No one saw it coming, but here it is. The growing appetite for eccentric (and kinky) Japanese games in the West allowed the rise of new business actors like PQube, which is bringing Gal Gun Double Peace to our shores. That might not be the biggest game of the year, but I’ve cleared it last year and it’s worth a little mention.
When I say “cleared”, that’s actually not that complicated since its main story lasts for approximately three hours. No big drama then : the main character called Hôdai (you, in fact since everything is from a first person perspective) is hit by a cupid trainee, Ecolo. Having been shot at full power, poor (?) Hôdai is immediately pursued by every single girl of the school!
In this bizarre rail shooter, the player will have to calm things down by shooting… pheromones at the girls! There are 70 schoolgirls in the game, so fatally you’ll come across the same ones pretty often given the density of the levels. They all have a weak point (head, arm, thighs or… elsewhere) so you maximize your time and score if you’re accurate enough. If the girls come close to you, they will confess their love and that will have for effect to diminish your life bar. Aside of that, you’ll find between each chapters small requests from classmates asking you to find one particular thing hidden in the background. A little plus that gives a little more interest to the challenge because your spotting skills will be tested.
The game also include boss characters against which you’ll have to be even more smart and precise. Nothing extraordinary, but a high score in those battles is required to get the best possible ending. Those sequences then appear has a real challenge for the player who has no choice but to seek the perfect. Unorthodox in its theme, Gal Gun Double Peace ends up being kind of classic in its gameplay. The shooting elements alone don’t really make a difference.
Short, Gal Gun Double Peace still has a big replay value by having a dozen of different endings depending on your relation with the 6 main girls. You’ll have to choose between Hôdai’s childhood friends : Shinobu the sporty girl a bit tsundere, or her timid little sister Maya. Later in the game, you’ll be able to shift to a parallel route in which you can be more intimate with Kurona the demon girl or Ecolo, the angel responsible for all this mess. The last two characters are hidden and are to be discovered during the progression.
The friend level necessary to obtain a true ending (or at least a good ending) depends on various factors. First of all, the answers you’ll give to the multiple-choice questions you’ll be asked will, like in a dating sim, impact your relations with other characters. Therefore, you need to try to guess which one will please your partner. The second parameter is the boss fights, in which you’ll have to do your best to achieve something. Last thing, you’ll have to be extremely precise in the character events. Those are particularly quirky situations in which you have to zoom on your girl’s body and shoot small icons, but avoiding hitting her directly! Those sequences can be replayed later in score attack mode.
The big problem is that the progression system leaves little room for mistake : you have to be near perfect in everything you do. Otherwise, you have no choice but to restart from scratch. Because of that, the fear of failure lessens the fun. It’s pretty much impossible to find all the right answers in one walkthrough : if we set q the number of questions, the number of possibilities is 5q, and then the probability of a perfect score is 1/5q! Maybe not to that extend if you discard the obvious joke answers, but it’s so annoying that you literally have to read a walkthrough while playing… I do reckon that Gal Gun Double Peace should have had a lot more tolerance, especially in easy mode, so that non-veterans players can fully enjoy it too without having to redo it 20 times.
That makes it a slight disappointed as far as I’m concerned, but Gal Gun Double Peace is by no means a bad game. It’s first and foremost an ecchi game and it does it really well. You have to consider it more like a fan-service interactive visual novel. Inti Creates’ character design for this game is wonderful and efficiently rendered by the modeling. This is not super amazing 3D of course, but it does look sharp and nice, and still technically solid for PSVita (the pictures of this article are all taken from PS4 though). Dubbing is quite fantastic too, partly thanks to Yui Horie who plays Ecolo’s role in a very cute voice. Kurona’s lines are also hilarious in her tendency to say DEATH instead of です in Japanese, and her natural inclination to make a fool of everyone. Illustrations, events and outfits reach high levels of sexiness and the game certainly doesn’t hold back in being provocative, using hentai themes in numerous situations.
Short and frustrating in its gameplay, Gal Gun Double Peace is no less a very pleasant title for its target audience. Gifted with cool design and fun characters, it delivers its fan-service offering to the fullest, which may well make up for its drawbacks.