So Lewd and Crude, I'm Glued.
First things first: Gal*Gun: Double Peace is filled to the brim with sexual innuendo, titillating imagery and sounds, and a storyline that's right out of a porno. This does not inherently make it bad. You may be thinking, “well, yeah, it's just a game,” but the level of outrage that the internet can foster is frothing at the mouth, maybe even enough to make you jump back in time to live as a puritan.
All that's fair in love and war: shout opinions, throw Gal*Gun into contextual politics and argue that's why it's evil. At OpNoobs, that isn't how we roll. Personally, I'm just here to play games, and this one had me chuckling at adorable dialogues, and feeling all tingly inside as I survived a day being the Most Attractive Person In The World.
Assume the role of Houdai Kudoki, a relatively average student in his second year of High School (the equivalent of our junior year, for us Westerners.) Early on, you get to choose your specialty, selecting the kind of character you want to be. That's done through the opening or closing up of dialogue options that will influence the story and the girl you want to engage in a relationship.
Now the first playthrough of Gal*Gun: Double Peace offers 2 prospective partners: either the younger sister, or the older sister, who by the way, were your childhood friends before the younger one left for “family reasons” and after which, the older sister never spoke to you again.
On-rails shooting begins after you're introduced to Ekoro, a cupid angel trying to pass an exam by getting 2 human beings to fall in love with each other and live happily ever after. But the matchmaker gets distracted upon noticing some evil creature trying to pass his own exam. A "let's make-up" exam. Spotting him aiming at Houdai, she tries to stall the demonish figure but miscalculates. In her haste, she manages to shoot you with an arrow that's 32 times stronger than the one she intended.
The consequence, you ask? Well, what would have been your life-long gauge for LOVE goes consumed instantly and is to last a single day. Should you not find your true love in time, you'll be doomed never to find it again. No pressure.
Notice that I haven't discussed the mechanics or the actual gameplay. That's because story and gameplay are so intricately intertwined, it makes it difficult to address one separately from the other. Depending on the path you take, sequences will or won't be triggered, boss battles will or won't be fought, and areas will or won't be discovered. When on rails, quick decision-making decides whether you pick one way or the other, and each can hold unique items that are essential to getting a complete playthrough.
You guessed it: with such mechanics, replayability expands tremendously.
And that's good news because Gal*Gun has sound and fun combat, with responsive triggers. The aiming is especially fluid when using the mouse, though I'll argue that the keyboard could use some fine-tuning, as at times, picking a direction is done with WASD and at others, via the arrow keys. Each segment could use different control schemes, and is that confusing? Yes. This is however coupled with onscreen directions, which would be okay if Gal*Gun didn't assume you were using a controller. Scrolling through the options menu to see which keyboard strokes are the equivalent of XBox buttons reveals a rush to port a game on the PC platform, and needless to say, a frustrating process for PC gamers. And speaking of menu options, they're lacking. VSync, Anti-Aliasing, where art thou? Come on, we deserve better than that!
On a side note and on my wish list are English subtitles: you'll find them when the story fleshes out, but not while on rails. I'm being nitpicky perhaps, I'll admit as much.
Loved it! Gal*Gun: Double Peace may be a shocker and an average port, but it's still a great game. I'd go as far as saying it's one of the best ones I've played in a while, and I would even recommend a purchase at full price. The replayability and fun gameplay are worth it.