Gun Gun Pixies (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 21.05.2022

Review for Gun Gun Pixies on Nintendo Switch

Sent on a covert mission to both observe humans in a female only dormitory on Earth, Gun Gun Pixies Bee-tan and Kame-pon (not their full names) must look beyond their native planet Pandemo's inherent selfishness, and discover what friendship is all about in an attempt to save Pandemo from winking out of existence. Hailing from a society where caring for others is an alien concept resulting in no children being produced to expand the population, the pixies monitor the girls in this third person shooter from Idea Factory and PQube, solving their problems by wielding specialist weapons alongside their brains. The unexpected enemy force has to be subdued without the dorm resident's ever learning about the small duo, who due to earth's atmosphere cannot leave the residential building. Can they remain unnoticed by the older teenagers and be successful in their task?

Before diving into various aspects of this title, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. This is a fanservice heavy game, with various camera angles providing far from conservative panty shots. The costumes the pixies wear shred apart on being hit by an enemy force, leaving little to the imagination. The expressions when the fabric tears and the way the duo react is designed to appeal to an audience who enjoys that kind of gameplay. There seem to be more lingerie outfits in the in-game store than external clothes covering said items, individual positions of movement of the protagonists is frequently suggestive, especially when crawling about on their hands and knees. Even the actions and positions of the dorm girls can be questionable, as are which areas of the body are the best ones to shoot at for bonus points and maximum damage. It is clear from both deployment, visual and auditory signs what the happy bullets from the guns represent in an erotic context. However, there is much more to the game than just ecchi elements.

Screenshot for Gun Gun Pixies on Nintendo Switch

Exploring a giant world as a small pixie provides excitement and wonder with every bit of ordinary furniture seeming like a mountain to Bee-tan and Kame-pon. The tutorial clearly explains how to move around the dorm bedrooms which are the battlegrounds for the investigation team. Jumping is one way of getting onto the chairs and desks - patience is required when leaping up the bunkbeds' ladder since it's easy to fall onto lower rungs. Later on a special grapple feature is unlocked providing shortcuts around the room. Until then, jumping must be used in tandem with warp doors that only the pixies can see and use, which take them from the floor to higher shelves. This feature can provide breathing space in battles when under attack from all directions, as it gives a literal different viewpoint of the action, enabling thoughts to be gathered without fearing being shot at in the loftier locations. Dodge-rolling away from enemies also works.

Level completion is not solely dependant on listening to the girls' problems and shooting them to make them happy. A rudimentary search method of finding clues to the particular problem involves examining the rooms in detail. The scope feature will provide a sparkly spot where a clue can be found - thankfully most of this type of exploration is done without being under enemy fire. Sometimes several rooms have to be entered throughout a chapter; the pause menu does give a vague indication of what the next step is, as it is not always clear that particular screen must be accessed. The lack of obvious notifications on side-quest completion within a chapter can be frustrating; spending minutes running around a room trying to move the story on when all that was needed was to go exit the bedroom will displease those with limited gaming time. Overall, the controls just take some getting used to, with camera angles sometimes getting in the way of moving forward.

Screenshot for Gun Gun Pixies on Nintendo Switch

Some may get bored with the brightly coloured sets being limited to just three playable rooms in the whole game, with other rooms such as the kitchen and living room shown only in story scenes. Nonetheless, this simplicity is what helps to make it a perfect introduction into the shooting genre. Learning the lay of the land quickly and not having to deal with constantly changing scenery helps to put the focus on improving shooting skills. Each pixie has a different style of gun allowing for different play strategies - although staying as the same pixie throughout the levels is possible and there are no penalties for doing so. Collecting 'picoins' scattered in both obvious and hidden sites is needed to upgrade the fire power and purchasing outfits, bonus coins are awarded at the end of a mission in a chapter depending what evaluation grade is received. Even newbies to the shooting genre will find it almost impossible to fail a mission. Bullets are not unlimited, but bullet packs spawn throughout the room and respawn given enough time.

Becoming an accurate sharpshooter reduces the time it takes to max out the various hit points on the dorm girls: a special sight called scope can be used to check which areas of the dorm girls' bodies still need to be hit with happy bullets. Text appears on screen to indicate how on target the shot was. Several body areas usually need to be hit before the mission is complete, with endorphin level notifications on screen indicating progress. Lower skilled players may take a long time to finish a mission if their shooting skills aren't the best, which happens especially if they are playing the game for the story rather than the fanservice so half-close their eyes if the residents have particularly few clothes on or are in comprisable positions.

Screenshot for Gun Gun Pixies on Nintendo Switch

The humans aren't the only targets: mysterious enemies with sometimes fanservice themed items on their heads often need eliminating. These can spawn anywhere and do not all spawn at the same time: once one set of enemies is defeated another appears in the room. Using the convenient view function accessed from the pause screen is different to previous observation methods; rather than showing areas of interest or body part hit count, the entire room can be looked at to spot where enemies are hiding by moving the camera around. There is no time limit on this viewing, allowing time to strategize during battle and get a break from the action. There isn't much variety in enemy appearance and colours, but for some the cuteness outweighs the need for variation.

Thankfully the issues do not affect the strength of the story. Fanservice elements aside, really deep issues get addressed. Each girl living in Lilypad dorm has their own fears which they battle with on their own until the pixies intervene, finding ways to alert the other girls about the issue without ever revealing their presence. Just how the pixies do this was a constant pleasant surprise. Happy bullet shooting will only calm the girls down, they need each other to intervene and help them through the issue at hand. Both dieting and eating contests are explored, as is portraying a unique personality to the world, video game production as a hobby, and being a decent sister. There is plenty of mystery when none or only one of the girls knows what is going on: the pixies find the layers of friendship crucial to their overall understanding of humans. Bee-tan is obsessed about the girls in a way that leads to much reprimanding from her superior Kame-pon, who learns that sometimes impulsive actions are needed.

Screenshot for Gun Gun Pixies on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Gun Gun Pixies may not be the most challenging of shooters, it has issues that affect gameplay, and the fanservice will not appeal to all players - however, it rates highly in the fun department for moe afficionados, even featuring characters from Compile Heart and Idea Factory's famous Neptunia series which fits well in the story. It covers a range of issues young people and older ones face such as eating issues and sibling rivalry. The cheerful graphics coupled with the wicked sense of humour from all the dorm residents and the pixies themselves makes the game an enjoyable addition to the Nintendo Switch.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

PQube

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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