You know what we don’t see much of anymore? On-rails shooter. That’s not to say the alternative – actual shooters like Shadow Warrior and Doom – isn’t acceptable. Having full control really means something. But it makes me miss the classic shoot-em-ups of old, like the House of the Dead series, Time Crisis, or, God help me, the polygonal beauty of Virtua Cop. (Yes, I said it.)
And that’s where Gal*Gun: Double Peace comes in. You portray a schoolboy making his way into a new area, and soon find that an archangel is ready to make a deal with you. You’ll be granted special powers, but need to find your true love in just a few hours’ time, or else you’ll be pretty much on your own.
It’s kind of a weird deal – in fact, the story doesn’t really make sense whatsoever – but it sets the stage for the “shooting” action, in which you’ll deal with a number of young girls that have fallen head over heels for you. Not so fast, Romeo – you’ll need to shoot some pheromones to keep them at bay, or risk having the wrong girl kiss you. Yeah, I know, drastic measures, right?
At first, the concept is rather unique – what other game has you “love shooting” young ladies until they collapse in a heap? (And, for that matter, how many gamers would actually boast about it to their buddies after they were done with a play session?) But the thing is, the gameplay gets repetitive over time, to the point that the creativity kind of fades away in favor of, “Sigh, let me fend off THIS girl now.”
There are some novelties built in that keep the game from being a loss. For instance, the branching paths are cool, as you can discover even more ladies to come across, or new scenarios to test out your “love”-lihood (compared to livelihood, see?). It’s also great to play around with the different types of young man you can be, like “pervert” (unlocked right at the beginning, so some of you can, ahem, jump right in) and even “hentai fiend” and “gentleman”. They don’t have an exquisite effect on the gameplay, but the approaches are appreciated, especially for those that can’t get enough of a game like this.
There are also some modes that cater to the Japanese gamer at heart, like the Doki Doki Mode with its humorous, and risqué, camera angles, as well as the Mama Kita Gamen mode, in which you can turn on an innocent RPG if, say, an adult comes walking into the room. It’s not playable, so don’t get excited – you can’t cast spells to take the girls’ clothes off, you perv.
In the end, though, the game does last a while, but to get the most mileage out of it, you’ll need to invest in the side DLC, which promises even less clothing. The sad part, however, is its price – to get the “naughty” stuff, as it were, you have to pay $90. That’s about one and a half times the game’s original price, as if you weren’t investing enough in perversion to begin with.
Gal*Gun’s design is definitely on the anime side, with schoolgirls looking like they popped right out of a Sailor Moon anime, and settings that resemble most cartoons of that ilk as well. It’s not the best looking game out there – it could’ve easily fit onto PlayStation 3 and probably taken advantage of the PS Eye camera and PlayStation Move controller, like most gun games do – but it’s decent for fans of this type of material. The voicework is strictly Japanese, but that fits the material better anyway. Can you imagine school girls falling in love with you with bad English accents? Nah. I wish the music was better, though.
Whether or not you’ll like Gal*Gun: Double Peace really depends on your tolerance of the material. This isn’t your typical shooter, and it doesn’t even have an abundant amount of substance, despite its theme. It’s got a decent presentation, and if you can get the hang of the concept (and maybe even try out a few character settings), you’ll get decent mileage out of it. But I really wish PQube would’ve just wrapped everything together in one package, rather than making the, ahem, “curious” audience invest so much in DLC. It’s a move that feels cheap and dirty – even for a game where the whole idea is to overload ladies with love.