It’s no secret that anime can exist with an odd perpendicularity to porn. Most shows seem obsessed with jiggling breasts, while many revolve around an adolescent boy finding himself in a harem of cute girls. There’s a market for this stuff, and I’m man enough to admit that on occasion, it’s piqued my interest. Inti Creates has this sector of the gaming industry covered with its Gal*Gun series, and I was more than curious to try out Gal*Gun 2.
The premise here is simple enough: demons are wreaking havoc on the human world, most notably in your girl-filled school, and Heaven needs your help defeating them! These tricksters are possessing your female classmates and making them—for the lack of a better word—”excited?” To even see the invisible spawn from Hell, you’ve got to wear a pair of Pheromone Goggles, shaped suspiciously like a VR visor. You’re also armed with a special pheromone-shooting gun, which will expunge demons from those damsels in distress if your shot meets its mark. Wearing the Goggles makes you irresistible to possessed girls, so they’ll run at you and try to love you up while you’re trying to mow them down. Of course, you’ll also need an angel guide named Risu that calls you “Master.”
Shoot Me, Senpai
In most missions, you’ll be tasked with exterminating demons around school. To do this, you must shoot schoolgirls in either the face, hips, breasts, or legs—this releases the demon, as they crumple to the floor in a series of euphoric sighs and moans. Each girl’s “weak spot” is different; for some, you’ll notice text appear when you aim at their derriere, signifying their weakness. Others will want you to hit their chest. Some girls will even have visible chibi-demons attached to them, which can be shot and then sucked up with a vacuum for extra points.
Essentially, you’ll stand in place (you can’t walk around) as girls pop up in hallways, windows, and even sewer manholes, trying to seduce you. You’ll take them out one by one, by either sniping their weak spots or barraging them with random shots. Once a wave is cleared, a blue silhouette of yourself appears across the room. Shooting it will move you to its spot, changing your viewpoint and starting the next wave. Of course, there are other mission types too; one tasks you with protecting unpossessed girls from flocks of chibi-demons, while another asks you to find lost items in the environment.
Each mission takes up one of your two time-slots in a day. In between missions, you’re given the chance to interact with girls you actually know. And for a game designed to make you “excited,” Gal*Gun does a great job creating interesting characters and personalities. From the girl-next-door-who-is-also-a-shut-in to the cute demon who angrily shouts “HELL” each sentence, I genuinely enjoyed talking to most characters. Each one seems simple on the surface, but every story goes deeper than you’d think.
To talk to each girl, you must shower them with candy gifts and win their affection. Once you’ve conversed a few times, side missions will open up, allowing you to help these ladies with their problems. There are only three characters with these progression paths, but this feels suitable given how time-consuming some of the missions can be.
Not Thicc Enough
But that’s one problem with Gal*Gun—I notice exactly how long each mission is. None of them provide enough variety or interesting mechanics to let me lose myself in the game. Instead, I’m shooting invisible bullets of endorphins at girls for ten minutes, waiting for the end to come. Every new wave feels exactly like the last; two girls run around a corner, I shoot their hips, then the game says to look behind me for more targets. Repeat ad nauseam. It’s boring to stand in place and wait for enemies to come to you, and I can’t help but feel I’d be more into this if it were a PSVR experience.
I knew exactly what I was getting into when I booted up Gal*Gun 2. I knew it was a shooter where you made girls moan by clicking their hips. I knew it had a fascination with all things curvy and pervy. Gal*Gun‘s gameplay doesn’t justify its intent, though. Even if you really wanted to stare down some anime bodies, I’d suggest doing it elsewhere, as the missions here just get in the way.
It also doesn’t help that Gal*Gun refuses to separate its heartwarming story beats from its sex-related bits. While I adored the side stories, it’s excruciating to be forced to ogle a schoolgirls breasts, or “massage” their panty line. I just meticulously shot the butts of a horde of girls. Please Gal*Gun, give me a break, and avoid objectifying the main cast while you’re at it.
My complaint here is not that Gal*Gun is horny on main, because that’s its entire brand. Rather, I’m annoyed that it would let its fan-service get in the way of the game itself. It’s acceptable to lean into the “Onii-chan~~” routine as much as you want, but I’d prefer there to be top notch gameplay to accompany it. There’s a good story here. These missions could be a blast, if a few new mechanics were introduced. But everything runs together so much that Gal*Gun can become a jumbled mess. You stare down scantily posed schoolgirls, spin in circles and satisfy schoolgirls, then view more cutscenes with schoolgirls. Sometimes you might vacuum up chibi-demons and “accidentally” suck all of the clothes off a classmate. A cute angel says, “The suction never stops, Master!” It can all be a bit much, made worse by the fact that you’re standing in place the whole time.
Omae Wa Mou… Shindeiru
To top this off, each girl—including ones that assign a single mission and never truly talk to you—can be invited to a Rendezvous. You can call up any girl in the game, have her meet you at any location, and dress and pose her however you’d like. It’s an in-universe way to look up girls’ skirts or put them in a swimsuit. Yes, this is the model-viewer in Gal*Gun, but it’s also kind of creepy.
From here, you can also initiate Doki-Doki Mode. Using the outfit you’ve currently put them in, these ladies are teleported to a magical cloud world and pose for you on the ground. You must search every inch of their body with your cursor and expel the demons from them. Each one elicits a hentai-adjacent response. If you exorcise enough demons within the time limit, the girl screams, magically *poofs* into semi-nudity, and oozes a ton of demons, begging to be sucked up. It’s a trip.
I know exactly what Gal*Gun 2 is going for. I’m not fully in that audience, and many questionably gross modes in the game seem super not-gross to others. That’s fine; by now, you should know whether you’re the intended audience or not. Yet I notice the many ways that Gal*Gun‘s attempts to please one audience get in the way of it being a genuinely fun game with pervy bits on the side. It’s not frustrating that Gal*Gun 2 uses sex as a theme. It’s frustrating that Gal*Gun 2 is obsessed with sex as a plot point, mechanic, and motivator, in spite of everything else it has going for it.
Gal*Gun 2 review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please see our Review Policy.