Gun Gun Pixies review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: PQube
Developer: Idea Factory / Compile Heart / Shade Inc
Medium: Digital / Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No

If there?s one thing I?ve learned from writing for Gaming Age, it?s that not all weird, smutty games from Japan are inherently bad. Sure, you have irredeemable garbage like Senran Kagura and Criminal Girls, but there are also surprisingly decent games like Akiba?s Trip and Rabi-Ribi. Even a game like Monster Monpiece wasn?t all bad, creepy minigames notwithstanding. As such, I was willing to give Gun Gun Pixies — a game where you play as miniature aliens invading a girls? dormitory, and you shoot the girls with ?Happy Bullets” — a chance before writing it off completely.

That was a mistake.

See, Gun Gun Pixies is just plain stupid. Like many entries in the Senran Kagura series, it?s the sort of game that seems to have spent all its production time and money on jiggle physics, with everything else thrown in at the last minute. Consequently, not only do all the girls living in their dorm have heaving bosoms that make it seem as though they?re hiding jello in their bras, when you get into levels and start shooting at them, every other part of them jiggles too. Meanwhile, half the time you can?t get a camera to turn properly no matter what you do — but I guess it?s dumb to want to be able to see where you?re going?

What?s more, Gun Gun Pixies isn?t even clever in its stupidity. Part of the reason that I?d begrudgingly admit to enjoying the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is that it knows it?s satirizing video game tropes. Sure, it occasionally indulges in some of those same tropes, but it at least does so with a wink, so there?s at least some acknowledgment that what?s happening on screen is kind of dumb. Here, by contrast, all the characters are morons, and it feels like you?re being constantly being nudged in the ribs by an idiot 12-year-old who?s just hitting puberty and who got all his sex-ed from porn. The innuendo is non-stop, and to call most of the dialogue single entendre would be generous. Every character is a sex-crazed idiot, from the underage girls inhabiting the dorm (because, of course, they explicitly say that they?re under 18 in one scene) to the aliens, who just so happen to look like underage teens. Gun Gun Pixies even makes it clear how lacking it is in subtlety when you find out that the girls living in the dorm are all there because they test video games for a living — adult video games, naturally.

The idiocy of the whole enterprise is even underlined when a couple of characters from the Hyperdimension Neptunia stop in for a visit. Freed from the relatively clever writing of their own franchise, they, too, become drooling nymphomaniacs who constantly daydream about lesbians and incest and all the other fetishes that the writers of this game were apparently trying to work through when they put Gun Gun Pixies together.

Some of this might be forgiven — though only slightly — if the gameplay were any good. But, unfortunately, it?s pretty terrible in its own right. As I mentioned above, the camera is terrible, all awkward and unwieldy. There are plenty of times where you?re trying to manoeuvre through a tight space, and the camera stays in a fixed position right in front of you, which means you?re running blind. And, of course, it becomes equally useless when you have to crawl through anywhere — since, as you can probably guess, the game would rather give you an upskirt view of the aliens than show you where you?re going. This, in turn, makes the platforming a challenge, since it?s often difficult to see where you?re trying to go.

I?ll concede, at least, that the shooting here isn?t too bad. Admittedly, you?ll feel like a creepy pervert as you?re doing it, since you?re firing ?happy bullets” at the dorm girls in the hopes of making them get all flushed and happy (including the, uh, ?reward” (?) scenes where you?re shooting at them while they?re in bubble baths, and the aliens are naked too, because reasons), but…congrats, I guess, to Compile Heart for figuring out how to get shooting kind of right?

I realize that I?m fighting an uphill battle in assessing Gun Gun Pixies like I would any other game. The whole point of it is to titillate guys who, presumably, haven?t found a way around the filters their parents and/or the state put on their internet use. Expecting decent gameplay or characters is to miss the point entirely. But I also know that plenty of games have worked within those confines and still not sucked. Even by those standards, Gun Gun Pixies fails pretty miserably.

PQube provided us with a Gun Gun Pixies Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+