environment, but unlike Gal*Gun: Double Peace, there really isn’t much to look for. Because there are no real collectibles in Gal*Gun 2. At least none to find in the actual gameplay sections of the game. Instead they’ll be gifted to you by obtaining a certain overall score or by reaching specific points in the story. Again a little disappointing because searching for the secrets in Double Peace was half the fun of replaying the game. Additionally, your character stats have been removed. There’s no more item shop and your dialog choices don’t seem to have as much of a bearing on a love interest’s affection for you! All you really have to do to make a girl fall in love with you is give them candy, lots and lots of candy. I know!
Well, that’s not the only thing, but you get the point. To make up for the completely stripped down romancing features and complete lack of an item grind, Inti Creates implemented a much more traditional mission and side quest system. So main story quests, as well as any interactions with your love interests, are initiated through your quest menu (your phone). This goes double for requests from all of the other random girls at the academy. The fun part is that this set up allows for a few different types of missions outside of the typical point and shoot mechanics. There are defense missions where you’ll need to protect a set of girls from being attacked by demons or the scavenger hunt style missions where you’ll be tasked with finding a set of items hidden within the stage. Although these additions make Gal*Gun 2 a much more pick up and play experience and add to replayability, I found that its lack of focus or dedicated story arcs for your love interests, made it a little less intimate.
There were also a few other changes, such as the use of the Demon Sweeper, which has a vacuum function that’ll not only suck up demons, but the clothes of unsuspecting attackers. An expanded Doki Doki mode, though that can only be used in the last stretch of a romance or during one of the other additions, Rendezvous mode. Which basically just lets you meet up with one of the bazillion other non-romanceable girls in the academy. And although I appreciate all of these additions, at the end of the day, I start to wonder if I just preferred the simplicity of Double Peace. No over complicated room decorating shenanigans, no silly candy laced romances, just pure, simple lewd shootin’.
Simple Lewd Shootin’
All in all, I thought that Gal*Gun 2 was a ton of fun, and just like Double Peace, it was cheerful, naughty, hilarious, and an absolute joy to play. In fact, I think that many of the new features were great in and of themselves and added a lot of variety to the experience. But when compared to its prequel, I just didn’t find I enjoyed it quite as much. I wasn’t drawn to repeatedly play it to see each of the endings like I was before. That didn’t stop me of course, but if you had to choose between Gal*Gun 2 and Gal*Gun: Double Peace, I’d lean toward the latter. That being said, I don’t think you could go wrong with either of them.