Finally after 2 years of Vita limbo Gun Gun Pixies is finally here on western shores on Switch and PC!
Attention: A special not before we head into the Review. Once again a little warning to everybody who likes to avert lewd-ish games. This game contains some Panty Shots, a lewd thinking female character, X-Ray Scopes (up to underwear) and Bathing Scenes (with important body parts hidden by bubbles). So if you’re not comfortable these sort of things and some lighthearted fun, this might not be your thing.
Gun Gun Pixie was originally a PSVita game that only came out in Japan. PQube to the rescue! They have made it their mission to bring us this quirky gem. Sorry Vita fans, there’s only a Switch and PC Version. So what is Gun Gun Pixies and are there any improvements?
Gun Gun Pixies is a Platforming TPS where you play as small Pixies in a huge human world (rooms). You can think of it having a touch of Toy Story, in terms of scale, and the weirdness of the old classic Mr. Mosquito.
It comes with improved jumping, camera, and overall controls. Not to forget, due to the power increase there are also graphical improvements.
Sounds interesting? Good! Get your endorphins ready!
- Funky Gameplay Ideas
- Exemplary New Game+
- Cheats after the first playthrough
- Multiple Endings
- Not suited for everybody
- Low variety in Gameplay
- Slightly high price
Pandemo Instrumentality Project?
Planet Pandemo. A planet full of emotionless inhabitants. Where I, Me, Myself is the way of living leading to a fatal issue. The lack of emotion is about to lead in a decline in population, due to the extinction of bonding with each other. You can take a guess what kind of result is awaiting them…
To find a solution to this looming catastrophe two misfits are sent to earth. Usael aka Bee-Tan and Kameriel aka Kame-Pon are the two agents sent to save planet Pandemo. But why them? Unlike others, these two are an anomaly on Pandemo because they are friends. Bee-Tan is probably the biggest anomaly because she’s a very social type, while Kame-Pon is more straight-laced to keep her in check.
The plan? Observing the residential community of Lilypad and report all their findings. The residents of Lilypad consists currently of three girls. Amayo the elder sister type character and the Torii sisters: Kira the foodie and Misa the Otaku. More residents are still to come!
Equipped with Happy Bullets Bee-Tan and Kame-Pon are starting to don the mantle of guardian angels for the residents of Lilypad. Cheering them up by blasting them with Happy Bullets and helping them recognize things or just plain defeating invisible to human squids.
What troubles our friends and what’s waiting at the end of the tunnel? On top of it, there’s even a real cameo from the popular Neptunia series.
Interim Conclusion: Story
Split into Episodes, each of them tackles on different topics. Introducing the characters and lending some depth to them. It’s not a deep story but everything is set up properly and there’s enough foreshadowing spread throughout it leading up to the ending. Considering that, it’s meant to be fun with a dash of serious tones, don’t expect big developments in general as it is kind of short with lots of gameplay.
Gameplay & Steuerung
Controls (Based on default)
They are pretty run-of-the-mill with the option to reconfigure most of the buttons. You jump with B, Aim with LZ and Shoot with RZ. Those who hate using pushing down sticks for running can take a breather as it’s assigned to Y. Some Gun Gun Pixies specific things are, using L to crouch, Digipad left and right for hiding pose and X for the scope. The latter is for checking out the happiness levels of a characters body parts and for finding points of interest.
Finally yet important, is the contextual A-Button. You use it for action prompts such as healing yourself, searching for things or executing a special action in the Bathing Phase.
In case you’re getting lost on what to do next, make sure you use the Plus-Button to call for the Menu. It comes with a description of your next target on the top.
The game consists of 3 maps that are the rooms of each character. They are big and full of places to shoot up enemies and explore to complete your missions.
Jumping will play a big role in the movement. You will often head to elevated places such as Tables, Beds, Desks, Plants, etc. All these everyday items will become platform challenges. Luckily, there are some Warp points in the form of power outlets that move you from one place to another in the blink of an eye. Most of the time they are hard to reach places.
Not good enough? I have some good news for you. You will see some hook points throughout the game and as you can surmise from that… Yes, there’s indeed a grappling hook! At some point in the story, you will automatically gain this sweet gadget and it makes your platforming life much easier.
