Look, there’s nothing wrong with a little anatomical look, in general. Hell, a lot of impressionable teenagers paused to catch a glimpse of Chun-Li’s underwear back then, and Capcom knew it. Sex sells, and like all commercial media, video game developers aren’t immune to putting fat on the record in hopes of cementing another sale. Boobs, buttocks, fat pecs and sculpted crotch: gaming has seen it all — and Switch owners have seen more than ever on a Nintendo console.
However, the majority of Gal Gun’s cattle-like actors are Japanese high school students. Whether or not they are junior or senior students remains ambiguous, which makes the principle of sexual gratification of its targets largely at odds with the legal systems of most countries in the world, which explains its prohibition in countries like New Zealand and Germany. “But hey, these are just cartoons, man” is certainly a common argument in their defense.
‘Hikikomori’ is a Japanese term for a room dweller suffering from ‘acute social withdrawal’, characterized as hermits who forego sunlight and human interaction for a room adorned with posters of lively girls, d pillows and video games. Gal Gun: Double Peace is suited to such a reclusive audience and does little for those looking for depth in a gaming experience. Instead, its detail lies in its harem of schoolgirls, all desperate to bite you, the socially awkward protagonist.
You can choose from several personality types (one labeled simply “Perverted”) before being thrown into a shooting gallery, visual novel, and dating sim. The story goes that an angel with Cupid’s powers did you a huge disservice by making members of the opposite sex voraciously attracted to you. You have to fend them off by throwing pheromones at them, essentially bringing them to “euphoria” – the game’s favorite synonym for orgasm – before they drain your life bar by showering you with kisses or pinning you under the feet, like a dominatrix.
Your pheromone gun has multiple functions, including a charge shot that brings targets to instant climax, and a zoom with x-ray properties that reveals bras, panties, and hidden objects, such as garter belts and… the sandwiches. These items can be used to check cell phone message requests in a directory between stages, extending game longevity through tedious underwear inspection.
In addition, inducing fun on the foolish and laughing treasure builds a “Doki-Doki” counter, which offers three stocks of use. Triggering this lets you freeze and select multiple girls on screen for a molestation subgame, where within a set time frame you can tweak their favorite erogenous zones until they blush and blow hearts everywhere. Additional rotating camera angles for those intimate moments can be purchased from the shop, so you can better see a polygonal crotch if you get caught up. Doki-Doki’s hits also serve to eliminate all other on-screen attackers, acting as a kind of “love bomb”.
Graphically, it’s crisp and clean, and it’s not a bad looking game. It runs well – a far cry from the slow PS Vita original – and the overall layout is superb, with lots of nice artwork and menus. The character models are the stars of the show, varied (in the sense that they have different hairstyles and eye colors) and blend well with the pastel tones of the game. PlayStation 2-style, which tries to hide the fact that it’s not been hugely updated since its PS Vita days, and there’s still quite a bit of loadout to go through with all the cutscene interruptions.
The shooting gear works perfectly well, with the wide aiming reticle doing a good job and plenty of options to adjust its speed if needed – but time crisis This is not the case. The stages are short, which helps if you’re looking to improve your character’s score, stage rank, and attributes, but it’s all very static. There are no graphic frills running from the courtyard to the classroom; no moving cars, wandering birds or fluttering flyers. It attempts to vary by sometimes having you move the camera in three directions, or spotting mini-demons floating around before the girls can be ejected from existence. The skill lies in learning, through visual recognition and name badges, of all students and their specific erogenous zones. Hardened gamers, for example, will know that the blonde with pigtails and glasses likes pheromones on top, and can build chains of “Ecstasy Shot” combos to really master the game.
That said, Gal Gun is so quiet on Beginner that he’s boring. Expert mode demands a tighter wrist action and serves a modest challenge, but the game’s three-hour runtime is mostly bolstered by its variety of routes, augmented by who you choose to “like” (not reciprocally , of course) at the end of step 1 -2. Some options here are unlocked through extended play, and a few choice-based moments occur throughout the adventure that affect the narrative. You’re also regularly given options to go to the locker room, gym, library, etc., allowing you to tailor your decor and uniform fetishes. The game is full of secrets, endings, and bonuses to collect, from character profiles and journals to a shop full of lewd trinkets.
Boss battles are fairly rare and range from the typical projectile firing and sending timed targets, to sections where you can rub your fingers a little and wiggle the stick to solve an on-screen glitch. These range from teasing a girl whose ass is stuck in an open window, freeing her through a process of lifting your analogs up and down, to destroying monsters’ tentacle tongues before they lick your beautiful lady to death.
The original PS Vita and PS4 versions had several infamous DLC packs in Japan, costing almost as much as the actual game. One, known as “Pheromone Z”, removed clothing during camera zooms, while the other allowed the size of the cast’s breasts to be adjusted. While we haven’t reached a point where those particular features have been unlocked, this Switch version boasts all previous DLC, including the dressing room, where you can change your love’s costume. It also features an exclusive opening cutscene, which unimpressively projects the game’s artistic assets around the screen to an unbearably boring song.
The talkie bits between the stages are mundane episodes of helium-induced cartoon waffles, informing you of your romantic pursuit as cute angels and demons try — and fail — to inject gas. humor in proceedings. If that sounds like something you would normally skip, this isn’t the game for you.
If you consider yourself an anime-loving Hikikomori, adjust the score below to 10. You’ll love it. Everyone should really ask themselves if spending their hard-earned money on this is the best way to blow off some steam. It’s also worth noting that Gal Gun decreases the Switch’s portability by around 90%, as you definitely wouldn’t be seen dead playing it in public.
Gal Gun: Double Peace knows its audience, almost too well. Its entertainment factor centers on gross perversion dressed like a Saturday morning children’s cartoon; and, if anyone tries to tell you that this is a satirical play addressing the difficulties that Japanese women face in a largely sexist society, feel free to laugh in their face. That said, it is certainly more than one Game – and an altogether better game – than most that fall into the ecchi Category. While simplistic, there’s nothing particularly broken about it, and its Expert mode offers playable enough to be mildly involving. But, if you don’t have a particular affection for its showcase, there’s not much here to keep rail-shooting fans engaged.