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Gal Gun preview: I heart art


I'm so glad my mom didn't attend the Tokyo Game Show with me this year. Being forced to cover the notoriously crowded and humid event in a sweater would be a miserable experience ("You'll catch a cold!"), but the perspiration would go into overdrive if I had to explain a game like Gal Gun:

"Ludwig, are you playing a kids game?" (This is always the first question when a game's graphics don't quite portray reality.)

"No, Mom, it's cel-shaded. It's an anime-styled, on-rails shoot-her with a first-person perspective. It's called Gal Gun."

"Is that a school?"

"Uh huh, it seems like a Japanese high school. Judging by the sheer amount of girls fawning over me, it's not co-ed."

"Or anything like your school days."

"Well, no. I have to shoot them all with my pistol."

"You're mowing girls down in a school? Isn't that a sensitive topic in your industry?"

"Well, I'm shooting love bullets at them. There's actually a light strategic element here -- if I'm being beset by a bunch of besotted babes, I can't focus my shots on only one at a time. I need to spread the love around and stun some of them."

"I want you to write an article about this."

"That is kind of my job, Mom."

"No, I want you to write it, and then read it. I want you to read what you just told me and think about the decisions you've made."

"Well, I --"

"Okay, what's happening now?"

"Oh, if I press this button, it goes into a close-up mode. I can rotate the girl and fire bullets into her unprotected spots."


"To, uh, overwhelm her with love, I guess? Let's say I shoot her on the arm. She'll moan a little and then cover that part up -- but now I can swivel her around and plant a heart on her butt! She can't protect the front and the back from my attacks."

"Ludwig, when I asked if this was a kids game ... was it made by kids?"

"Mom, this is Japan. Look at that guy playing this on the other demo station. He's shooting every single girl in the crotch and -- see? He just died during the boss fight because of that. You're supposed to shoot her wrists and ankles, and weaken the plant monster's grip on her. That way, you can shoot this tentacled thing in the mouth and avoid hitting the quivering human shield."

"I thought you said games were art?"

"Sure. This is basically Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' painting, and it's hanging in Chris Hansen's gallery of nightmares."

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