Let’s talk about the dangers. The characters sometimes release some dangerous energy with each hit slowly destroying your clothing. Once it’s gone you’re done. Don’t forget that your mission is to keep yourself hidden. You’ll be able to see their vision cones and they are also able to hear you. Once the bars on the top are full it’ll be an immediate game over. Lastly, there are Squid like enemies that come in different forms and skills. Their attacks also destroy your clothing bit by bit.
To counter the dangers of losing clothing, there are a few PowerPoints distributed all over the maps. These points are able to completely repair your clothing and buff your shots as long as you stand on them.
This is the gist of it. You can split the flow of the game into three phases.
Phase 1: The Scavenger Hunt
This is how each episode starts. Your tasks range from defeating all enemies, find or shoot specific things. There’s some variety but it all comes down to basically the same thing. It’s also where the scope comes in for finding specific points of interest that are otherwise invisible.
Most of the time it’s a good idea to find your own frequent vantage points to get a clear view of the situation.
While you’re on your mission there are some collectibles spread throughout the room such as optional points of interest and Picoins. Which all flow into the mission rating. What are Picoins about? We get back to it at a later point in the bathing phase.
Phase 2: The Boss Fights
There’s usually a boss fight at the end of an episode. These are all about shooting one of the residents until their Endorphins explode. To achieve this, you have to shoot all kinds of body parts to make the endorphins run high. Unlike Phase 1 there are much more spots to shoot at. Even hands and legs, while Phase 1 only has 4 different spots.
There’s a little extra challenge added to this whole thing having the characters shooting out dangerous auras en masse, filling your screen with projectiles on top of Squids appearing. Keep moving so you don’t fall into your early doom and use PowerPoints to bring the big Happy.
Phase 3: Time for a bath
That’s right, bathing. This is what you can call a bonus round to finish the episode. What’s so bonus about it? This is where you get the most Picoins. The currency you use for buying new weapons, upgrades, and much more. So how does it work? For every shot you get coins but not all spots are equal. Find the right spots and you can get some serious cash. Aside from that, the characters will move to special positions. This right here is where you can make bank because once they are in place you can activate special spots that activate a small mini-game where you have to rotate your sticks to rub out a massive amount of coins.
Initially, the bathing time is relatively short but you can extend it by going further into the story. Also, make sure you have ammo on deck otherwise your relaxing time will be cut short once you’re empty.
Shop and Customization
Got a lot of coins in your bag and want to cash out? The shop is your answer. Here you can buy new weapons, scopes, and clothing. Obviously, the most expensive products are the elusive X-Ray Scopes. But if you’re not interested in this novelty you can get some cheaper ones without the special function.
After your first playthrough, you can also buy clothing for the residents that are up for customization.
New Game+ and Endings
Yes! It has a New Game+ and it’s very good because it comes with a few bonuses that make your Pixie life easier. First, you get to keep your grappling hook and weapons, which means less mandatory platforming from the very beginning. Second, you also unlock two cheat options. These two are in fact invincibility and invisibility, which means you’re practically in god mode. Any subsequent playthrough become a non-issue. This is important because there are multiple Endings.
You also unlock the Gallery in which you can look at character models and Artworks.
Interim Conclusion: Gameplay
Time for some impressions. The gameplay is solid, though not without some caveats.
I immediately felt some friction when it comes to camera and aiming. That’s because I don’t think there is any analog sensitivity at all. This basically means you only have two speeds: 0 or maximum. Any attempt to make more nuanced and slower movement was unsuccessful. Fortunately, there are separate sensitivity options for normal camera and aiming. This prompted me to immediately to slow down the movement speed when using the aim. It helps a lot and I recommend it to anybody who has the same issue.
Another one in regards to the camera is the fact that sometimes you can’t use your aiming button because you’re too close to a wall and therefore not available.
It sounds worse than it is because you can see that it’s designed to have a lot of leeways when it comes to targets. There are no fast-moving targets and the residents are all huge which makes it hard to miss. At best it’s a minor inconvenience but overall nothing to lose your mind over.
