The Gal*Gun series took me by surprise when it was first released in the west. To be honest, I didn’t know much about it, but that would change over the years. After a few sequels and a VR version, western players would be none-the-wiser that they had completely missed out on the series’s first entry. Named Gal*Gun and released on Xbox 360 in Japan, western fans were subjected to importing the adventure. Well, that is until Inti Creates decided it was time to return to rail gun adventure that started it all and celebrates the game’s 10th anniversary with Gal*Gun Returns. The best part is that western fans will finally get to experience the entire series.
For this preview, I was able to play the first few stages of Gal*Gun Returns. If you’ve played any entry before, you’ll understand the premise of a cupid angel girl named Patako who accidentally shoots our protagonist with a few too many arrows. Now, he has one day to confess his love to his sweetheart because he’ll never have another chance like this again. However, the arrows have caused all the girls at school to want him, so he’ll need to escape their attempts.
The gameplay is a rail shooter where players must shoot the girl before sending over an attack or confession, which depletes HP. I found that the first few stages were easy enough, but the game can surprise you with a few difficult moments. Points are earned after you stop the girls in their tracks, but the game also likes to make some of the girls difficult to shoot, which means you’ll probably have to replay stages to knock back all of the girls.
During story segments, you’ll mostly be interacting with your crush and completing mini-games because, unlike the other girls, the girl you actually like is immune to you. There are several girls to choose from, and they each have a unique personality. Your answers to questions determine your stats, but your relationship with the girl of your choice is also based on your responses during dialogue. They aren’t also easy, but it’s clear which one might be the correct answer depending on what ending you’re going for.
This version of the game does show its age in some areas when it comes to environment design and the length of the levels. I just felt like right when I was enjoying a stage, it was over, and I was taken somewhere else. However, the animations for the girls and character models look really good. The voiced audio adds a layer of quality to the animations, and the mouth movements and character poses make the story scenes fun to watch. I personally don’t really like the music in the stages, which is strange when speaking about an Inti Creates game who typically puts out great soundtracks, but I also can’t think of any other music that would fit this game.
Gal*Gun Returns is for the baka boys and girls just looking to have fun. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, so I will do the same while playing. All I know is that it’s great to finally play this entry of the series after 10 years. It’s showing its age in some areas, but as I continue my journey to euphoria, I’ll be sure to check all the added content that the developer has included in this release.
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