Viewer Discretion: Mature content below.
Ask and ye shall receive. Since Nintendo has leaned far opposite of strict for the types of content with the new age of Nintendo Switch, that lack of restriction has opened the flood gates welcoming various types of content; many mature themed in various genres. Not only allowing them, but having uncensored versions of titles that are censored even on Sony’s machines. The void that needs to be filled is in demand and the Switch has become the go-to home for several series now. PQube is a publisher who knows what the different types of anime fans like and they’ve now brought Compile Heart‘s Gun Gun Pixies to the table for fans to feast on. It has fundamental issues that simply cannot be ignored, but nails the ecchi vibes to satisfy that anime fan.
Girls just want to have fun? It’s like being invited to a pajama party with a sudden break out of a pillow fight. Except those pillows shoot bullets and all your friends are towering titans. Also, you weren’t invited so your whereabouts are simply unknown. Gun Gun Pixies is all about sneaking, platforming, collecting, and tons of titilating shooting in a third-person perspective. Players are able to choose between two galactic soldier protagonists, Bee-tan & Kame-pon, both pixies from the planet Pandemo. They’ve been sent on a mission to go to Earth and collect data on how Earthlings live. Setting up base in a dormitory named Lilypad, the two get to work immediately.
The two pixies use different guns. Bee-tan carries a pistol and Kame-pon an assault rifle. Both have the option to choose between spread shot and single shot types, as well as purchase upgraded versions of those weapons which will increase stats such as recharge time, magazine capacity, rate of fire, damage, and even distance. Getting up-close & personal is the natural draw here, but that will result in a mission failure if you’re spotted and restart of that mission will be necessary. Players will find themselves going through 3 different rooms multiple times for all of the missions. There’s plenty of large open space inside to run around, but many tight quarters that will cause you to wiggle just to get to the jiggle. Crawlspaces on desks with picture frames and computers, books on shelves, DVD cases, under dressers and behind them. There are even warp points set up to change locations in the room you’re in. By design, platforming is a main gameplay element on top of shooting. Expect plenty of jumping. Expect plenty of failed jumping.
The controls in Gun Gun Pixies is quite clunky and often unresponsive to how you think it should play. We’re not expecting Super Mario levels of polish here (really, what is?), but movement and animation hinder the experience to be as fun as it had the potential to be. You operate at fixed speeds. Moving is basically running and there is an input for sprinting that allows you to go even faster. Speed isn’t much of an issue here, however. Maneuverability and needed precision is the issue. Players can roll by pressing Y, but holding it down will allow players to sprint. Jumping is performed with B. One problem is that keeping Y held down after sprinting will result in unwanted actions. Changing directions after stopping will have you roll instead. Not once in the entire game did I ever found rolling to be necessary.
The way animations work in junction with pressed inputs feels like a gamble. You can’t just jump willy-nilly. Landing animations take far too long and wanting to time your jumps properly will have you fall from heights and redo painful platforming all over again hoping it will respond correctly. Naturally, one would think sprinting and jumping will give you the speed advantage for reaching another platform. That’s still the case here — when successful. You feel completely punished otherwise. Falling when you know you should have jumped; feels bad man. Much of this is due to environmental detection as well. Sometimes invisible barriers are in your way when they shouldn’t be. Other times it feels like your momentum when jumping isn’t what it should be. While shooting isn’t great either, it is a lot better than platforming. Smoothing is what would mostly fix either of these issues. Hip fire feels fine, as does shooting with a shoulder zoom-in by pressing and holding ZL. However, as with platforming it feels stiff. The lack of precision hurts the experience. Shooting sensitivity can be adjusted, but the speed is one. Yes, you control the aiming with the right analog stick, but there’s no true analog control. The game feels like it was made with a mouse and keyboard in mind and not traditional controllers.
Despite the control issues, the zaniness of the entire game is fun admittedly. The anime aesthetic is full on here. Tiny babes shooting giant babes with all of the tropes you’d expect. Visually the game isn’t a true wonder and it does run at 30 fps, but the character models and animations do the trick here. Girls will walk around their room and examine things, pretty much just chilling. Their line of vision is determined by a red cone. Being inside this zone doesn’t mean you’re immediately spotted. Instead the girls get suspicious.
Distance and how much sound you make are factored. At the top of the screen are two gauges for both sound and visibility. Jumping and running will increase that gauge. The closer you are to a girl, the faster that gauge fills as well. Pressing down on the d-pad will allow Bee-tan or Kame-pon to crawl which is the sneaky and quiet way to get around when in proximity. Pressing left or right on the d-pad will strike different poses if you’re about to be spotted. This acts as a way to try and fool them as if you’re a figurine.
