By Steve Baltimore / March 3rd, 2023
Reviewer’s Note: INTI CREATES changed the name of this from Grim Guardians: Demon Purge to the current title due to a copyright issue.
|Title||Gal Guardians: Demon Purge|
|Developer||INTI CREATES CO., LTD.|
|Publisher||INTI CREATES CO., LTD.|
|Release Date||February 23, 2023|
|Platform||Switch, PlayStation 4 | 5, XBox Series, PC|
When Inti Creates first announced Gal Guardians: Demon Purge, I didn’t really know how to take it. A Castlevania style game starring the amazing Kamizono sisters from the Gal*Gun franchise is something I thought I would never see, and I wasn’t sure how this would work. This is mixing two very different game styles together. Now that I have spent some time with this it’s time to share my thoughts. Was this a good Castlevania style game? Did it do justice to the franchise is was spun off from? Let’s find out!
Our story begins as our favorite demon antagonist, Kurona, discovers a dusty old mirror. She somehow manages to merge her world with a much darker one, turning their school into a castle from hell. The Kamizono sisters arrive and immediately spring into action. They have a pretty good idea Kurona is involved here, and they begin to explore the castle to find their fellow students and a way to restore things back to their rightful order.
Overall, I really loved the story here by the end. There were a lot more Gal*Gun-like things thrown into the mix here as you progressed, which made me feel right at home. I don’t want to spoil exactly what some of these are, but when you see them you’ll get a pretty good chuckle out of them. If they decide to do another one of these, maybe having more interactions with some of the NPCs and some more CG work would go a long way into making things even better.
Graphically, Gal Guardians looks fantastic. The pixel art characters look great with decent amount of detail, the enemy models are well made, and the over-the-top bosses are just icing on the already delicious cake. I thought the castle itself was very nicely done as well. Each area has a unique feel to it and you can tell the team put a lot of work into making every area look amazing.
In the audio department things are wonderful as well. The soundtrack is a pure joy, and exactly what you would expect to find in a game like this. The catchy and upbeat tracks that play while you explore each area of the castle will get stuck in your head quickly, and the boss themes are great as well. The girls will say different things as they jump and attack. I feel like a toggle to turn down how often these play would’ve been welcomed, but I really didn’t think it was that annoying either. The game is fully voiced in Japanese and all your favorite voice actors from the Gal*Gun games return here, so long time fans will feel right at home. The game does have a partial English dub, but I didn’t check this out. Hearing these girls voiced in anything other that Japanese would be jarring for me personally, but the option is there for those who want it.
The basic gameplay here is what you would expect to find in a 2D Castlevania style game. You explore the castle with girls in many side scrolling stages that have a ton of secrets to discover. Each stage has multiple paths to the end with hidden rooms and more to find along the way. The sisters have two very different play styles due to their weapons. Shinobu uses a gun, so she can take enemies out at a range. This weapon lacks the power of Maya’s melee weapon, but you will have to be closer to use it and she has less health than Shinobu does. You can switch freely between the two girls at any time if one is running low on health. If either girl runs out of health, you will be sent back to the last checkpoint. If you can get back to where your sister fell, you can revive her, but if you fall along the way, it will cost you one of your precious stocked lives.
The girls’ main weapons are not the only attacks your disposal. Each girl has an awesome set of sub weapons they can use to dispatch all the baddies in your way as well. These include things such as knives, umbrellas, bombs, penguins that freeze your foes and much more. You will unlock these as you defeat the bosses on your first run of the castle. These weapons can also be used to reach areas that you couldn’t when you take your second trip through the castle for story reasons. I thought some of the ways you use these were very creative and I had a blast playing around them.
Overall I had a blast with Gal Guardians: Demon Purge. The gameplay was very solid and a ton of fun. The writing here is great, and there are plenty of things here to keep fans of both Castlevania style games and Gal*Gun happy. My only real complaint is there is no way to pull up the castle map while in the stage. This makes looking for some of the hidden rooms more a pain than it should be. The game will take you around 8 hours to complete an ending. There are a three of these in total and some extra things to collect once the credits have rolled. I feel like this one is well worth the $24.99. It’s rare to find a game that would please these two very different fanbases, but this one will certainly do just that!
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
Gal*GunGrim Guardians: Demon PurgeInti CreatesPQube Games