Gal*Gun: Double Peace is an on-rails shooter developed by Inti Creates and published by PQube in Europe and North America. It is the sequel to the Japan-exclusive Gal*Gun and like its predecessor it revolves around shooting girls with “pheromone shots” to give them euphoria. While the game is also on PS4, I went with the Vita version for the convenience. I now know that was a mistake.
For the most part, the writing in Gal*Gun: Double Peace is about what one would expect from a fanservice heavy game. The main overall plot is pretty simple: after getting hit by a supercharged shot of cupid power, the protagonist becomes temporarily irresistible to most women and must find a girlfriend by the end of the day or he will be alone forever. The intended tone is comical and the game is filled with jokes and references. Many gags failed to hit their mark, but there were many good ones as well, especially in the side-quest text.
I started with the Shinobu route since it was where the selection defaulted to and it managed to impress me. Both the characters and plot are given just enough depth that the story works as a generic romance tale. It is not a particularly great one, but good enough to be serviceable. Next up was Maya’s route and everything that was revealed near the end of Shinobu’s route was spoiled almost immediately. In the rest of the routes, the characters were never given any development and there was not much more to the story than the overall premise of the game.
During story mode, the game occasionally presents the player with dialogue options which effect the affection level of the chosen heroine. If the player feels they have chosen poorly and might not get such a great result at the end of the game and they have saved up enough of the in-game currency, the option to simply buy a happy ending is available. There is also a route in which the protagonist can end up with any of the girls found within the levels depending on their actions during gameplay.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace has over 70 enemy models. All but the two tentacle monster bosses are girls of varying proportions, each with their own hairstyle and many even have unique flairs to their clothing. Considering how often enemy models get reused in other shooters, this seems rather impressive.
What is not impressive, or rather is impressive for the wrong reasons, is that the game runs very poorly on Vita. In addition to very long loading times, the frame rate within levels often drops quite a bit. Not only does this affect visual presentation, but it also has an impact on gameplay as well.
As far as pervy imagery goes, the content in the main game is pretty tame. The protagonist has the ability to see underwear through clothing when zooming in. Characters that are possessed by demons may stomp on the protagonist in a way that is clearly meant to be suggestive of BDSM. That is all. It does sound relatively perverted from a text description, but it is not like the girls suddenly pose suggestively or anything while their undergarments are visible which makes it seem fairly harmless considering social norms still allow people to wear bikinis in public. As for the stomping, the player does not get to feel the pain of the character so I can not imagine too many masochists would be turned on by it, and in the end a fully clothed enemy physically attacking the protagonist just does not seem especially perverse. Outside of the main game, there is a model viewer mode in which you can pick poses for the girls and leer at them, so the game does have something for perverts.
Every girl in Gal*Gun: Double Peace has her own voice. Even the most minor characters have some unique dialogue. This does not have a major impact on quality of the game, but it is worthy of praise.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is good at providing the player audio feedback for their actions. Different, distinct sounds are made depending on if you hit a random body part, a weak spot, an item, a point bonus, an enemy projectile, or a portion of a boss that is immune to damage and of course there is also a unique sound effect for missing entirely and hitting the scenery. Hitting the weak spot on non-boss enemies will take them out in one shot, so hearing the jingle lets you know to move on without having to pay attention to their animations. The game also uses audio cues to let the player know when enemies are about to attack and if there is a possessed girl nearby.
I honestly did not notice the music much. Due to paying so much attention to sound effects, I really only ever listened to the first few notes that play during a level or after an onslaught section where the change in music lets you know it is over. I can not say whether or not the music is enjoyable, but I can at least say it never got annoying.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a pretty casual on-rails shooter. Enemies do not attack too often and most stagger when shot in any location, so simply surviving is pretty easy. Additionally, you can stagger girls with the touchscreen and the hit boxes for weak spots are pretty large. However, items required for side-quests can only be seen while zooming in, so that can slow you down. The game also has a mechanic in which you collect the girls’ bust, waist, and hip measurements by staring at them while zooming in. There are also a number of hidden collectibles in each level and scanning for all these extra things can get in the way of getting a good score. Still, even with these added challenges the game does not present too much of a challenge.
In addition to your normal shots, the player has access to charged shots which stun girls in a small area and the “doki-doki” bomb which clears the entire area of enemies. These bombs use up a gauge that fills up as the player defeats enemies and activating them triggers a mini-game in which the player will select up to three of the girls on the screen and either rub or tap them to fill up a euphoria gauge while they moan with joy.
Occasionally you will find girls that have been possessed by a miniature demon. These girls will not take as much damage from your attacks, but if you find the demon you can shoot it off of them which makes the girl vulnerable to critical hits.
The core mechanics in Gal*Gun: Double Peace are pretty simple, but they are fun. Unfortunately, the frame rate drops mentioned before really take the fun out of certain sections of the game. The aiming cursor slides smoothly when the frame rate is at its peak but appears to jump around when the game is running slowly which is especially troubling since the game does not have any aim assist and your accuracy impacts your score and rating. The frame rate is usually consistent when the protagonist stands still to have direct confrontations with the girls and since that describes the majority of the gameplay it may not seem like too big of an issue, but there are also sections in which you will only have a small window of opportunity to grab a quest item or other collectible while the protagonist is on the move and the frame rate is at its worst. These slow-downs also occur during sections of certain boss fights which makes the trophies for getting a perfect score against each boss incredibly annoying.
For trophy hunters, it is worth noting that there may be a bit of an annoying grind. One trophy requires collecting data on every girl and while you are allowed to miss one piece of information on each girl, you will still need to either get their ending or select them for a doki-doki bomb at least once while they are dressed for PE and swimming. Neither is all that difficult, but you can only use so many doki-doki bombs in each stage due to how slowly the gauge refills and you only get one ending at a time, so you can not finish this for every girl at once. What really makes this grind unbearable is the amount of time you will spend in loading screens. Between booting up, logo screens that can not be skipped, and additional loading screens, it takes ~2 minutes 20 seconds just to get to the title screen when skipping the opening animation, then levels can take ~53 seconds to load and you will hit another loading screen when the level is over. There are also loading screens between story scenes and levels.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is an on-rails shooter that fails to provide a significant challenge outside of putting up with the frame rate and struggling to keep from getting bored during lengthy load times. The game feels perfectly competent in many regards and it would make for a decent casual experience, but the technical issues in the Vita version are a significant detriment to the fun and the frustration from dealing with them only builds with time.