What do you get if you take a title about shooting girls to make them feel pleasure in order to stop them from attacking you and make a squeal? Gal*Gun 2. Need I say more?
The follow up to the title of the same name expands upon everything that made the first game a hit, giving players more of what they love. With a mixture of new and returning characters from the first title, Gal*Gun 2 opens up the world and gameplay options in hope of being another successful title. Though it tries to tap into new ideas and explore new systems it still remains the same title that fans have come to love and know. Girls are madly in love with you and if you don’t want to die from that love, you are going to need to shoot them in their naughty bits. So pick up your gun, apply some Rambo style make up and get ready to fight for your (love) life.
Gal*Gun 2 has done away with the first game’s linear structure and replaced it with a more open approach that allows for players to feel more in control. You see, in the first title you could finish a playthrough in around an hour as each run followed the same path with player actions changing the events and outcome. In Gal*Gun 2 players have a time frame of around a month in which to defeat as many demons as they can which have appeared across the school almost as sudden as the girls have. This means that gameplay is now split across days rather than chapters. How players spend these days will ultimately determine the outcome of the story and the ending.
Each day has enough time for roughly three events to take place. This can be completing a mission that drives the main story forward, taking up side objectives, talking to girls or performing other actions. The goal is of course to score as many points as possible and work your way up to the needed amount to clear the month and therefore win. Should you waste days chasing after girls (Ironic, really) then you may not have enough points and therefore lose. Then again, depending on how effective you are at playing Gal*Gun 2 you may be able to work out an ideal route that ensures you have time for just about everything.
Now the gameplay is where the title has expanded the most and it is actually a welcome addition. For starters, players now have the option to turn full 360-degrees with fast turning available to make snapping movements. Sidestepping offers a means to get around some objects and even make cover at times and the option to move from a standing to sitting position helps reach those areas that usually contain something good. No, that was not a reference to panties but yes, it can help with that as well. To tackle the demons and the girls that wish to take you down, players can make use of their gun to shoot and even suck up enemies. Creating intense winds will ensure those demons can’t fly away but it also acts as a way to stun some of the girls as they hold their skirts down. Making use of this option when overwhelmed can be the difference between success and failure.
Elsewhere players can make use of a number of special abilities which help to add options to the otherwise repetitive gameplay. Want to take down a whole room at once? Look into a girls eyes and make them become lovestruck which, once ready, can be released to take down all targets on screen at once. Of course, once they get hold of you that is not the end of the fight as you will be able to continue shooting for a few moments even when pinned on the floor or against a wall.
Now, in the first game players were thrown into the situation of having girls madly in love with them after being hit with an overcharged love arrow, by mistake. This lead to the crazy events that unfolded, forcing the player to find the love of their life else never be able to love anyone, so on and so forth. In Gal*Gun 2 players find a virtual reality (VR) headset on their school desk and boom, they have been chosen to help fight the demons at the school and save the day. But why all the girls? Well that is because the headset is meant to attract the demons but is not working correctly so now girls are madly in love with you. A point that is, for the most part, just kind of overlooked by the characters in the game considering that it is confirmed your character cannot take the headset off until the end of the game.
Poking holes in the story for a game such as Gal*Gun 2 is somewhat counter productive but it is a shame the developers did not opt to work something more memorable into the game. Sure, it plays up to the subject matter and the dialog options allow you to play a complete pervert but had there been an actual story and writing here, the outcome would have been so much more interesting. It almost then feels odd to say that the story, and therefore the motive for the title’s events, felt more enjoyable in the first Gal*Gun then this one.
Touching on the look and feel of the title, Gal*Gun 2 does maintain a continuous framerate even during its most intensive scenes. That is no surprise though given how lackluster it actually looks. Character models and animations are detailed, smooth and generally hold up well. Everything else is poorly textured leaving a horrible contrast between the two. The background environments, now able to be explored more thanks to the new gameplay, look unfinished with blocky modelling and awful texture work. Sure, Gal*Gun 2 does not require you to focus on these but it is another area that the title just falls flat and continues to make you wonder why you are even playing it.
Thankfully the audio holds up well with a good variety of sound effects and music to accompany you on your questionable adventure. The delivery of the dialog is solid and the Japanese voice cast fit their characters well with the screams and cries of battle fitting the action. Then again, it does get old very quickly hearing the same scream as you land a well-placed shoot on your...victim? I’m not even sure anymore to be honest.
So where does Gal*Gun 2 end up? Once again it is a joy to find an on-rails shooter with strong gameplay that is a blast to play. It is therefore a shame that this time around the story, theme, girls and panty jokes just fail to impress. Take the gameplay and give it a House of the Dead or Time Crisis makeover and you have the makings of a damn good title.
Also, as something that was a let down with the first title, why oh why can I not pick my characters gender? Sure, it would be more work for the developers but having the options to choose the gender of your player character and that of those chasing you down would just be a nice option. As it stands, Gal*Gun 2 is a sequel that did not really need to happen. Sure, it is fun and has its moments but I can’t say I’ll be coming back to it anytime soon, if ever.
Gal*Gun 2 (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
Gal*Gun 2 is a sequel that improves the gameplay of the first title but that is not enough to make it a worthwhile follow up.