Gal*Gun Returns (Switch) Review

Back in 2011, the world was introduced to Gal*Gun, a game in which you play the role of a guy who has to fend off horny schoolgirls by shooting them with his Orgazmorator (Have you seen Orgazmo?). Originally released on the Xbox 360, then the PS3, this rather unusual game never released outside of Japan, despite the sequels coming to the west on PS4, PS Vita, PC, and the Switch – there was even a VR game on the PC. However, today marks the release of Gal*Gun Returns, a remaster of the original game, available in the west for the first time on both Steam and the Nintendo Switch.

There have been a few issues with this remaster, issues which I’m not happy with and would love the platform holders to reconsider. First of all, no PlayStation platform was planned, despite Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2 launching on their systems before any other platform. Plus, Microsoft seemed fine with it going on the Xbox until the eleventh hour, which is when they pulled the approval and had PQube and Inti Creates scrap their completed Xbox edition. So, only the Switch and PC got this version of the game, the two original platforms the game launched on in 2011 and 2013 rejected the remaster, a remaster of a game they once approved. Seems legit…

Thankfully, I have a Nintendo Switch, so I didn’t miss out on all the sexy goodness. But, after playing the two sequels on the PS4 (recently), did this remaster get me excited or did it feel old and limp? Let’s find out…

Gal Gun Returns 1

Oh no!

All Gal*Gun games start in a similar way, you play the role of Tenzou Motesugi, a young schoolboy who has no luck with the ladies – not even the female animals. So, as he was walking to school one day, contemplating about why none of the young perky girls like him, a young apprentice Cupid-like angel appears and decides to brighten his day by shooting him with one of her arrows. However, due to her clumsiness, she shoots you with sixteen of them, making you Way Too Freakin’ Popular (WTFP), a condition which instantly gives you the ‘Lynx effect’ as every female in your school becomes aggressively attracted to you.

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Now, you may say to yourself, “I’ll be great having all these young girls jump on you, wanting you to be their senpai as they fight over who gets to have you” – but alas no, you’ll never have another day like this in your life. Basically, if you don’t use your newly obtained ‘powers’ to find a girlfriend today, you’ll forever be a virgin as, as stated above, no women, girls, or female animals will ever love you. So, armed with a pheromone gun (I call it the Orgazmorator), you must fend off the horny high schoolers as you try to get close to one of four girls which you actually have feelings for, breaking down their barriers and removing whatever demons are holding them from liking you back.

The game is very silly, it introduces fantastical bosses, has both young girls and female teachers who are totally obsessed with you, hundreds of different panties (something used in all its advertising), and the dialogue is very funny and full of innuendo. In order to enjoy the game, don’t take it seriously. Yes, you’re basically giving a bunch of (probably) under 16 girls orgasms in order to stop them from approaching you, but it’s all harmless fun. So, let’s dive deeper into this harassment and fondling simulator and see if it’s a game you’ll like…

Gal Gun Returns 2

Imagine House of the Dead but with young girls!

Gameplay
Gal*Gun Returns is an on-rail shooter, like House of the Dead and Time Cop, only instead of shooting zombies and criminals, you’re shooting young girls and teachers until they literally have an orgasm and fall to the ground with tears of joy. Unlike Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2, Gal*Gun Returns is rather simple, not offering you any choice in the direction you go or even any collectables to shoot whilst pleasuring the ladies. This is expected, as it was the first game in the series, but don’t expect too many additions over the original game as this is pretty much a standard remaster with only DLC content added as a bonus.

The game is broken down into three parts, Visual Novel-like story segments with choices, Combat on-rails, and the questionable ‘Doki Doki mode’. The narrative parts revolve around you interacting with the girl you’ve chosen at the start of the game, the one you wish to try and hook up with throughout the story. Whenever you meet up, you’ll be presented with two or more narrative choices which have three replies, depending on which you pick, the affection and compatibility you have with this girl changes and directly affects the ending you’ll obtain.

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That right, although this is a shooter at heart, it’s almost like a dating sim as you need to read the girls’ profile and try to both answer the questions to match her preference as well as mould your personality to meet the type of person she likes. You have four traits, Intelligence, Athleticism, Style, and Lewdness – these are set at the beginning via a quiz and then adjusted as you play based on what girls you Doki Doki with and how you ‘Doki Doki’ them. 

You can, as I did four times, get an SS for your score, after completing the game, but then express your love and get rejected or worse; you could end up in the Friendzone! So, you have to really keep track of what you’re doing and if you’re going in the right direction for the girl of your dreams. If you manage to get the True Ending for any of the girls, you’ll unlock another mode (which I’ll cover later).

Gal Gun Returns 3

Lots of lovely ladies!

