Once again, I’ve been blessed with the ability to review another fantastic game from Nutaku, Shooting Girls is the new sensation released which involves sexy Japanese girls with huge guns with an even huger appetite for saving the world and claiming back their land. Nutaku are widely known for their massive choice when it comes to JRPG and anime games and have a big reputation for providing extraordinary content for free which provides gamers like myself with hours and hours of wonderful gameplay. They’ve built up a huge fanbase consisting of thousands of players which frequently play and love the games hosted by them.
You start the game with an unknown character, giving you a quote, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster” from Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military strategist. Already you can feel the game, giving off a very serious and very gritty vibe, which is somewhat different to the usual happy go lucky games that Nutaku have on offer. You’re then informed of your enemy who are referred to as UnKnowns, a group of merciless and heartless killing machines. Ever since discovering mankind, they’ve been on one hell of a rampage and have taken your own home from you (time to get angry!) and even Tokyo! Luckily, there is one last bastion which is still free from them, Edogawa Ward, a little area just off the south of Japan, but even that’s being conquered. I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now, but your job is re-capture all of the land taken by these monsters and kick as much robotic ass as you possibly can.
After your briefing, your introduced to the quote speaking unknown character known as the Principal who turns out to be your boss (Yikes! Hope you were paying attention!) and Yui Miyoshi, your perky assistant to help you bring destruction on all those around you. You’re main role as an “instructor” is to command your students, a group of lovely looking Japanese ladies with some big-ass guns, and to regain control over your lost territory.
You’re quickly introduced to learning how to assign your students and become a legendary instructor by first picking one of three students, a rather crazy looking silver haired girl with a pistol, a purple haired, darkish and rather strict looking lass with an AK47 or a girl who I can only really describe as the epitome of communism with a sub machine gun. Each of the characters has a special fighting style and brings an added bonus to the team. Afterwards you’re given two more members so you have a badass team of gun loving girls. After which your tasked of adding the girls to your new team.
Nutaku always does a great job when it comes to tutorials and try to make their games as easy and simple as possible, so it doesn’t surprise me that Shooting Girl is adhering to their great reputation. You’re quickly shown how to change formations to set up your team. In this menu you can see the health, statistics and special bonuses that each girl brings to the squad. Squad selection offers a whole host of valuable assets to the game, and you can even save and choose from different squads you have created depending on the battle you are entering.
Once you’ve picked your squad, you’re back to the main menu and guess what! You just earned yourself a brand spanking new award. Nutaku games have a tendency to reward their players based on what they do, so the more you play, the more sexy new items and gifts you will receive. It tries to encourage their fan base to play with a bit more creativity and to try new things rather than just going into constant missions and getting to the end of the story mode as fast as possible.
After getting your new reward, you’re prompted to take part in your first battle mission. The briefing screen before a mission allows you to set up your strategy, see what’s going on in general and to begin the mission. For each mission you play, you will need the required amount of resource, which you will receive from rewards and time.
The battle system is pretty nifty. You enter the map and you can see your girls moving across the map along with the enemy. Once they come into range, they will start an automatic battle. This is a turn based game so naturally both sides will get a go unless your pretty OP and destroy them before they can even attack. Your attack is based on stats, levels and what not, but we’ll get into that later. Obviously the first battle you enter will be pretty simple, but as you progress through the game you’ll need to train and level up your girls more to survive. Also as you fight, your “Air Strike” gauge will increase, and once it hits 100% you can bomb the hell out of your opponent. After the battle, depending on your success rating, you’ll be given a score and a shiny medal to display just how awesome you are, like I really needed to be told that anyway (cockiness FTW). The higher your score, the more bonus exp you will nab with your victor, and the more your girls will level up, so getting the highest score you can is always recommended. You’ll also get some rewards and some resources for completing missions and even some new girls for your team.
Nutaku always like to keep things simple, so if watching your ladies running around on screen isn’t quite for you then there’s always the ability to skip the battle and process without having to wait, whilst you miss out on all the action, it’s a quick way to finish up the battle if you’re in a rush.
The amount of character detail in the game is great, with each girl having different characteristics, skills and abilities that make them truly unique to each battle. Furthermore, everything is relevant, for example, if you have a sniper based character then their skill will be somewhat based around their role, for example the sniper in my team had the ability to see in the dark during night time and thus negate any weather effects. You can also see the different weapons that they use, different stats that they have and even the number of stars that they have.
If, for any reason, your not too familiar with Nutaku games, each of the characters within their games has a rating system, in Shooting Girls it’s based on the number of stars that they have. For example, a girl with 2 stars will be reasonable, but a girl with 5 stars will generally be a better choice and be more powerful when fighting.
There’s loads of special things that you can do to make your ladies even stronger though. Within the formation screen you can offer up some special training, which allows you to give your warriors, some items, by promoting the girls to allow them to reach new higher levels, or by having your girls train with each other to boost their stats. So even without resources to go on the missions, you can always keep training.
If you’re not really into your missions, though and more of a PVP addict, you can use the practice function from the main screen to enter a mock battle against another players team of girls. This will allow you to keep levelling and training and get some much needed gun nut action on the side.
There’s a whole host of other functions that you can partake in, from upgrading your facilities to provide your girls with better equipment, increasing your recovery rate for items and treating your poorly girls to flicking through the many and vast amount of characters that the game has to offer, learning about each of the girls and even scouting for potential new recruits to find a fantastic new girl. It would take me hours and hours to talk about everything the game has to offer, but the best way to find out is to go and try it out yourself!
The opening music whilst the game loads is a little slower than your typical JRPG sound, but holds a lot of suspense and atmosphere around it. It’s definitely got more of a heavy and gritty feel to it which compliments the game genre quite well. If I could truly compare it to something, then try to picture your typical 90’s American cop drama television show, that’s just how epic it is. The main menu and sound effects are also great, whilst a little happier in general and bit more upbeat they are a bit more reminiscent of your typical JRPG. I loved the opening music, but all in all the sound from the game is well created and I have only positive things to say about it.
I can’t really mention the sound without touching on the graphics, but it’s something I always say about Nutaku games. The graphics are incredible and the amount of detail offered to each of the girls is simply astonishing. Each one is beautifully made and designed and has a really great feel, especially when you link them to their designated roles. The front line, quick action scouts look like actual scouts, where as the heavy defenders look like defenders, so it’s a great way to see which girls are which without actually going into all of the formations.
All in all, Shooting Girl is a great game with a ton of fun gameplay, an amazing atmosphere full of interesting and unique sounds, and graphics and an all round aesthetically pleasing game. Some of you may remember I did a review on one of their other games, which is also a great playing experience, Kanpani Girls, in which some sexy Japanese girls have oversized weapons and even bigger brea… hearts and set out to save their world.
The fact that all games hosted on Nutaku are 100% free to play, it’s definitely worth while logging in to see if anything takes your fancy as their will be something that takes your fancy and provides you with a huge amount of content and a long time of fun and great gameplay, so go on!