Gal*Gun: Double Peace review for PS4, PS Vita

Platform: PS4
Also On: PS Vita
Publisher: PQube
Developer: Inti Creates
Medium: Digital/Disc/Vita Card
Players: 1
Online: No

On the surface, Gal*Gun: Double Peace seems like it’s tailor-made for the Vita. I mean, it’s a pervy Japanese game in which you fight off underage schoolgirls by firing ecstasy shots at them, you can refine your shot with a scope that also allows you to see through the girls’ clothing , and you occasionally trigger rubbing minigames that end with said girls looking red-faced, limp, and exhausted. If you were to come up with a description for a stereotypical Vita game, it’d probably read a lot like that. In fact, I was so sure that Gal*Gun would be better on the Vita, I went out and bought the game for Sony’s handheld after enjoying it on PS4 far more than I thought would be possible.

This was a mistake. And pretty much all of it comes down to controls and missed opportunities.

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See, Gal*Gun is a rail shooter. And maybe it’s just me, but I’d have thought that there’d be no better match for a rail shooter than a touchscreen. Unfortunately, the developers didn’t think that way, as evidenced by the fact that those minigames are the only time you get to use the Vita’s touchscreen. That means you’re stuck using the Vita’s thumbsticks for levels that are surprisingly demanding in terms of precision — and, as much as I love my Vita, I don’t think I could claim they’re built for precision. The fun factor goes way up when you’re aiming and shooting with a proper controller and a much larger screen.

And that, in turn, is part of why Gal*Gun is so much better on PS4. Even though the game is identical in pretty much every respect, it just plays more smoothly there than it does on the Vita. The only difference between the two versions, as far as I could tell, is that you’re using the DualShock 4’s touchpad for those minigames instead of the touchscreen — and quite honestly, it feels exponentially less weird to be sliding your fingers around on that than it does to be physically rubbing the screen.

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Which, perhaps, speaks to the broader reason of why this game seems better on PS4 than it does on the Vita: the ickiness factor goes way down when you’re playing the game in the privacy of your home, rather than out in public where people can see you (and give you dirty looks, and think you belong on some kind of watchlist somewhere). I’m not saying people should be ashamed of liking what they like, but at the same time…well, did you read the part about the orgasm minigames?

Besides, playing Gal*Gun in private, where you’re not frantically fast-forwarding through the text to avoid something disturbing popping up on screen, gives you a chance to see that this game does have a sense of humour about what it is. I’m not saying it removes the perv factor entirely, but it at least lessens it to the point where I cracked a smile a few times as the game acknowledged the absurdity of its premise of “angel shoots guy with a lifetime’s supply of love arrows, and he only has one day to find his true love or be doomed forever.”

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(Also — and this is something I can’t believe I’m writing — the game deserves credit for the simple fact that “jiggle physics” aren’t included. Gal*Gun may be salaciously stupid, but at least it’s not Senran Kagura-levels of stupid.)

Of course, no matter how many jokes the game throws in, there’s no getting around the fact that Gal*Gun is wildly offensive. It’s clearly not for most people, whether it controls more smoothly on PS4 or not. But it’s also a cut above a whole bunch of equally offensive games, and for that reason (if nothing else), it deserves its share of praise.

Grade: B-