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ぎゃる☆がん (Gal*Gun) was made in 2011 by Inti Creates and was published by Alchemist for the Xbox 360 and later for the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 version includes additional content and is playable with PlayStation Move guns. Furthermore it lacks the censorship of the Xbox 360 version.
The game takes place at a school. In the story a cupid apprentice shoots the male target multiple times rather than just once by accident. The powers of the arrows cause him to become super attractive to most females of his school. The player takes the role of this man and has time until sunset to find true love or is damned to a live of loneliness otherwise.
The game has two main modes: Story mode and Score Attack mode. In the latter already played levels can be replayed while the score is written to a scoreboard and in-game currency is unlocked.
During normal game play the female students approach the player’s character, shout at him, confess him their love or beat him. All these interactions decrease the live bar. The shouts are visible as Kanji or letters and can be shot while in air to avoid getting hit. Hitting a red Kanji or letter will cause the whole sentence to disappear at once. Hovering the reticle over the attackers will show a weak spot. Shooting this weak spot will take out the student at once and yields in more points. Health is regenerated after certain levels, and can further be replenished in the so called Doki Doki mode. In the bottom right corner is a heart gauge which can be used to enter Doki Doki mode. It is filled by shooting students. In Doki Doki mode, the player should search for weak spots in order to faster fill up a so called euphoria meter. After the meter is filled, the player’s personality values get changed and much health is replenished. The personality is characterized by intelligence, physical fitness, sense of fashion and lewdness. In the beginning of the game the player chooses a certain student as love interest. These special characters are protected by guardians from the powers of the cupid and have to be persuaded. They are just interested in the player if the personality values are to their likings. It is a strategic decision which approaching student to pick for the Doki Doki mode, as every student has a unique effect on the personality.
Every couple of stages the player meets the beloved student. In conversations the player picks answers from a multiple choices selection in order to appeal. Furthermore there are character specific stages which play as mini games. These mini games are very divers and distinct. Examples are shooting cannon balls or making the negative cheers of the crowd turn positive while the love interest is playing a song on stage. All of the selectable love interests have a distinct story arc, which all have multiple endings, depending on how well the player does.
While playing the game the player earns angel feathers. These can be used in a store as currency to obtain artwork and items. In a statistics window the scores can be viewed. In a customizer screen clothing and accessories can be altered. There is a file window in which information on the students can be looked up. The information and options get more complex the more interaction took place with the specific student in the game. When selecting the love interests in this screen, all passed dialogs and cut scenes can be watched. Another option here is a viewer in which the view can be rotated and zoomed. From this viewer the Doki Doki mode can be engaged.
Other play modes are unlocked playing the main modes. One of these is the so called Carnival mode which takes place in a new story arc. In it the euphoria meter of multiple women have to be filled. The charging level of the own heart gauge is carried over to the following levels and acts as somewhat of a live bar in this mode.
Personally I was disappointed by the calibration routine. The gun was impossible to calibrate accurately and even if a usable compromise was found, the aiming gets off almost immediately. I would have preferred if Inti Creates provided GunCon 3 compatibility. The graphics are nice and I like the music. I was pleasantly surprised about the amount of replay value the game offers. The game play is very solid, which comes to no surprise as Inti Creates has a solid reputation. They created games such as the Mega Man Zero and the Mega Man ZX series.
The cover shows the four love interests and two cupids. In my opinion it matches the art style of the game nicely and represents the game well.