When I see a game as exploitative as Gal Gun: Double Peace, the last thing I expect it to be is dull. This is a game about a kid who shoots girls with “pheromone shots” until they climax, after all, and it somehow manages to be a crushing bore. Even the folks that come for the titillation are going to be horribly disappointed by this one — there’s not much to see here.
What good there is appears to be limited to the story, an extremely ironic fact given the premise. Still, I have to give credit where it’s due, and Gal Gun gives a hilariously dumb reason for lead character Hodai to be shooting off his, er, firearm. You see, he’s been shot by a sort of Cupid-in-training named Ekoro, which makes him absolutely irresistible to the scads of young women around the school (apparently all the gay guys are truant — if there are any other guys at this school in the first place, I didn’t see any!). Because of this, he’s only got 24 hours to find his “true love” before he runs out of sex appeal entirely.
Good thing he just happens to be attending school with two childhood friends who he may or may not have a crush on, then! The narrative segments of Gal Gun are basically told like a bishōjo visual novel, with choices to make and a girl to woo. That girl, naturally, is up to you; after picking Hodai’s title (there’s one called “Hentai Fiend,” which I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention), which determines his stats, you get to choose from one of several girls in the game to go after as your “true love.” As you complete these routes, you’ll unlock more titles and girls for repeated playthroughs.
The narrative itself is light as a feather and won’t appeal to anyone who doesn’t already enjoy this sort of fluff, but I have to admit its premise and some of its characters are pretty cute. Ekoro is quite humorous as the addled angel who’s made a terrible mistake, for example, and her rival — a demon named Korona — is also amusingly over-the-top. The game also features plenty of cringe-inducing material, unfortunately: I didn’t appreciate that, when one of the girls needed comforting, one of my options was to “rub her boobs” without her consent.
If you think that’s going to be mild compared to the in-game stuff, though, well… actually, Gal Gun’s a bit of a disappointment in that regard. I mean, I’m not saying I’d like there to be a ton of naked girls or anything — that stuff doesn’t interest me, if you know what I mean — but after experiencing the scroll-pooping wonder of the ladies in Senran Kagura (don’t ask if you don’t know), this one comes off a bit tame by comparison for the majority of your time.
As you might expect based on the plot, the basic idea of the on-rails shooting gameplay is that you’ve got a whole lot of girls after you, and you’ve got to reject their advances before they can tempt you into falling for them. This is pretty amusing for the first five minutes, as you watch hordes of squealing young girls absolutely throw themselves at the screen, attempting to “damage” you with letters, gifts and love confessions that soar across the screen as glowing Japanese characters.
And then the boredom sets in. No matter what level you’re playing, though the scenery may change, the things you’re doing — and indeed, even the girls you’re fending off — are exactly the same. There are some school handbooks and extra points to collect, but they’re no reason to put yourself through the torture of playing these levels over and over again. Occasionally, you can send things into “Doki-Doki Mode” to “pet” one of the girls in various spots until she becomes overjoyed, but that’s not as exciting as it sounds. When I went to share a video of this mode to Twitter, I found that the black “censoring” box actually made the action happening behind it seem a lot more risque. Spoilers: It’s not. It’s boring and stupid.
The only time the game does anything relatively interesting is during the boss battles that spring up, some of which are handled better than others. Naturally, many are just plain absurd in the way they attempt to make bizarre and uncomfortable scenes out to be sexy — from unsticking your chosen gal from a bunch of suspiciously-white-colored goo to rescuing her from the innards of an evil demon. Still, they’re easily a lot more engaging and surprising than anything in the regular levels, so that’s… something, I guess.
Visually, Gal Gun: Double Peace isn’t all that impressive. The girls’ animations are decent and humorous during the shooting sections and boss battles, but other than that, this is a cheap-looking effort. There were numerous times the on-rails camera would zoom in too close to a texture, showing just how awful some of them really are and leaving me wondering why they didn’t make more of an effort to stay away from close-ups. Plus, and this is a big thing for me, the gun just doesn’t give enough audiovisual feedback to be satisfying. It feels more like you’re tickling the girls with a virtual feather than blasting them with a gun, which really reduces the impact of every shot you take.
Gal Gun: Double Peace is unforgivably tedious given its premise. There’s not much in the way of titillation to go around here if you’re looking for explicit content, and the gunplay itself is repetitive to the point of nausea. If you’re looking for something to make your heart go “doki-doki,” I’d recommend playing something with a lot more energy — Senran Kagura might be a terrible game, but at least I got plenty of laughs from its shameless and often outrageous exploitation. This one, on the other hand, doesn’t do much to excite anyone in any sense of the word.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which we were provided with.
For a game about a guy who shoots girls with “pheromone shots” until they climax, Gal Gun: Double Peace sure is boring.