Sometimes there are games that simply speak to you on a truly intimate level. Some will suck you in with a compelling narrative or truly unique mechanic and then hours of your life are simply lost to the ether. Others will whisper, so very sweetly, in your ear, "Go on! Have a good time." Gal*Gun: Double Peace is such a game. It is undeniably bombastic in its approach to its subject matter, very aware of what it is, and never backs away from just how lewd and so very anime it can be. I've grown to adore it in many ways for those very reasons.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace focuses on the story of Hodai, a teenager lacking in friends and looking for love, caught in an unbelievable situation. Ekoro, an angel of love, is on the hunt for a human to test her powers on for her exams and accidentally blasts him with a super-powered dose of "fascination". The formerly invisible teenage boy is now suddenly irresistible to the opposite sex, droves of his female classmates falling over themselves to profess their love for him. His only defense against the hordes of schoolgirls on the "Senpai Offensive" are pheromone bullets which allow him to push these would-be companions to euphoria and stun them into a daze. He must run the gauntlet in the hopes of finding his true love, but if he cannot do so by the end of the day, he will be left a friendless and loveless loser.
If ever things get too crazy a screen-clearing euphoria bomb is available to take up to three girls into "Doki-Doki Mode". This allows for the player to bring these manic schoolgirls towards nirvana with strategic touching in various spots all along each female's body. Several camera angles leave little to the imagination and once all the meters are filled with "euphoria" all other girls in the immediate area are brought to their knees. The amount of euphoria given to the ladies caught within Doki-Doki mode affects the stat allocation that is affixed to Hodai. What actual effect this has outside of small variations to dialog between missions wasn't made very clear. It does mean you can become known as The Hentai Lord so spread the love around.
It is far from the outrageous exploitation of the Senran Kagura series. The sheer lunacy of those buxom brawlers and their adventures far outweigh Gal*Gun: Double Peace in the "sure to cause some outrage" department yet this will likely get far more attention for the fact that this is set in high school. The crazy jiggling or overwrought sexual themes of that series, despite the core concept of Gal*Gun: Double Peace, are simply not present here. The story is breezy and fun, heavy on laughs, easy on exposition and approaches its subject matter well. The translation provided by PQube is straightforward and simple with some flourish thrown in, but it works well. Some of the original's context is lost along the way, but that is the consequence of nearly all localization isn't it? It is as fans demand, though, completely untouched in regards to content and that is a welcome sight to see considering how such properties are usually handled.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace pulls no punches and never pulls back from what it is. PQube is to be commended for taking on localization duties for this Inti Create/Experience Inc. co-developed shooter. This is the sort of project this is likely to bring a lot of attention and, in the West, a lot of it will probably be negative. It is, on the surface, exactly what it appears to be. The faceless/formless protagonist must send teenage girls to the brink of ecstasy to subdue them and, ultimately, find the one person for him. X-ray zoom is available on the "shots" dished out, revealing each girl's underwear and this helps to score "Ecstasy Shots" that are akin to headshots. One shot and schoolgirls left in a quivering mass in our hero's wake. There are also would-be girlfriends who want to dish out a love that is far more sadistic in its nature as they are plagued with small stylized chibi demons that must be dealt with first before stunning them with pheromone bullets.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a cinch to complete on its standard difficulty with a single run spanning two to three hours. There are multiple endings and numerous paths to take that all result in new potential love interests, loads of new collectibles and a store to purchase enhancement items for the art of dishing out euphoria. Some of these will change school dress code from standard skirts and blouse to only ribbons while others get far more ridiculous. The replay value is relatively high here for those who wish to explore the finer nuances of Gal*Gun: Double Peace. I recommend bumping the game's difficulty up higher. It made the experience far better as there are more waves of girls to contend with and the boss encounters were even better.
The overall aesthetic feels lacking in comparison to others in the same niche such as Senran Kagura or Dead or Alive Extreme 3. It is quite clear this was a bit of a budget production by the looks of most of the texture work (especially when zoomed in via the X-Ray camera). That aside, the girls themselves are fairly well modeled with such expressive eyes, distinctive voices across the gamut of teenagers and unique pantsu (underwear) for everyone. The environments are pretty boilerplate aside from certain boss battles that take place in some absurd locations (including the belly of a demon), but the cheerful disposition of all the characters involved, the bright hues and overall cheekiness on display make up for it.
The little details are what work. Girls will fire words of affection like shots from a rifle, bold Kanji letters streaking towards Hodai unless he manages to fire off a few euphoric bullets of his own. The pure afterglow emanating from every newly stunned attacker is palpable while sadistic stomps and painful pokes from the more domineering (and demonically possessed) students are displayed simply yet effectively. The Twitter-esque chatter between missions that offers up side-quests to complete and general banter between the hordes of girls seeking the player's attentions and affections are entertaining to read through as well.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace utterly embraces what it is. The Mr. Happiness collector's edition, from Rice Digital, comes in a humongous box with a set of panties that are meant to be a screen cleaner (along with an art book, soundtrack, and poster). PQube and company are aiming at a very clear niche demographic that will likely have pre-ordered this game without a second thought. It doesn't do anything innovative, but it is far from boring. It's a miracle it even made its way to the West considering the first game never saw the light of day outside of Japan. Set your weapons to "ecstasy", perverts.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace was reviewed on PlayStation 4 with a code provided by the developer. It is also available on the PS Vita.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a humorous and risque on-rails shooter that features rubdowns, schoolgirls shot with euphoria and even some tentacles to boot. It is far less offensive than it will be pegged to be but quite funny and featuring a great localization from PQube. Lock and load, lewd dudes.