Developed by: Inti Creates Published by: PQube Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 (also available on Vita)
Gal*Gun Double Peace is the second game in the series that takes place in the same setting but with a different set of characters from the first game. In this game, you play as Houdai who is accidentally shot with a fully charged shot of what’s basically cupid’s arrow. As a result, every girl in the school is uncontrollably enamored with him and basically tries to swarm Houdai and keep him for themselves. He’s told by the angel who shot him, Ekoro, that if he doesn’t choose someone to fall in love with before the end of the day, due to the strength of the love arrows he was shot with, he’ll never have a chance at finding true love ever again in his life.
At this point, the game turns into a mix of an on rail shooter just like Time Crisis or House of the Dead mixed with some visual novel aspects where you have to choose which lover’s route you want to go through. There are initially only two routes to go through but as you continue to play, you can unlock more and even find some hidden routes as well. You get choices in dialogue that determine how close you get with the girl you’re trying to confess your feelings to depending on how you play.
Which brings us to the primary mode of gameplay, the shooting elements. Houdai moves ahead in the stage as you shoot your “Pheromone Bullets” at the girls who try to jump you. If you hit the girls with enough shots or if you find their weak point, they’ll swoon and fall to the ground in ecstasy, giving you time to move away before they come after you again a little later. You can also find little side missions and hidden objects to look for as you go through the game to get bonus points and Angel Feathers, which are in game currency used to buy power ups, boosts in health, as well to change your stats to unlock different dialogue choices. You also get a special attack called the “Doki Doki Mode” where you can touch certain areas of a chosen girl to overload her with so many pheromones that she’ll literally explode with so much energy that’ll take out any other nearby girls all at once for bonus points.
At the end of every level you get scored on how well you do based on how many times you’ve hit, the accuracy of your shots, and how long you take to clear each part of the stage. Afterwards you get a little cut scene and then move on to the next stage. You can choose to go through the story mode and unlock the multiple different endings; or you can also skip right to the game play with score attack mode to aim for high scores by picking and choosing what levels you would like to play. There are also boss battles and a couple of other events as you go through the game that uses either the touch screen on the Vita or the touch pad on the PlayStation 4 controller.
The game is mindless fun, one of those types where you check your brain at the front door and just have a good time. Although if a gripe has to be said, it’s that the dialogue is often times weak, filled with references and memes that will undoubtedly become dated after about a year or so. There are also several scenes where you hear the characters speak but no dialogue boxes or subtitles are present. Since everyone speaks Japanese, unless you already understand it, you’re going to miss a couple of things here and there. Other than that, the difficulty curve is pretty sharp. There are only two options at first, with the Beginner level being far too easy while the Advanced level is a huge jump away. But after getting used to it, this is still a great game. If only there was a way you could actually use a light gun controller like in an actual arcade, it would feel even better to play.
In the end, the replay value of this game is very high if you try to go for all of the collectibles in the game and if shooting girls with pheromones is your type of enjoyment. So I would definitely recommend getting Gal*Gun Double Peace. If you like romantic anime tropes and light gun shooters then pick it up as soon as you can, otherwise maybe wait until the price drops a little. The game is definitely addictive once you get it, but it’s not quite worth the $59.99 price tag, much less the$ 89.99 DLC that allows you to see through the girls’ clothes…for tactical reasons I’m sure.