If you’re already a fan of the Gal*Gun series then you’ll likely have a pretty firm idea of what this game is all about; if you’re not, you’ll still probably have a pretty good idea based on the screenshots and artwork currently covering this page. Gal*Gun 2 is actually the fourth entry in this fantasy, over-the-top world, with a VR game being the last instalment on PC and smart devices less than a year ago, and Gal*Gun Double Piece appearing on consoles the year before that.
As you might expect, this game follows in the scantily-clad footsteps of its predecessors. You play the role of a bored schoolboy who finds a mysterious app on his phone which cannot be deleted. Opening this app makes an angel appear who presents you with a VR-looking headset and a magical hairdryer of sorts, before telling you that you have been summoned by the Angel Ring Company to help fight poor schoolgirls who have been possessed by demons.
All of this results in an on-rails shooter where you’ll be fighting off swarms of schoolgirls who are entirely infatuated with you - an “unfortunate” side effect of wearing the headset. You’ll be firing shots at the girls as they appear with your Demon Sweeper (or magical hairdryer), with special point bonuses being given for hitting them in (ahem) certain body areas as you try to make your way through to the end of each level. These critical hit areas give the girls “Euphoria”, and can result in a much quicker overall performance as they need fewer hits to be taken down.
You’ll sometimes notice small demons that are physically attached to the girls, usually peering over their shoulder or on their head. These girls are much stronger, and are therefore much more capable of killing you with kisses and brutal slaps of their love letters, so you need to aim at the demons first, knocking them away from their host. From there, you’ll need to suck the demons up Luigi’s Mansion-style; the overall aim of the game is to hit a quota of demons over a set time period and you are graded on your demon-catching skills at the end of each round.
Aside from that, there isn’t really much else going on in the main game levels. Each one is an extremely similar affair: shoot some girls for a bit; move position by shooting a silhouette of yourself further down the scene; shoot some more girls, and then suck up their demons; and eventually reach the end. There is a zooming option that can help you to hit any girls that are too far away, and you can also make use of motion controls to aid your fire, but you’ll always be performing the same moves and will essentially be doing the same routine over and over.
The game is structured through the use of your in-game mobile phone, which acts as a sort of base hub of operations. It is from here that you’ll be entering each level and choosing between the main story levels or side quests that appear throughout. The side quests are essentially pleas for help from various female students; you’ll head to a certain location, help them with their problem, and receive a bunch of chocolate and their phone number as a result. The good thing here is that these missions sometimes offer different styles of gameplay.
Instead of the identical-feeling on-rails levels from the main story, these quests can task you with different objectives such as defending girls from oncoming waves of demons, or locating objects dotted around a scene while trying to avoid being spotted by your adoring demon fans. We actually found these levels to be a real challenge, and usually came off a little worse for wear – a complete opposite to the mind-numbing simplicity of the main game.
Your phone also allows you to organise meet-ups with any girl whose number you’ve acquired, seeing them turn up in the showers, the gym, a classroom, or even eventually your home. Here you can simply have a chat, feed them chocolate and other sweets as if they’re your favourite pet, and take part in massages that they don’t seem to be all that happy with. You can also change the appearance of the students and teachers that roam the school to your liking, selecting certain outfits for their uniform, gym wear, and more.
Visually the game is pretty average. Character models might provide certain levels of enjoyment for reasons that we don’t need to explicitly mention here, but on the whole the aesthetic is simply there to get the job done. This is something that actually appears to be consistent throughout every part of the game; everything works as you’d expect, but no aspect of the title feels like it hits the standards you’d want from a full retail release.
Of course, the Gal*Gun games are targeted towards a very specific audience and, if you fall into that category, the girls and fantasy plot line might be enough to persuade you to give it a go. Looking at it purely from a gameplay point-of-view, however, leaves an awful lot to be desired. Unfortunately, Gal*Gun 2 feels more like an excuse to live out a visual fantasy than a video game, and while that can work well in some cases, the activities offered here could work just as well in a much cheaper mobile experience. The asking price is simply too much for what you get in return.
Gal*Gun 2 offers an on-rails shooter experience that gets very familiar and repetitive far too quickly, without ever really providing enough content to keep you hooked. The pure fantasy element of the scenarios at hand is certainly the selling point, but the gameplay that surrounds it isn’t strong enough to justify a purchase. If you’re a fan of the series’ earlier titles, or if the art and plot appeal to your tastes, you’ll likely get something from the game, but anyone looking for great gaming action will likely be pretty disappointed.