By Steve Baltimore / February 12th, 2021
|Release Date||February 12th, 2021|
|Platform||PC, Nintendo Switch|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Mature 17+|
Gal*Gun has become one of my favorite series since it first appeared in North America back in 2016. The title that released then, Gal*Gun Double Peace, was actually the second game in the series. We never got to experience the first title in this amazing franchise, until now! That’s right, Inti Creates and PQube Games have teamed up to give us Gal*Gun Returns. This is a remaster of the first game with some nice upgrades. This includes revamping some of the girls’ looks to make them stand out better, new CGs, updated graphics and more. I was super excited to get my hands on this one, let’s see if it lived up to my expectations.
The story here follows a young man named Tenzou Motesugi. He is not a very popular guy with the ladies, but he does have a crush on a few girls at his school. He encounters a cute, but clumsy, angel named Patako. She accidentally shoots him with a lot of love arrows, and this has a very unique side effect. Every girl in the school now wants to make him theirs! The effects should wear off if Tenzou manages to get himself a girlfriend. He has his eyes on one of our lovely heroines, but this will not be an easy task. He will have to satisfy the hordes of love-struck girls, while winning the heart of the one that has his!
While Gal*Gun Returns‘ story is very simple and straightforward, I really enjoyed all of the girls’ routes. Kaname is a cute shrine maiden obsessed with ghost and spirits. She’s ready to exorcise anything that is causing Tenzou harm! Akira may be the cutest tomboyish girl to ever grace a video game. She is very much into sports. She is a defender of justice and hates weak people, so she is constantly giving Tenzou some pretty extreme training. Kaoruka is the daughter of the head of a very wealthy conglomerate. She is extremely popular in school and is way out of Tenzou’s league. This doesn’t stop him from going after the girl of his dreams however, and you find out some interesting things about her along the way. Last but not least is my personal favorite, Aoi. This girl is rock and roll all the way. She is the lead in a band and she speaks exactly what is on her mind. She is really adorable, being compared to a bunny by some of the other girls. She is interested in finding love, but figuring out how to put that into words can be harder than it seems.
Graphically, Gal*Guns Returns has seen many improvements with this release. Character models have been reworked and the game supports resolutions up to 4K on PC. The PC version also runs at a constant 60 FPS. I was able to run the game very well at 4K on my desktop with an Nvidia 2060 KO and at 1080p on my Ryzen 2300u laptop. The girl models are fairly detailed. You can read the name tags on the nurse uniforms and the patterns on the plethora of different panties are nicely shown off. When they say there are over 400 different types here, they mean it. I’ve played this game for over 10 hours and I don’t think I’ve seen them all yet! The PC version also features full keyboard and mouse controls. I find these much easier to use in these games than the standard controllers, but you can use those here as well.
In the audio department, this game really shines. The soundtrack is fantastic, giving you plenty of upbeat tracks to shoot the girls into ecstasy with. Each of the heroines has their own unique ending theme. I thought this was a very nice touch, but some subtitles for the song lyrics would’ve been nice. Every character aside from Tenzou is fully voiced. The girls’ reactions as you shoot them with pheromones are greatly enhanced by all the wonderful voice acting, and I’m certainly glad Inti Creates took the time to add them all in.
Gal*Gun Returns‘ basic gameplay is that of a rail shooter. You will use your pheromone gun to shoot the girls into euphoria. Each girl will have a certain zone that will get them to ecstasy faster. If you hit them in their weak spot, you will get an Ecstasy Shot. This will give them euphoria in a single shot and greatly increase the heart shaped meter on the right. Once this meter is full, you can enter Doki Doki mode. This is where you will get up close and personal with the girls. You will have to move around their bodies zooming in on different areas and shooting them until you fulfill their lust. If you stay on one area too long, the girls will guard and you will have to move to a new area of their body. If you succeed in giving them ecstasy before your meter is depleted, this will shoot out a wave of pleasure to every other girl on the screen. You will also obtain profiles on each girl for collection mode, and eventually be able to fantasize about them there as well. In addition to rail shooting sections, each heroine has her own minigame you will have to complete as well. These include things like shooting cannonballs while swimming, helping Aoi come up with song lyrics, aiding Kaname in her search for books, and more. These games are pretty simple, but if you play on the harder difficulty they can be quite challenging.
After you complete Gal*Gun Returns‘ main story, it’s a good time to try your hand at Doki Doki Carnival. This mode plays a bit differently from Story mode and continues the story. Here, you will choose the area of the school you want to explore from the menu and be greeted with girls in that area talking. These little scenes are nice, since they give the girls outside of the main heroines a bit of personality. You will only use Doki Doki mode here, but you will have to satisfy up to five girls at once! This seems like it would be difficult, but your meter restores when each girl reaches satisfaction. This mode wraps the story up nicely, and you get a nice little surprise at the end of it.
Other games modes include a Score Attack mode which lets you play all the rail shooting stages without any story or minigames. Your score will be recorded at the end and you will earn some Angel Feathers for your trouble. There is also a Collection mode. Here, you will use the Angel Feathers you earned from completing the other modes to unlock CG images and more. You can also view the scenes you have unlocked from completing the heroines’ routes as well.
I have to say, I had a lot of fun with Gal*Gun Returns. I really loved all the characters and the story. The gameplay is still a ton of fun, and the Collection mode actually has some really awesome CGs that are well worth unlocking. I spent about 10 hours with this one and was able to complete all four heroines routes with one ending and Doki Doki Carnival a couple of times. To get all of the endings and complete all the girls’ profiles will take you a bit longer, but this adds a lot of replay value to this one. If you’re a fan of the series, buying this is a no-brainer at $49.99. You will love this one just as much as the previous releases. If you’re new to the franchise, this is the perfect place to start and see why folks adore this over-the-top series.
Game copy provided by the publisher for review.
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