Scattered throughout rooms are bronze, silver & gold coins known as “picoins”. Picoins are your currency for spending on various lingerie, outfits and gun upgrades. The locations on the coins can also vary depending on the mission. Pressing X will enable your scope (upgradeable to x-ray scope to see through clothing). Scope is useful for finding areas in the room for information depicted by a sparkling effect. Taking damage will tear pieces of your costume and soon your lingerie of choice (the most bare being pieces of melted chocolate even) are shown. Certain circular zones on the map allow players to heal right back up and fix their clothing. These zones also serve another purpose. Shots become amplified in both damage and appearance.
Girls wandering about in their rooms is normal, but depending on particular movements their endorphins are released. This may happen by a simple stretch and suddenly certain balls will start coming towards you which can be shot down. There’s also various types of squid enemies which is explained through the story. The basic rinse & repeat here is shooting babes to reveal information. Instead of traditional bullets that kill, the two pixie galactic soldiers us Happy Bullets instead. Each body part of a girl needs a certain amount of “damage” done to them to place the girls in a euphoric state where they start to blabber in honesty about whatever is happening. Players earn a ranking for each part of a mission based on percentage of coins collected, information collected, damage taken and shooting accuracy. Players can also pause the action at any time and enter “View” where there’s a free camera to view the scene from all angles. There are moments where girls will be sleeping in bed and it’s virtually impossible to get caught even if you’re stomping on their face, but that’s for your imagination only. Also, fans of a certain series the developer is known for will be delighted to know that a couple of cameos are also in the game.
Missions are essentially different story chapters with their own progression to the main plot. There is a plot! Before and after each scenario is another element of the game that is also a large focus: the visual novel. Interactions between characters and learning more about the plot is one of the bigger draws here. For instance, Misa and Kira are sisters who share the same dorm. Misa is a nerdy game developer while Kira is a glutton and has a love for food. Amayo is the oldest of the bunch and seems the most normal. Other characters get introduced into the mix as you advance and they all bring their own personalities to the fold. Despite the numerous typos and grammatical errors, the lines do their job in being entertaining. There’s a lot of it, too, and just about most of it is voiced in Japanese so it scratches the itch of watching an anime play out with 2D illustrated backgrounds and 2D illustrated characters that animate with facial expressions and mouth movement.
Broken down, each mission breaks contains 3 different scenarios: First Order, Second Order, & Maiden Suppression. The first two are objectives to solve. You mainly explore the rooms, find information, shoot the babes, and complete. Maiden Suppression changes it up a bit and are basically the glamour objectives: Pacifying and Bath Time. In Pacify, each girl will be doing something unique to the story and with special animation. Pacify also offers the most challenge as endorphins are more frequent and different types unique to Pacifying are harder to dodge and are being shot at you (good to take cover under a bed or something). Fold enemies into the mix and you can see where the appeal of a challenge has its merits. After an exhausting activity with a sweaty girl pumped full of Happy Bullets, a nice relaxing time in the bath to clean off takes place. Bath Time is the next objective in Maiden Suppression and is here where different poses and unique poses can be triggered. Players will soon unlock a mode called Free Play where any mission that you’ve completed so far can be replayed again, in case you missed something such as panties in the room, that when found can be added to your own lingerie, or replay Bath Time as much as they want to earn so much gold that they can buy anything (which inadvertently makes the rest of the game easier since you now have the best most recently available gun).
There are various poses that can be triggered in Bath Time and some of them are mimic a sexual act more than others. There’s even a particular enemy squid type who reaches for you when once grabbed will have an animation that is even more lewd. Interestingly, enemies can be jumped on to kill them. Some enemies will charge at you with a spinning attack. Others are larger. Some shield themselves temporarily if not successfully killed with successful shots. The music is definitely serviceable. Each character has their own theme and there’s a lot of upbeat techno. Some tone changes take place to highlight the different moods during dialogue. Completing the game will reward the player with all the goodies to have leisure. New pieces of lingerie get unlocked. A Gallery mode will become available. Here, players can check out the various illustrations, the music tracks, and more. Also in that mode are both 2D illustrations and 3D models of the characters that can have their outfits, animations, and facial expressions changed as well as hear their voices through the different questions you can ask them. A Secret feature enabled in the menu can also change settings to make things more fun. Different completion of certain missions are necessary to unlock everything.