GAME REVIEW | Ecchi Shooting Madness in Silly "Gun Gun Pixies"
In most cases, Japanese-exclusive PlayStation Vita titles stay put in the Land of the Rising Sun, due to the Vita’s short lifespan in the Western world. However, there are cases where titles are rescued and ported to other consoles, in the hopes that more people will experience what’s being offered. Such was the case of Compile Heart’s Gun Gun Pixies, an anime-inspired third-person shooter that promised loads of fun with some bouncy, raunchy goofiness in tow. Now on the Nintendo Switch (because the Big N is thankfully cool with games like this!), the Western world can experience just how bonkers and steamy Gun Gun Pixies can get!
Players take control of Kame-pon and Bee-tan, two tiny intergalactic soldiers who have come to Earth to learn about human life. They infiltrate a girls’ dormitory, where a group of sisters and their friend live as they attend high school. Things look normal, until weird squid aliens start appearing and attempt to raise havoc. And if that sounds weird to you, there’s also a mysterious thief running amuck in Japan stealing entire buildings in the blink of an eye. Only Bee-tan and Kame-pon have the ability to calm the madness, though they have to make sure the human girls don’t see them or risk failing their mission.
The game is spilt up into various different tasks. In some cases, you’ll have to find out what might be bothering the dorm residents during a specific chapters. By shooting your Happy Bullets in four specific spots, you’ll slowly unravel what’s on their minds. This may lead to seeking missions, where you’ll have to find hidden items or important elements that may get a human out of their funk. In other cases, you may need to battle through a few waves of squid viruses, whose variety will range from easy to deal with to incredibly difficult to kill.
Then there are the “boss battles”, where Kame-pon and Bee-tan must use their shooting skills to calm the human girls down. The ladies will either be doing yoga, pole dancing, or even going so far as run on a treadmill. As this goes on, purple orbs, stars, and hearts will fire out and cause damage to the tiny shooter. Get hit four times, and you’ll have failed your mission. Earn a victory, and you’ll be rewarded with a little fun bath time with the one you just helped to relax.
One of the key aspects of Gun Gun Pixies is the fact that you need to hide from the humans as you’re on your mission. During some of the main levels, a red sight shadow will be seen, showcasing what the giant girls are currently looking at. Keep out of their sight, and you’ll complete your mission; find yourself in their sight, and you’ll either need to quickly hide or freeze in a figurine-like position. Be seen for too long, and you’ll be forced to start all over again.
Of course, the real question about PQube Games’ latest is just how perverted it can get. Let me put it to you this way: even I was surprised by some of the things they got away with in this game. Whether it’s some pretty revealing clothing to the bathtub bonus level, there’s very, very little room for the imagination when it comes to how much you can see. The M-rating is pushed to the extreme here, in many ways that will either make you laugh with delight or, well, let’s just say I sort of understand why there are certain vending machines in Japan now. It pushes the limit so much, that one can’t help but commend what Compile Heart was able to achieve here.
But I digress! From a gameplay perspective, there’s actually quite a lot of fun to be had in Gun Gun Pixies. Taking on armies of squids may not be as epic here as it is in Splatoon, but it’s still pretty dang enjoyable wiping out a bunch of those adorable cephalopods in one go! Seeking items, coins, and the occasional pair of undies for your collection will lead you to actually using your brain to solve certain mysteries. Earn enough coins, and you’ll be able to unlock new outfits, weapons, and scopes that will help you either zoom in to find what you need and — as one can predict — make certain clothes disappear when in use.
However, there are a couple of flaws that I noticed with this game. For some reason, there were areas where the camera angle just started spinning like crazy, making it very difficult to aim and shoot my weapon. In some cases, I had to exit out of the level and reenter it to make it stop; other times I had to move to another location before the spinning ceased. It didn’t take the fun out of the game per se, but it did frustrate me in a few areas. From a translation perspective, there were some spelling errors here and there, with a couple of lines of dialogue still being in its original Japanese.
Story-wise, Gun Gun Pixies is very enjoyable. There’s a sort of slice-of-life element in the beginning when it comes to the camaraderie with the tenants, with the voice cast sounding like they’re having a ball voicing these characters. When the sci-fi aspect gets cranked up more, the story doesn’t fear getting either too goofy or sentimental, as its tongue-in-cheek attitude is apparent even when mushy feelings are abundant with the characters. With that being said, the final boss battle is very lackluster, giving way to a bit of an okay ending rather than a memorable one.
Graphically, the anime-like visuals look stupendous on the Switch. Jumping between 30 and 60 frames per second, the action moves pretty smooth throughout its campaign. Character models look fantastic, with great attention to details on certain tenants and their huge...tracts of land. The only downside is that the level layouts could have used a bit more variety. (Fingers crossed that a sequel can expand on the world just a bit more.)
You can complete Gun Gun Pixies the first time around in about 13 hours. Beating it will give you the chance to experience a New Game+ mode with all the items you’ve already earned, as well as a couple of cheats that’ll help you do a good speed run of the game. Challenge Mode gives players three scenarios with the difficulty spiked all the way up, giving those looking for an extra thrill to scratch their trigger fingers. There are also six endings total to find, so seeking out the various routes to find them all will add in many more hours of naughty fun to be had!
- Great shooting mechanics
- Very humorous story
- Naughty as hell!
- Final boss battle kind of lackluster
- Some camera glitches
- Translation errors
Gun Gun Pixies is unapologetic with its naughtiness, but that’s part of the fun it delivers. While it has a couple of glitches here and there, there’s no denying the amount of fun players will have taking on squid aliens and using Happy Bullets to make the dorm residents feel good. Though it has room for improvement, Gun Gun Pixies is one perverted experience that’ll make any fan of ecchi comedies grin from ear-to-ear.
Promotional consideration provided by PQube Games. Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.