[Note: Due to the fanservice-heavy nature of this game, some of the images in this article may be considered NSFW.]
Sexiness With Depth
Sexual fanservice in games is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing for many gamers. I’m personally not a huge fan of it, but I can overlook it so long as the game itself is solid.
There’s written record of me here at Gamer Escape being a fan of the Senran Kagura series, which has entertaining gameplay and occasionally well-written stories surrounding the sex jokes and bouncing well-endowed girls. I also quite enjoyed Gal*Gun: Double Peace, despite its perverse gameplay, because the writing was sharp and hilarious.
Problems arise when a game decides to put all its cards on the fanservice pile, forgetting to put love into any other aspects of the game. Games that get by on titillation alone, hoping players will overlook the rest of the package so they can see…other kinds of packages.
Developed by Idea Factory and SHADE, and published in the west by PQube, Gun Gun Pixies was released on September 10th, 2019, for Switch, with an upcoming release on PC via Steam later this year.
Short in Stature and Story
Gun Gun Pixies revolves around two girls named Bee-Tan and Kame-Pon. The girls come from a planet where society is falling apart due to its inhabitants being unable to form bonds or relationships with each other. Bee-Tan and Kame-Pon are both military school dropouts, but have been chosen for a mission nonetheless for one reason: these two have formed a strong relationship with each other, which is unheard of on this planet.
The two have been sent to Earth to study humans and see how they relate with one another, to gather information in hopes of saving their own society. This mission puts them at Lilypad, an all-girls dorm in Japan. Once here they begin to observe and occasionally interfere with the lives of the girls of Lilypad…a fairly simple task, as these girls are incredibly tiny compared to humans, allowing them to sneak around fairly easily.
The setup is weird, yes, but not the strangest thing I’ve seen in video games. However, Gun Gun Pixies doesn’t actually do anything interesting with it. We have tiny pixie girls running around an all-girls dorm getting up to hijinx, and I was just bored reading through the plot.
The girls of the Lilypad dorm all have rather generic anime characterization (this one’s really into lewd video games, another one thinks she has magic powers, etc). Most of them actually do get some development throughout the game, as the story occasionally lapses into weirdly poignant plotlines.
For example, the first mission revolves around one of the girls having body issues, eating nothing but gum and exercising herself to death. Putting aside the random boob jiggles during dialogue, the game handles the topic decently. However, I was given only maybe twenty minutes to get to know these characters before this arc occurred, and had no attachment to them. Without this, despite the surprising writing, I found it hard to care about what was happening, and this is a repeated issue throughout each chapter of the game.
The dorm girl personalities are one thing, but Bee-Tan and Kame-Pon are another altogether. Bee-Tan is a shreaking sex-crazed ball of energy and Kame-Pon plays the straight man to a point where she’s just incredibly dull. I could find no redeeming qualities in either character, and really had no desire to play through the game as either of them.
Little Issues Add Up
Gun Gun Pixies is a hybrid third-person shooter and platformer, and neither engine works well. That’s really all you need to know, but lets take a deeper dive.
Outside of story moments, you’ll be running around the dorm rooms of the various girls, completing missions that have you seeking out points of interest, shooting weird squid enemies, or pumping the inhabitant of the room full of “happy bullets.”
The shooting is the core mechanic, and it’s passable at best. Taking out the little enemies spread around each room is no problem, but things get a bit more frustrating when you’re targeting the main girl. Each part of a girl’s body has it’s own bar that fills up as you shoot it: arms, legs, head…sensual areas…each is a separate target. Depending apparently on how well you hit each target, the bar will fill up faster. Fill up enough bars and she’ll experience a, well, “rush of endorphins.”
However, I was never able to figure out how the game determines what’s a “good shot” and what isn’t. There were times I was firing at a stationary area multiple times, and each shot would register at a different quality.
Making things more challenging are the “emotion” projectiles that leap off a girl’s body to attack you. Some move slow, some home in on you directly, all of them you’ll never see coming if you’re aimed down your iron-sights to attack. They become easy to dodge once you figure out each fight’s pattern, but they stretch out the time of each “battle” as there’s really no chance to get shots in when wave after wave of projectiles is coming at you.
That lands me on one of my major issues with the game: holy hell does the camera suck. Constantly getting stuck on the environment, forcing you into specific random angles if you’re in certain parts of a room, and always doing its damnest to give you upskirt shots of your pixie when you’re crawling, it’s just endless frustration.
Compounding on that is the second aspect of the game: platforming. As most of us know, 3D platformers with bad cameras are already a bad time. Gun Gun Pixies, though, is incompetently made as a platformer. Jumping is fast, hard to control, and gravity seems to increase ten-fold as soon as you’re in the air; once you reach the peak of a jump you immediately plummet back down to Earth.
You’re often required to jump up stepladders, which became the bane of my existence. The area on each step where you can stand and successfully jump without hitting your head on the next step is ludicrously small. Most of the time I’d jump, hit my head, attempt to readjust, and fall of the platform because I readjusted just sliiiightly too much.
Some missions require you to search a room for a specific object. To do so, you have to look through a zoom scope to find glittering areas, then make your way over to investigate. Trying to spot these areas, though, is weirdly difficult. There was a room during the third mission that I spent, no joke or exaggeration, nearly 30 minutes observing the room from different angles trying to find the one spot I was supposed to find.
That was the moment I started verbally screaming at my Switch.
Bubble Bath Babes
If you manage to overlook everything else about the game, you can at least enjoy the fanservice. From girls doing yoga in lingere to bath scenes that cap off every stage, as well as your pixie’s clothes falling off every time you get hit, you’ll be getting plenty of censored titillation here.
Alright, putting snark aside, the game actually looks pretty good…if you keep in mind that this is a port of a Vita game. The areas you explore are colorful, the characters’ models translate the 2D anime aesthetic quite well, and animations are shockingly good (when you’re not getting stuck on walls while crawling under furniture).
Unfortunately, the entire game is confined to the Lilypad dorm, and there just aren’t many environments within it. You’ll be revisiting rooms often, and even the most unique ones become stale after a while.
As far as the voice acting and soundtrack…there’s not much to say about it. The voicing, exclusively in Japanese, sounds like it comes from a generic anime (and Bee-tan is particularly grating). The music is dull and I kind of wish it didn’t exist.
For the Sake of Sexy
Overall, Gun Gun Pixies is just flat out not a good game. The plot has some weird moments of clarity and intrigue out of nowhere, but everything else is just shoddy. Characterization is dull, the main characters annoy the hell out of me, and the gameplay feels like an often broken afterthought.
Look, I know many gamers like fanservice titles. I enjoy my fair share as well. However, if you’re not going to give me a well-written story or solid gameplay to go with it, then I might as well go watch some ecchi anime or just straight-up porn.
Gun Gun Pixies offers little aside from its admittedly attractive (and very over the top) fanservice, and as a game, it really just isn’t worth anyone’s time.
Review copy provided by PQube for Switch. Screenshots taken by reviewer.