The jumping is another small point of frustration. There are like two spots that can raise some frowning due to the nature of how the platforms are set up. The first thing you’ll notice are the stairs of the bunk beds. One of them, in particular, requires you to stand on the edge of the stairs to be able to jump up to the next one.
The second one is the plant that works like a spiral staircase where you have to jump. The fact that you have to adjust your camera potentially many times makes it a rather slow venture. At some point when you get used to it, you’ll just jump where you expect the next leaf. The issue is, that if you take a wrong jump there’s a good chance of returning you to the bottom.
This becomes a non-issue once you get the grappling hook. So I’d argue it’s nothing too egregious in the long run. Especially since you get to keep it after your first playthrough.
Another small thing worth mentioning is the fact that at some specific points the Squid like enemies are immediately respawning after eliminating their squad. The solution is a rather easy one: Dodge them and find high ground if you want to look for something in peace.
Gun Gun Pixies isn’t a particularly difficult game. There’s a ton of room for errors, which means players of any skill level should be able to finish this game without a problem. It’s just a matter of time.
Moving around in the rooms does give you a unique feeling because there are so many items that you would never consider being something to climb on.
Due to the inclusion of New Game+, it also becomes much, much easier and faster to get the different endings. How do you get them? Shoot specific characters in Phase 1 and activate the ending flags. If you handle it in a clever way, you won’t have to replay the whole game to get an ending by preparing and creating specific save files.
It becomes clear that the developers have thought about making subsequent playthroughs less frustrating and I really have to commend them for putting the New Game+ feature in. I love it and I wish more games would have it like this as well.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics have become better due to stronger hardware compared to the Vita version. The characters look detailed and have smooth animations. Of course, the 2D story segments are looking good as you can expect it to be. It even comes with special *cough* physics of jiggling breasts like a certain other game we’ve had in review…
There are some slightly jarring visual components though. Namely, some of the textures like book covers. They are so low res that they appear pixelated. It becomes noticeable because otherwise, the game looks smooth.
Your auditory senses are getting accompanying background music in tandem with the visuals. What’s interesting is the fact that every resident has their own theme because it helps emphasizing their characteristics.
Japanese voices are of course a thing but not everything is voiced. Some segments only have short voice clips to accompany the text. As often as it is with Japanese dubs, they are portraying their characters well in tone leading to more player investment.
Gun Gun Pixies is a game for acquired tastes while being entertaining due to using some unadulterated funky ideas. The TPS gameplay and platforming are nothing noteworthy outside of the big rooms giving off a Toy Story like or lesser-known classic Mr. Mosquito like vibe. The slice-of-life with a dash of comedy, keeps your interest going to make you go through one of the multiple finishing lines.
The first playthrough alone took me about 10 hours. If you take into account the multiple endings, you can add some extra hours to it. Possibly even another 10 hours if you make multiple clean playthroughs without using saves to shorten things, even taking the New Game+ features into consideration.
The playtime is indeed bountiful on paper. I can’t help but feel that there were also a few slow segments especially within the first phase because you have to do some time consuming searching. Sometimes even enemies are hidden in plain sight.
Overall the issues are nothing too bad but it does kind of add up in the beginning. There’s also a lack of gameplay progression when it comes to skills and what you can do. The only change you get is the grappling hook. So putting things into perspective, there can be case of fatigue appearing when you’re getting closer to the end.
In general, it’s a game that has some quirky ideas with a focus on lighthearted fun. I had a few surprises along the way with some mindboggling situations exceeding my expectations baffling a few chuckles out of me.
Currently, the game is available on the Switch for 49,99 € Digital and Physically. Therefore I recommend you to get the physical Day One Edition instead because it comes with extra goodies such as an Artbook and a special box packaging with Extra Art on top of the cover art of the game's case.
PC Users will have to wait a little bit longer due to some complications but it’s still coming. It also comes with a budget price tag of 29,99 €. Important: If you’re not able to find the game on Steam, you’ll have to take a look at the content preferences because for some reason Valve has put it into one of the opt-in categories.
Since this is a review of the Switch version I’m giving it a rating according to it. For the PC Version, you can add at least a half-point to it due to the lower price tag. Assuming there aren’t any technical issues, so far I haven’t heard from any.