An on-rails shooter goes on a date with an animé.
On-rails shooters have all but died, with only a handful releasing in the past decade perhaps due to the decline of the arcade. I absolutely adore the genre having grown up on the Area 51 and House of the Dead series, so my words should hold some weight when I say this is one of the deeper games in the genre; that is, if you can get over its ridiculous content, which is a big if unless you're really into seeing child-like anime girls in their underwear (in which case, this is probably a must-buy for you).
Double Peace is a sequel to the original Gal-Gun (or Gal Gun or Gal*Gun) which was never localized outside of Japan. However, this game can be enjoyed without having played the original. The story of the original is explained at the start of the game, as this game takes place at the very same school, just with all new characters and enemies.
This game largely follows the same story: An angel/cupid in training is tasked with shooting the main character, Hodai, with a single love shot, but ends up blasting him with a lifetime's worth by accident. This causes every female in his school to become lovestruck and obsessed with him. This also means that Hodai has only 24 hours to find his one true love, as he apparently can't ever be shot with another arrow. Thus he has quite the dilemma on his hands.
The setup and premise sound rather innocent, but the execution is downright perverted, and the game doesn't pretend to be anything other than that. Anytime girls see Hodai they rush him to confess their love via love letters, hugs, and shouting their love from afar. You'll be tasked with shooting them with a pheromone gun that causes them to go into "ecstasy" which is a fancy way of saying orgasm, as their eyes roll back in their head, their cheeks turn red, and they fall to the ground exhausted.
By moving the aiming reticule around each girls' body you'll search for what is essentially their g-spot, or the spot that you can make most girls climax with one shot. On top of that, you can zoom in which not only allows for easier aiming from afar but allows you to see through objects including the high schoolers outfits, this includes their bathing suits. However, don't expect to see any of their naughty bits, as they are always obscured by either shadows or textures, which feels like a half-measure considering the selling point of this title is the pervertedness and sexualizing of the characters, though I'm not complaining, I'm quite happy not seeing young-looking teens nude.
If that has you down, don't worry as there is plenty more content for those desperate to be teased by animé girls. Doki Doki mode can be activated once your meter charges up during gameplay; once activated, you select multiple on-screen girls to seductively pose as you prod and poke them until you find the exact place they each enjoy being touched, then caress them there till a meter fills on the side of the screen. Doki Doki mode essentially allows you to wipe out multiple girls at once and get closer looks at ones that tickle your fancy. Doki Doki mode is 100 percent objectification and sexualization of these girls (like most of the game), as well as not being all that fun, as you'll just mashing with no real skill till you find their hot spot, then keep mashing.
Throughout the game, you'll be pursuing a girl selected at the start of the game, some of which need to unlock before you can go after them. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can even chase a girl and her sister. Depending on your character selection you'll be presented with different dialogue selections and thus story. Your dialogue selections with the girls affect how much affection they feel for you and determine the outcome of each playthrough, which lasts around two and a half hours.
Not only are there many different endings depending on what girl and dialogue you choose, but lots of different paths to take through each playthrough, meaning there are a plethora of levels that require multiple playthroughs to see. While each level is different and adds a lot of replayability, they all kind of blend together as this takes place in a Japanese high school, like the ones you may have seen in any number of animé series. Gal-Gun bleeds animé, down to even using the word senpai constantly with no explanations to explain what that means. The game knows its audience, and that is the super weeaboo.
I found myself exclaiming 'Really!?' and 'What!?' multiple times while playing through Double Peace as I couldn't believe what I was playing. I've played a lot of weird Japanese games but never have I ever played something this insane localized to English with no changes. If you play this, you're going to see conversations between girls about boobs and panties, you're going to see panties of girls between 13- and 18-years-old, and you're going to see the lead character say some really perverted things directly to the face of some of these characters.
It is one of the creepiest games I've ever played, that objectifies and sexualizes basically every female in the game, makes a point to say you don't want men to be interested in you as them and animals will come after you if you don't find true love by the end of the first day, and also has a minor quest that has "a boy pretending to be a girl" that you have to out for a reward.
I do think it would be a better game if it weren't perverted, it could actually be charming if it tried. As far as gameplay goes, it is a pretty decent on-rails shooter, but the ability to see through objects by zooming to find hidden objects and bonus points adds a nice twist to the tried-and-true formula. There are some mini-games that require you to use the touchpad, a feature of the PS4 that is rarely used, and now I can see why... because the touchpad absolutely sucks. You're presented with motions to perform on the touchpad such as stroking left and right, drawing small circles on the pad, or drawing down with two fingers, all of which are often not recognized fully by the DualShock 4's pad. I tried various pressures and speeds and nothing ever felt consistent, and I feel like this has to be a hardware issue more than the game's, but that said, they didn't have to include this feature as it only detracts from the overall solid gameplay.
Unlike most of the games in its genre, Double Peace has a ton of content from unlockable dialogues, costumes, girls, and personality traits, as well as multiple paths and endings, thus having great replayability for those that want it. If so, I hope you like abrupt jokey endings, as that is what you'll be getting if your chosen girl isn't infatuated with you by the end of each playthrough.
I have to say, even with all that problematic content, I kind of love Gal-Gun: Double Peace not only for daring to be as stupid and perverse as it is with no excuses, but also for being one of the most content-rich and replayable games in its genre. If you can overlook (or enjoy) the cringeworthy perverseness found here, you'll find an enjoyable little shooter. Those looking to be turned on will probably be better served elsewhere unless you have a young schoolgirl fetish. I don't see how anyone could find the content found here sexually arousing, but some people also like to suck on toes, play with poop, or wear diapers, so what do I know? What you do in our own time is your business, so who cares if I think you're creepy? You shouldn't, you weirdo.