Inti Creates developed Grim Guardians: Demon Purge, a 2D action game spinoff from the Gal\*Gun series. The game follows demon hunters Shinobu and Maya Kamizono as they battle the demons that have taken over their school in a gothic-horror setting. Kurona, who blames the sisters for her academic struggles, created a fortress by fusing the school’s dimension with the demon realm’s Demon Academy. Players must defeat evil spirits throughout the academy to reach Kurona at the top of the school.
Everything About Grim Guardian.
Grim Guardians: Demon Purge features a school divided into seven stages that the sisters, Shinobu and Maya Kamizono, must explore to defeat the large demon fiend at the end and progress to the next area. The game provides a map, similar to Castlevania’s, with shades of purple or pink to match the gothic-horror aesthetic. Each girl carries a compass to aid in navigation and locate rare items, as well as the Demon Bosses.
These fiends are former classmates of the sisters who were transformed into demons when the school merged with the demon world. The game includes familiar characters from the Gal\*Gun series such as Akira Hibuki and Aoi Uno, who were also classmates of the sisters. Once defeated, the transformed classmates return to their normal state and grant sub-weapons such as the Anti-demon Grenade (Shinobu) or Paper Crane (Maya). In addition, certain students who were not transformed into fiends have been taken captive by evil entities and can be rescued to replenish some of the player’s HP.
In Grim Guardians: Demon Purge, the two sisters share the hero role and each one possesses unique skills that are useful in different situations. Shinobu uses a gun as her weapon and has an unlimited supply of ammo. However, she needs to reload once her bullet clip is empty before she can continue firing. On the other hand, Maya uses a sword to attack, which requires her to get up close to the enemy but deals a lot more damage.
In addition to having different attacks, the amount of health each girl has also differs. Shinobu has 12 health points while Maya has eight, but Maya’s attacks are stronger and can kill an enemy with fewer hits than it takes for Shinobu to shoot them. This means that Shinobu is more vulnerable to getting hurt while shooting since she has to stand there for a longer period.
The game provides an easy way to switch between the two sisters with just one button tap. This is particularly useful when encountering enemies that can be taken out from a distance with the gun or foes that can be easily dispatched with a single sword hit or secondary weapons like grenades. The game can be played with one or two players, and in local multiplayer mode, players can turn into a mascot to instantly warp to their partner’s location and avoid getting left behind.
In single-player mode, if one of the sisters falls in battle, the surviving sister will be taken back to the beginning of that screen. To revive the fallen sister, the surviving sister needs to get to their body and perform CPR. Once revived, the fallen sister’s health will be restored by half. However, if both sisters die, they will be taken to a screen with a fancy light, and the player will need to use continue to proceed and try again.
The game offers two difficulty modes: Casual and Veteran. If Casual mode is selected, continues are unlimited, so there is no need to worry about running out of them. However, if the Veteran mode is selected, lives and continues are limited, and players may run out of them, resulting in a game over.
While Grim Guardians features characters from Gal*Gun, there are no revealing outfits or panty shots in the game. However, there are a few lewd comments during a stage where the player battles a plant demon that has captured Kaname Nonomiya, the shrine maiden obsessed with spirits and ghosts. The plant demon has her wrapped up in its vines, which Shinobu refers to as tentacles, and the conversation that follows can be entertaining. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s worth experiencing for yourself.
If you’re familiar with the Castlevania series, especially Rondo of Blood, you’ll notice that Grim Guardians is heavily inspired by it. While the game’s path is mostly linear, there are opportunities to explore other areas that require specific powers to access. These areas are blocked off by a wall with a symbol, such as an umbrella, indicating that you won’t be able to access them until later in the game.
While these secret areas are not necessary to complete the game, exploring them will help you collect all the achievements and items. As you traverse through the game, you’ll come across shields on the walls that you can smash (called lamps in the game) to obtain items such as health, Weapon Points for secondary weapons, or pride points to fill your Purge Gauge. Once the Purge Gauge is filled, you can perform a powerful Demon Hunter technique that uses both sisters to deal a lot of damage against a large Demon Fiend or a group of enemies. This attack is especially useful when facing multiple foes in one area.
Grim Guardians: Demon Purge boasts impressive pixel art that captures the retro feel of 2D platformers. The eerie setting of the school adds to the game’s creepy atmosphere, and the blood-spattering visuals pack a satisfying punch. As you progress, Shinobu and Maya gain access to a variety of attacks to take down the diverse range of enemies. However, the constant reappearance of a weak enemy can become tedious and repetitive. The game’s music adds to the spooky vibe of the school, but the static images and text boxes used for the dialogue between the sisters feel like a missed opportunity for more engaging storytelling.
It’s great to hear that you enjoyed Grim Guardians: Demon Purge as a fun 2D platformer with entertaining characters and a great swapping feature. Although the game may not be as challenging as traditional Castlevania titles, the Casual mode provides an easier option for players. If you’re interested in exploring the original appearances of the GalGun characters and their dialogue, checking out the GalGun games may be worth considering. Overall, Grim Guardians seems to be a fun and enjoyable game for fans of the 2D platformer genre.