Gal*Gun is back, although this time, things are a little bit different.
You see, no longer is it a game about finding 'the one'. Instead, finding yourself in the possession of a heavenly headset that allows you to see demons, this time your aim is to meet a demon quota before time runs out. How do you do that? By shooting them with your pheromones of course. And due to your heightened pheromone level, you've become strangely irresistible to all the women around you, too.
Cue a madcap adventure in which you arbitrate quarrels between an angel and a demon, shoot hundreds if not thousands of lovestruck girls and devious demons with your pheromones, build relationships, and engage in sordid rendezvouses. Maybe Gal*Gun 2 isn't that much different from its predecessor after all, then.
Gameplay wise, those who have played the original Gal*Gun will slip into this sequel quite comfortably. The crux of the game is largely the same; you tackle stage after stage, shooting girls that appear all around you with your pheromones to give them pleasure, halting them in their tracks. Sometimes girls who are possessed by demons appear, and to deal with them you need to shoot the tiny demons off of their bodies first. To help you in your endeavours, you can zoom in and out to make your shots more accurate.
Unlike its predecessor, however, Gal*Gun 2 is a little less like an on-rails shooter. Each stage still has you travelling through an area, but now you only move from one position to the next when you shoot a blue silhouette of your character. Sometimes there might be more than one silhouette available, giving you some freedom as to how you progress through a stage. And there are other new gameplay additions too, like being able to suck up demons with your new vacuum gun, and also raise and lower your stance in order to get a better view of the action.
Perhaps the biggest change made to the standard Gal*Gun formula, however, is the introduction of new types of stages. Now you have to sometimes rescue girls by defending them from demon onslaughts, for example, or explore small areas trying to find a number of items. They're generally dramatically harder than normal stages, which can be annoying, but they do offer some much-need variety.
Gal*Gun 2's story mode is the main feature of the package, offering an amusing story to follow that breaks up the action. Your progression is sometimes halted by stages being locked until you've attained a specific number of demon hunter points, so from time to time you'll have to tackle other replayable stages and gain more points to progress. In between all the shooting action are also moments where you can interact with a couple of female characters in your bedroom and in a classroom, offering them gifts and developing your relationships. And perhaps the game's most questionable content is the ability to engage in a rendezvous with any of the girls who have given your their contact numbers after helping them.
There's not much point to it, but if you want to meet a female teacher in the bathroom you can do that if you want. Or you could meet a second year student in the gym. You get the idea. I should also mention that you can customise the way that the girls look, changing their base outfits before adding any unlocked accessories. Customisation extends to your bedroom back home too, with you able to change selected pieces of furniture and being able to put pictures up on walls. Again, it's all rather pointless, but some may find it entertaining.
Outside of its main story mode, Gal*Gun 2 also offers a score attack mode for when you just want to jump straight into some action. Here, your performance is of utmost importance, so you'll need to optimise the order in which you tackle your enemies, and also attempt to perform higher-scoring ecstasy shots which take them down with one hit. Those hoping for online-enabled leaderboards will be disappointed, however. Gal*Gun 2 will only display local scores for each stage that you have unlocked in story mode.
On Nintendo Switch Gal*Gun 2 looks great, and performance is solid too. Its anime-inspired characters are varied, and locations are quite detailed. It's nice that story scenes allow you look around freely and zoom in and out, and I also appreciate that the Nintendo Switch's motion control features are supported, allowing you to aim more intuitively. By default, motion controls only come into play when you're zoomed in, but you can set it to always use motion controls or turn them off entirely.
Gal*Gun 2 is every bit as good as its predecessor, even with its new types of stages not always entertaining as much as they should due to their increased difficulty. It's not as outlandish, which may disappoint some, but its gameplay has been fleshed-out and made more involving. Despite all that though, it's still very much a niche title. Those simply looking for a fun shooter with some lighthearted humour will possibly to find plenty to like about Gal*Gun 2, but they'll need an open mind.