Gal*Gun 2 on the Switch delivers for fans of games with harems of Japanese schoolgirls, otherwise it’s a mess of technical issues and unintuitive controls. The only redeeming factor is that the gyro controls are well designed, but Splatoon 2 is a much better option if you’re looking for a shooter with motion controls. Please be careful before entering this woeful world of waifus, as you may end up losing hours of your life.
Gal*Gun 2 is an anime-style on-rails shooter where you free high school girls and teachers from demons using your ‘Pheromone Shot’ and ‘Demon Sweeper’. Risu, an angel from the aptly named Angel Ring Co. (AR Co.), gives you a pair of augmented reality goggles which lets you see demons and angels hiding in plain sight. Your goal is to free girls of their demons and make them reach euphoria, all while helping Risu reach her demon busting quota.
I’ve experienced plenty of bad writing in my lifetime, (see: my intro) but the limitless use of anime tropes in Gal*Gun 2 exemplifies everything that is wrong with the script. There’s nothing terribly wrong with the story in terms of coherence, but the writing is too dependent upon anime clichés. Having to listen to Risu call me ‘Master’ throughout this tedious journey just made me feel uncomfortable to be playing this game. Gal*Gun 2 tries to have it all by sprinkling anime in-jokes here and there in an attempt to present itself as parody, but commits too much to stereotypical anime writing for me to take it as anything other than that.
Most of the jokes catch you by surprise and are funny enough for a chuckle until they get put on a seemingly endless cycle of repetition. The worst offender is the trickster demon Kurona who uses the word hell in every other sentence. You get all the information you need to know about her in her first cutscene, and she’s just about as deep as a puddle. The only joke that didn’t get repeated ad nauseum was when Kurona would call Risu a cheru-bimbo. Outside of being able to unlock her outfit, she’s an incredibly inconsequential and shallow antagonist.
Equipable clothing and other accessories are typically reserved for player characters or party members. Of course, if you’re going to pander to your audience then you should get to dress up the schoolgirls and their teachers in swimsuits. This feature only exists for helping to create some bizarre fantasy where you’re the only male in a high school full of girls who dressed up in what you tell them to wear. At the same time, having the ability to customize your enemies is a fun feature that I haven’t seen in other games.
Unlocking extra outfits for dressing up the enemies is achieved by completing a girl’s side missions which culminates in a mission type known as ‘doki doki’—the Japanese onomatopoeic word for the sound of a heartbeat . These levels have you rotate around a girl while shooting at strategically selected body parts to release demons from under their skin. Once you have freed a girl of enough demons then her clothes will magically disappear. Maybe that’s your character taking the clothing for customization, but at this point the lack of explanation is the last thing to worry about. These levels exist to pander to fans, but because they’re so easy they only serve as a waste of time and a barrier to finishing side stories. That said, using the Demon Sweeper to suck up all the mini demons that come flying out is pretty satisfying.
The other mission types in Gal*Gun 2 have a stronger focus on gameplay instead of being shameless fanservice. The other basic types of levels are the self-explanatory attack, defend, and search. There’s also a boss battle mode, but you only battle Kurona repeatedly and each time her attacks get stronger, but there’s never any variation in her moveset. This repetition leads to the game feeling like more of a chore than an enjoyable experience or god forbid, fun.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Gal*Gun 2 was provided by PQube.