Gal*Gun Returns Review (Nintendo Switch)11/03/2021
Gal*Gun Returns is set 10 years ago where apprentice cupid angel Patako is nearing her graduation. Before she can successfully graduate, she has one last task to accomplish: shoot a student with a Pheromone shot. Unfortunately, her gear goes out of control and she ends up unloading a barrage of arrows into the back of Tenzou Montesugi; a very unpopular kid in school. Given the sheer number of shots received, Montesugi will have until the end of the day to conquer the girl of his dreams. If he should fail, he’ll be alone… forever.
Gal*Gun Returns is what we could call a peaceful on-rail shooter. Instead of firing guns at aliens or enemy soldiers, you shoot pheromones on schoolgirls to give them Euphoria. Unlike previous entries in the Gal*Gun series, Returns doesn’t feature any branching paths, so it’s a pretty straightforward and linear affair. As with any on-rail shooter, you do have to be quick on the trigger to shoot as you’ll often have multiple ladies barring down on you; and you have to make quick decisions as some will spawn very close to you while others will spawn in the background, but will gain traction quickly and gain on you in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, you have an endless supply of pheromones, so you can fire at will and mash that button.
While the overall gameplay sounds simple enough and pretty bareboned, there are certain instances where you’ll encounter the Doki Doki Mode. When certain conditions are met such as being surrounded by too many girls at once, you can trigger the Doki Doki Mode where you’ll go one on one with a girl that you’ll need to shoot from various angles. Once the meter is full, you can “finish” her off by pressing X. Sometimes, you’ll need to deal with certain barriers “protecting” the girl from getting shot. If you successfully fill up the girl’s Doki Doki gauge within the time limit, all surrounding girls will also be fully satisfied.
Once you’re done with the game’s main story, the fun doesn’t end there! You can revisit the story in order to unlock the plethora of portraits, clothing for the girls; you can also jump into a “fantasize” mode where you’ll need to get the girls into the right position in order to… “observe” them. And then there’s an additional post-story campaign dubbed Doki Doki Carnival where all the girls, except the one Montesugi fell in love with, hate him. Or if you feel like challenging yourself, you can jump into Score Attack.
Gal*Gun Returns’ character models look great with their unique design and colourful uniforms. Areas are also very bright and colourful; typical visual for a cutesy anime-type game. Despite its touchy nature, this is kinda like a feel-good game; whether it be the premise or the clumsy Patako, it’s good for a laugh or two. Fun fact, the Xbox One version of the game was canned because of the subject, but this entry in the Gal*Gun series is pretty tame. The main problem is the length of the loading; they feel overly long. On the audio side of things, the game features a generic, Anime inspired soundtrack perfectly tailored to the game’s visuals and premise; far soundtrack of the year, but entertaining nonetheless.
While Gal*Gun Returns might seem pretty tedious, it’s actually a fun little arcade-like game. The simplistic premise of being an on-rail shooter makes it easy for anyone to just pick up and play if they can overlook the batshit crazy story behind it. Additionally, once you’re done with the main story, the game has enough content to keep players enthralled for quite some time. It’s also a great game to just relax and let your mind wander. However, if you cannot tolerate repetitiveness, this might not be the game for you.