Controls
First things first, Gal*Gun Returns really disappointed me. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s Xbox’s fault due to their lack of innovation with their controllers. Why? Gal*Gun Returns does NOT have motion control support, you have to use the Thumb Sticks to move the on-screen cursor. This may not sound like a big issue, but after using motion controls in Gal*Gun 2, I find it hard to get in fast and precise shots with only the sticks. If you’ve not played the game before, the girls pop up for a split-second all over the screen, so unless you play it over and over and know where they are, you’re going to miss quite a few targets. 

I say that it’s probably Xbox’s fault because the game was fully developed for both the Switch and Xbox at the same time, so it probably made sense to not incorporate a mode only one system could use – at least when the games were on PlayStation, their controllers supported motion controls as well. I really hope the developers add this into the Switch edition via a patch in the future. 

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However, after jumping back into the two Gal*Gun games on the PS4, I realised that they had a few control options I didn’t recall Gal*Gun Returns telling me about – yet after jumping back to the Switch, it appears the remaster does actually use the same controls! Basically, you shoot with B, answer questions with Y, X and A, and enter Doki Doki mode with X. You can also zoom into the action with ZR (but the clothes don’t go transparent). What I didn’t realise was that L and R both speed up and slow down your cursor on the screen, allowing you to quickly position the reticule or slow it down to get a more precise shot. Once I knew this, turning the girls on via their ‘special spot’ was much easier, but I’d still prefer motion controls.

Gal Gun Returns 4

Erm, yeah. Some of the costumes are quite revealing!

Combat
In Gal*Gun Returns, you can either subject the young females to enough ‘pleasure’ to knock them out, or you can hit their special spot and take them down in a single penetration. As you move the reticule over their bodies, you’ll see a coloured word appear (in Japanese), depending on the colour and the location you’re in when you see it pop up, shooting the right body part will result in instant satisfaction, netting you more points and a nice easy kill (well, love). The more ‘Ecstasy Shots’ you get (that’s what they’re called), the higher your Doki Doki meter will raise, allowing you to enter…

Doki Doki mode
Once you have enough Doki Doki power, shooting a girl with X will enter Doki Doki mode, allowing you to fondle and harass her in order to make her explode with pleasure. The great thing about this is that every girl who’s on the screen will also tremble at their knees and succumb to your mighty manliness. Although this mode isn’t as intimate as other games (in which you have a hand and have to literally poke girls in their nether-regions), it’s still quite lewd and perverse when you remember that you’re doing this to school girls (and teachers).

The way you bring these girls to the height of their excitement level is by staring or fondling (I guess) various parts of their body. You look at a body part with the Left Stick, zoom in with ZR, rotate your view with the Right Stick, then lock in your sexy staring ability with B. The girl will often get shy and cover up her boobs or downstairs area, blocking you from ogling with your peeping-tom eyes, so you have to keep rotating and looking at other things like her butt, thigh, shoulder, or forehead. 

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Gal Gun Returns 5

Grab her arse so she doesn’t fall, whilst shooting books!

Other modes?
As you play through one of the four stories (each taking about 1-2 hours), the girl of your dreams will often find herself in trouble or requires your help to find something. These manifest as mini-games and boss battles. The battles usually consist of either shooting the girls’ demons then pleasuring her, or hitting set targets followed by attacking the boss in their sweet spot. But, there are a few unique events with you and the girl – the one that I remember vividly is the library.

In this event, the girl is on a wobbly ladder in the library, trying to find a book. You have to hold the ladder whilst also finding books for her – this is another instance of why we need motion controls. Basically, you have to place the reticule near her arse, to hold her, then quickly move out to shoot a specified book then return to her arse before she topples. You have to do this over and over again until the time runs out or you hit enough books. I found this to be a lot of fun and a nice distraction from pleasuring girls all the time.

Doki Doki Carnival
This mode is unlocked once you’ve reached at least one of the girls’ True Endings. It’s a mode which removes the on-rails combat and replaces it with a short Visual Novel-like narrative followed by a multi-person Doki Doki. That’s right, you’ll have multiple girls in your fondling factory, switching between them in order to max out the pleasure of each of the princesses simultaneously, then unleashing your final thrust and sending them all to Cloud 9. After each successful sexy-time, you get to pick your next location from a simple map. This is a good mode if you like staring at your virtual waifu’s lady-parts up close.

Gal Gun Returns 6

Clearly, the best unlock of all…

Bonus features
After completing a storyline, you’ll be given a set of feathers based on what grade you get. These can be spent in the Gallery to unlock over 200 bonus extras such as original designs, images used to promote the game in 2011, concept art, and various images of each of the girls. However, the unlock you’ll want first is the most expensive, it unlocks a whole bunch of new underwear for the girls, swapping around what you’ll see in subsequent playthroughs. There is a lot of variety in this section and I can see myself trying to unlock them all – it’s just a shame there’s no trophy support on the Switch.

