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Grim Guardians: Demon Purge Review

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge Review

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is a 2D action spinoff of the Gal*Gun game series developed by Inti Creates. This gothic-horror game tells the story of sister demon hunters Shinobu and Maya Kamizono who have to fight the demons that have come to their realm and taken over their school. This whole thing is Kurona’s latest prank — she is being held back a year in school and blames the sisters for “constantly giving her a HELL of a time” — she fused the school’s dimension with the demon realm’s Demon Academy and created her own evil fortress. Kurona will be awaiting you at the top of the school after you travel through thfull academy defeating all the evil spirits awaiting you. 

grimguardians Kurona

The whole school is divided up into seven stages, and the sisters have to explore each one to defeat the large demon fiend at the end to move on to the next area. The game will show you a map, which is very similar to the ones in Castlevania, only in shades of purple or pink to match the aesthetic of the game. Each girl has a compass they can use in case they get lost in the castle, it will also point in certain directions leading you to rare items you can pick up and where the stage Demon Boss is located. These fiends are former classmates of Maya and Shinobu and were transformed into demons when the school and demon world fused. These classmates are also characters who appeared in the Gal*Gun games like Akira Hibuki or rocker Aoi Uno so if you have played any of those you are sure to recognise these students. Once defeated, they turn back to normal and give you sub-weapons like the Anti-demon Grenade (Shinobu) or Paper Crane (Maya). The students that didn’t become these large fiends have been captured by evil entities and when saved, they will replenish some of your HP.

grimguardians rescue


Grim Guardians: Demon Purge has the two sisters sharing the hero role. Each heroine is unique and has skills that are useful in different situations. Shinobu uses a gun for her weapon; she has an unlimited supply of ammo, but once that bullet clip is empty she will need to reload before she can continue firing. Maya uses a sword to attack; she needs to get up closer to the enemy than her sister, but she does a lot more damage. Besides having different attacks, the amount of health each girl has also differs. Shinobu has 12 health points, and Maya has eight health points, but this is because Maya is stronger and can kill an enemy with fewer hits than it takes to shoot them. So when Shinobu is shooting she has a better chance of getting hurt since she has to stand there for a lot longer firing her gun than her sister. The game makes it incredibly easy to switch characters on the fly with the tap of one button the sisters swap places. This is so useful when you come across enemies that you can take out from far away with the gun, or foes that are easier to dispatch with one sword hit or if they have secondary weapons like grenades that would be useful. The game can be played with one or two players at any time you start playing. When playing with two players locally, players have the ability to turn into a mascot. This will allow you to instantly warp to your partner’s location so you don’t need to worry about being left behind.

grimguardians boss

While playing single-player, if one of your characters falls in battle, the surviving sister is taken back to the start of that screen and has to get to the fallen body to perform CPR to bring them back to life. Once brought back, half of their health will be recovered. If both die, the sisters are taken to a screen with a fancy light where you have to use a continue to proceed and try again. Since the game offers two difficulty modes selecting Casual means continues are unlimited so you don’t have to worry about this, if you selected Veteran lives and continues are limited so you may run out and get a game over. 

grimguardians cpr

Since Grim Guardians features the characters from Gal*Gun you may be looking forward to some revealing outfits and lewd comments. Sorry to inform you there's no panty shots or anything like that, but, there when you get to the stage where you are battling against a plant demon, you will be treated to a few lewd comments. This plant has captured Kaname Nonomiya (the shrine maiden obsessed with anything involving spirits and ghosts) and has her wrapped up in its vines — which Shinobu calls tentacles — and you can imagine where the conversation goes. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s entertaining.

grimguardians tentacles

If you have played any of the titles in the Castlevania series before (especially Rondo of Blood), you will instantly recognise the inspiration for Grim Guardians. Most of the time the path is linear, but there are opportunities to explore other areas that require a specific power to access. These sections will be blocked off with a wall that shows a symbol like an umbrella, you won’t get this power until later in the game so you will have to travel back to that section to unlock it. The secret areas won’t need to be explored to complete the game, but if you want to get all the achievements and collect everything, you will need to backtrack. There are shields on the wall to smash (the game calls them lamps) that will give you items like health, Weapon Points to use secondary weapons, or pride points to fill your Purge Gauge. Once filled, you can perform a powerful Demon Hunter technique using both sisters. This deals a lot of damage against a large Demon Fiend or if you have a lot of enemies in one area, this attack will clear them all out.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is a great-looking 2D platformer set in a creepy-looking school, and is full of pixelated characters. Shinobu and Maya look great as retro-inspired characters and as you progress they unlock a variety of attacks to unleash on their enemies and tons of blood sprayed everywhere. There are quite a few different entities to fight, but some constantly keep showing up. There is a green reptile snakey thing with glowing red eyes wearing a purple robe, they aren’t super strong as they only require one hit with Maya’s sword to kill, but they constantly keep respawning, it gets irritating very fast! Plus they keep showing up in every stage and I would rather have a different demon to switch it up. The music is moody and creepy fitting the evil and possessed look of the school. In between stages when the sisters are talking, you just see a still image of the character and a text box. It would have been nice to see this animated or even see the pixel heroines moving around and talking.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is a fun 2D platformer, that fans of games like Castlevania will definitely love. It even has weak spots on the walls that can be broken and you find items like health, though it’s not meat like it was in the original series — yum old wall meat! With entertaining characters to play as and a great swap move to switch sisters on the fly, it’s fun to be strategic and toggle between the two. I don’t feel that this game is as challenging as a traditional Castlevania title, but if you want a game that is a bit easier the game offers the easier Casual mode. Now I want to go back and check out the Gal*Gun games to see all the students in their original appearances, and be entertained by dialogue like “Look at those tentacles!” and “mmm don’t touch me there!”

grimguardians wallbreak

7.50/10 7½

Gal Guardians: Demon Purge (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is a great-looking 2D platformer that feels just like a Castlevania game. With entertaining characters, and the ability to swap the main characters on the fly. Can get repetitive seeing the same enemies constantly respawning and lack of animated story, it is a solid title overall.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

Lover of all games, old and new!

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