Do you love playing rail shooters, but really really wished it was swarming with girls vying for your love?? Well look no further than Gal*Gun: Double Peace from Inti Creates and PQube for all your kawaii shooting action!
Kawaii on Rails!
The rail and/or gallery shooter is kind of a lost art isn’t it? I mean for a time, they were all the rage and a perfect representation of the arcade experience brought home. They were over the top, cheesy, and an outright blast to play! Honestly, there was just something magical about pointing your fancy plastic light gun at the screen, pulling the trigger and it actually working! Unfortunately, as technologies changed the use of light guns became problematic and even with the introduction of motion controls, the rail shooter genre still had a hard time finding its feet.
Well, the 2D side scrolling platformer wizards, Init Creates, stepped outside their comfort zone and teamed up with PQube to bring us a spectacular rail shooter, Gal*Gun: Double Peace! Only this time, the spectacle comes from kawaii love interests, the struggle between good and evil, and panties. So… many… panties.
You Never Forget Your First
I will admit I have a special place in my heart for the colorfully bizarre series that is Gal*Gun, not because of its lewd humor and silly take on the rail shooter genre, though that’s a big part of it, but because it was one of the first games I ever attempted to import from Japan. Originally released in 2011 exclusively for the Xbox 360 in Japan, Gal*Gun was one of those games that instantly caught my eye exactly for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately though Xbox 360 games were difficult to import due to region protection. Since there was a slim chance that it would ever make it to North America, it had me disappointed to say the least. However, much to my surprise, the game was ported to the PlayStation 3, which just so happened to be region free! So I pulled the trigger and imported my very first Japanese exclusive game! I was absolutely elated to finally get this treasured and unique game in my hands and play it for myself! The only real downside was that the dialog and text was all in Japanese and I don’t read nor speak a lick of it.
Enter Gal*Gun: Double Peace, the follow up to the original Gal*Gun! Initially released on the PlayStation 4 in 2015, the niche fanbase of the original was elated! But the most exciting part was that one year later we would be getting an official localization for western audiences. This time we’re following a brand new protagonist, Houdai Kudoki who has been shot with an overabundance of “Love Arrows” by the Angel in training Ekoro. Because of this, he (you) must fend off an onslaught of girls that have become uncontrollably love struck by your mere presence. The downside is, the effects only last for 24 hours, and if you don’t find your true love within that time period, you’ll never find love again!
You Heard That Right!
An interesting premise to be sure and in order to accomplish your quest for love, you’ll be zooming around the Sakurachi Academy grounds ducking around corners, dashing through class rooms and sneaking into the Gymnasium! Just like you would in a classic rail shooter! Only instead of blasting away aliens or machine gun toting baddies, you’ll be defending yourself from enraptured ladies with your “pheromone shots”. You have to be quick too, because they can easily overwhelm you with their love confessions, kisses and “playful stomps”! Which all just so happen to damage you.
It seems so bizarre when I say it, but it’s truly a blast and the shooting gallery style action is addicting. It’s not just about pointing and shooting either. Each girl has a weak spot that’ll grant you more points and will allow you to defeat them in a single euphoric shot. Yep, you heard that right! Nonetheless, it’s super handy to know if you’re going for a high score. Further, to throw a wrench in the mix, some of the girls can be possessed by demons that’ll make them harder to defeat. However, if you’re able to remove these demons that have attached themselves to the girl by shooting them, she’ll return to normal and become susceptible to your standard shots and her weak point!
If you do happen to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fawning ladies, you do have one last ace up your sleeve, the Doki-Doki shot. Which acts similarly to a screen clearing bomb, but has a mini-game attached to it. When activated you select the girls you would like to target (up to 3 depending on your power level), and you’ll enter Doki-Doki Mode. Which temporarily focuses on the targeted girls and has you poking, prodding and rubbing their “weak spots” until they burst with love. In turn defeating all on screen “adversaries” and you know, giving you some breathing room or time to contemplate your decisions in life.
It’s All About the Tentacles Really
Don’t think that this is all aimless fun either, because what type of bishōjo game would it be without some visual novel and/or dating sim intrigue! Truly that’s how the story is kind of tied in. Throughout the game and between missions, you’ll need to interact with your love interests and follow various story arcs, of which there are several. Depending on your character’s stats you’ll be given a variety of responses that can either increase or decrease that love interests affection for you. Luckily, you can modify those stats by playing the Doki-Doki mode (specific girls grant specific stat modifiers) or by buying items from the in-game shop. As you follow a story arc, you’ll also encounter events and boss fights that play out similar to the Doki-Doki mode mini-game, only with extra mechanics or puzzles to solve. For example, at one point you’ll be tasked with defeating a group of overgrown mutant carrot monsters before they can digest the love of your life! Naturally, it has tentacles because why wouldn’t it?!
Honestly, the only real problem I have with these branching stories, is that you’ll be playing through the same levels over and over again, at least five or six times as you try to unlock each ending. I do appreciate however that these events are included, because they break up the monotony of the standard gameplay. Moreover, as an added challenge you can try to complete the optional requests you’ll receive between missions that challenge you to find hidden items in each stage. These will really only give you extra currency to spend in the store, but I find it hard to resist trying to find them. That and as a completionist, I find myself wanting to buy every item they offer anyways. I mean, I’m not gonna NOT want to max out my HP!
Light and Airy Anime BS
So, when it comes to my recommendation for Gal*Gun: Double Peace, that’s actually a toughie and it really depends on your tolerance for anime BS. But, considering it’s lighthearted nature, fun gameplay and bizarre take on the rail shooter genre – I think you’d have a blast playing it if you were to give it a shot. I mean, the vibrant and cute graphics along with the colorful environments and character models really add to the experience! Pair that up with its quirky humor and you got yourself a carefree game that’s just a joy to play. It may not have the most variety, which could probably be said about most games like it, but it more than makes up for it with its charm. Like I said, it knows exactly what it is and it wears it like a badge of honor. So, if you’re in the mood for a game that lacks an identity crisis then I’d say Gal*Gun: Double Peace is worth a try! It’s available right now on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Steam!