Let me start this review by saying that I am not looking for any controversy here. Gal*Gun 2 might have received its fair share of controversy but as my intention was to review the product itself, I wanted to avoid talking about this subject matter. I wanted to see how the game actually holds up next to the fan service in term of pure gameplay mechanics and how the design from a VR to non-VR transformation works in the context of the game.
Gal*Gun 2 doesn’t feel like a full game in that sense that it is hard to shake the feeling that it was made for VR. Now don’t get me wrong, I have never played any game in the series (until this one) but the game has been designed in such a way that you will always have limited controls, even though there are like countless possibilities to use here when it comes to the control scheme. I will get to this section in detail later but it was honestly disappointing to see the approach to missions here which felt restricted even though the general gameplay is actually pretty decent once you get the gist of it.
First of all, Gal*Gun 2 is not exactly your traditional shooter. The premise it carries is a bit controversial since you will assume control of a boy who is able to make contact with an Angel through an app that somehow mysteriously ends up getting installed on his phone. The angel tells him that it is his duty to fight against the demons that might have possessed the innocent school girls. You will be offered a headset called the Pheromone Googles along with an odd looking gun that also acts as the Demon Sweeper. It is such a weird premise that it often makes it feel like a teenager’s fantasy, but it seems to just work here as the story is never meant to be taken seriously.
The main story missions works mostly as on-rail shooter that offers limited movement. You must use your gun to fire at any girls that seem to be attracted to your character, which is explained as a side effect of the googles that you have to wear. These googles are essentials in spotting the demons that usually control some of these girls so you will have to not only capture them, you will also have to avoid taking damage from them by shooting at the girls to give them ‘Euphoria.’ It is easy to roll eyes at such gameplay design and to be honest, the game never hides away from showing its fan service moments with the writing poking fun at the encounters.
There are side events to tackle as well. They can be mostly accessed from your phone which can also act as a hub of operations. These side quests play a little different compared to the main story. They will require you to either protect a girl from other demon attacks, or locate objectives while sneaking around and avoiding possessed girls. The phone can also let you set up dates with girls that have offered you their phone number for some intimate moments. This is the section where the fan service felt like it was a little too much because of the way you are required to treat them.
Girls who are possessed by a demon can be seen with a chibi model of them hanging on their body. You will have to target them individually in order to save the girl and then suck them into your gun to get bonus at end of each level. Gal*Gun 2 is all about the fan service that the game can provide during such moments. One thing that it does well is that the visuals are actually nice. The character models closely resemble an anime while the environments can end up looking a bit bland. The chibi designs for the devil can often make them look hilarious when you attempt to use you gun to suck them into the demon sweeper like a vacuum.
The on-rail shooter nature means you can just move your camera to aim and shoot at the girls. There is no way to walk manually and the game will basically throw enemies at you one after another until you have cleared through all of them. Once you are done with an area, you can then proceed further by finding the next position on the map and then shooting at it. This is one of the design choice from VR that has made it intact to this game and I really hated how it wasn’t changed to a proper exploration system. Regardless, the on-rail aspect can still work well enough that it is possible to still enjoy the gameplay.
When it comes to the Nintendo Switch version, the developers have offered the option to use motion controls which is nice to have as an alternative control scheme. It also seems to have been implemented decently but the repetitive nature of the gameplay can also make it a bit tiresome to use so only check it out if you want to see how it holds up.
Gal*Gun 2 Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Gal*Gun 2 is an upcoming rail shooter Bishōjo video game developed by Inti Creates. The game was released on March 15, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan. Several features from Gal*Gun VR like the Demon Sweeper return. Doki Doki Mode will also make a return after being absent from Gal*Gun VR.
Gal*Gun 2 had the potential to be a fun game but it suffers from some serious design issues. The main gameplay is rather weak and repetitive in nature and the novelty factor ends rather quickly once you realize that there isn’t really much to do here.