I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but the Switch could benefit from an optional trophy system, or devs should embed the trophies as we’ve seen with some other games in the past. Why? Looking at the trophies for the PS3 version of the game, it had you collect all the girls’ profiles, achieve all endings, and basically view everything the game has to offer. Without the incentive of unlocking something for doing all of these, will anyone on the Switch feel enticed into spending up to 80 hours to do everything? I’m about 30 hours in now, as I’ve played each girl multiple times, and it’s starting to feel repetitive now – especially the long-winded Doki Doki mode.

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Costumes
Gal*Gun Returns comes pre-loaded with a bunch of DLCs which were on the previous platforms. These are basically costumes and clothing items which you can use to customise what the girls and teachers look like in your game. I played through two stories with all the girls in their usual clothes – school uniforms which flick up to expose their panties – but then I simply put everyone in their ‘swimwear’, making the game much lewder and rather perverse. No hate on others who do this – I do it in the Trails of Cold Steel games all the time, but it does remind you that these girls are very young (based on their body types).

Gal Gun Returns 7

Hmmm…

Technical
Gal*Gun Returns looks great on the Switch in portable mode (I didn’t try it when docked) and it ran great. There was no framerate issues or crashes for the entire time I played it – even the load times weren’t too bad. The game has an anime look to it, just like the previous games, which helps with the fact you’re shooting young girls, as you’re just shooting young anime girls – which isn’t as bad. 

I think the biggest thing to mention here is that there are over 70 girls in the game and each one has been voiced. Sure, you won’t be having long conversations with them, and they’re in Japanese and not English, but each girl has their own voice as they fall down in pleasure after you’ve shoved your sexy bullets into them. Also, the music is great, it’s very reminiscent of the previous games so fans of the series will really feel at home playing the game. 

My only issue with Gal*Gun Returns is the lack of motion controls. They worked really well in Gal*Gun 2, yet in remastering this game the developers chose not to incorporate them. I really hope they come back as it’ll make the gameplay much smoother and more precise.

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Gal Gun Returns 8

Yes Ma’am!

Personal Opinion
I had a lot of fun with Gal*Gun Returns, despite finding the controls overly sensitive and hard to quickly get in precise shots (until I realised L and R adjusted the speed you move at). After I’d played through two of the girls’ pathways, I was beginning to grow tired of the Doki Doki mode – sure, it was great for the first 20 or 30 times, but it takes a while to complete and broke up the flow of the action as you’re pushed to use it many times in order to clear the screen. I eventually decided to just play through the game without even using the ability, even though it resulted in fewer points.

As this is a remaster of the first game, you’d expect it to be missing features and content added in Gal*Gun Double Peace and 2, so I wasn’t shocked to find it quite bare-bones. It’s not a bad thing, but once you’ve picked a girl, you’re on a set path with no deviations or even hidden secrets or items to find. As such, I’d recommend playing the game in short bursts rather than sinking hours and hours into it in one go – like I did – as it’ll begin to lose it’s charm and appeal if you do so. 

Thankfully, the dialogue in this game is hilarious – or at least I found it to be so. Each interaction you have with the angel or the girl you fancy can often be derailed and turned into a lewd conversation due to the protagonist delivering an innuendo or rude response to their questions. These choices often push you down the route of forever being a virgin, but it’s fun to see what the come-backs are when you pick those options. The dialogue is why I’ve played each route multiple times, to see what they say, and to grab enough feathers to unlock more items in the Gallery.

Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of the previous Gal*Gun games – yes. It’s not as involved as the other two but it’s still a lot of fun with none of the lewdness removed. If you don’t like lewd, young girls, anime, and perverse shooters – this probably isn’t the game for you, maybe try Call of Duty?

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Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
Gal*Gun Returns is a great remaster of the original game in the series, one which fans of the previous games will love. Despite being a rather simple on-rails shooter, there’s a lot of things to unlock, multiple endings to find, and a long Doki Doki Carnival mode to master should you wish to invest many hours into the game. Those who like lewd games will be happy to hear that it’s here, in abundance, cutting nothing (from what I can see) for this Nintendo Switch release. My only complaint is that there are no motion controls, a feature which I hope is added in the future. 

A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Gal*Gun Returns

£44.99
8

Final Score

8.0/10

The Good:

  • - A faithful remaster with no cut content
  • - Very lewd and rude
  • - Lots of unlockable gallery items
  • - Multiple girls to go after
  • - Great soundtrack

The Bad:

  • - No motion controls
  • - Can get repetitive if played for hours at a time
  • - Doesn't affect the score but it's a shame it wasn't released on the PS4/5 along with the previous games
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