Running, gunning, platforming, collecting, and a little bit of puzzle solving, Gun Gun Pixies certainly tries to touch on a lot of subjects. While an interesting genre, to say the least, Gun Gun Pixies is one of those games that feels like it had a decently fleshed out idea but just couldn’t quite hit all the points it wanted to. While fun and strangely addicting, it can also be frustrating from a gameplay perspective as well.
The basic premise of Gun Gun Pixies is that there is a planet in the far reaches of space, full of humanoids about the size of figurines in comparison to humans, who’s culture has devolved into one where everyone only cares about themselves, and they don’t build relationships with other people. In order to solve this issue, apparently someone though it would be smart to send two army cadets who actually get along with each other to Earth in order to observe and report back how to interact with others. So two younger soldiers xxx and xxx journey to Earth to secretly observe…a women’s dorm residence?
Gameplay generally consists of two portions: platforming and third person shooting. The shooting is…acceptable. You have a few different types of guns with different shot types, you can run, jump, dodge, and have to go find ammo if you run out. There are little spots where you get arbitrary buffs to your shots and need to dodge various projectiles and little squid things that speak in puns. The actual gunning portion isn’t too bad, but the camera certainly needs some work. The camera is linked to both your view and aiming, and it gets really annoying when the camera is too slow during the platforming, but moves too fast while aiming.
Then there’s the platforming. Hoo nelly, I don’t recall the last time I was so frustrated trying to get up on a waist high ledge. The platforming can be roughly summed up as “infuriating”. Apart from the same camera issues, the game suffers from being unable to decide what is considered “ledge” and what isn’t. For instance, you can be walking on the side of a ledge and not fall off, then suddenly fall off. More frustrating is that occasionally the game considers walls to act like “multiple edges”, and you end up getting caught on a wall. Couple this with the fact that the thinnest platforms are along the walls, and climbing things gets to be super annoying. While you can run to get a longer jump, the run button is also the dodge button, and unfortunately when you most need the running jump is in a small area where you tend to roll instead of start running.
The game is split into missions that generally have three main points involved. The first part normally consists of invading a girl’s room and, I kid you not, “shooting her with your happy bullets until she forgets her problems”. Yes, you read that right. If you shoot her enough, she gets an ahegao (Editor’s Note: an O-Face for those that needed the translation like me) that then blurts out some comment about the current situation in the dorm. The second part of the mission involves the girl doing…something or other related to whatever is going on, usually involving showing off her panties or cleavage.
The is more of a gunning portion whereas the first part is more a platforming style deal. The final section is a sort of “post mission clear” stage, where you follow the girl into the bathroom and proceed to motorboat them and shoot them for coins. During the first mission type you have to avoid getting noticed by the girls, either by hiding or striking a pose to make yourself look like a figurine. During the other two parts, the quasi “boss fight” and the bathing scene, the focus is more on shooting/dodging and racking up points, respectively, and you can’t really get noticed.
The coins are exchanged for outfits, underpants, better scopes and new guns. You get a rating and bonus coins after a mission if you did well enough, but the scores seem to be rather more like suggestions than actual goals to work towards. The writing has its ups and down, but unfortunately mostly its downs. While I always expect a certain amount of spelling mistakes in titles like these, there were A LOT in Gun Gun Pixies.
Even if it weren’t for the mass of spelling mistakes, the writing itself is, well, rather lacking. The jokes and gags tend to fall flat more often than not, and a lot of the subject matter is reused pretty regularly, so it loses its impact pretty fast. While the characters all have different personalities, but they’re mostly pretty standard within their own character types. On the plus side, the music is pretty good and rather catchy, and the game doesn’t particularly lag or anything like that.