4.0 out of 5


  • Character swapping
  • 2-player action
  • Choose difficulty anytime
  • Multiple endings
  • 120 fps for PS5


  • Short adventure
  • No DualSense features

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Inti Creates
Inti Creates
File Size (Minimum)
871 MB
Release Date (NA)
Feb 23, 2023

Gal Guardians: Demon Purge takes notes from the popular Castlevania series and brings characters from the Gal*Gun series into a new style of gameplay. If you love side-scrolling, pixel gore by two female protagonists, then you’ll enjoy this gruesome trip.

From Love to Hunt

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge - Screenshot

Those who’ve played the Gal*Gun video game series will recognize many of the characters in Gal Guardians. You could say Gal Guardians is a spin-off sequel to the rail shooter, and it’s great to see familiar faces making a return after a long absence.

Gal Guardians’ protagonists, Shinobu and Maya Kamizono, first appeared in Gal*Gun Double Peace, a rail shooter where you try to have one (or both) the girls fall in love with you. The demon-in-training, Kurona, looks to have revenge on the Kamizono sisters after many of her pranks were foiled in Gal*Gun. After finding a mysterious mirror, Kurona turns Shinobu and Maya’s school into a demon castle. To turn it back and rescue fellow students and the facility, the Kamizono sisters will have to tap into their demon hunting skills to take down Kurona and the mysterious power she gained through the mirror.

Reload, Retry

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge - Screenshot

Gal Guardians offers a handful of options to cater to various gamers. Whether you play casually for fun or play for a challenge, Gal Guardians has you covered. For example, playing in casual mode offers more forgiveness such as infinite lives and no knockback when hit by an enemy attack. It’s almost like a cheat code. Once you understand enemy patterns and the level design, it’s recommended to increase the difficulty. You can change the difficulty setting anytime during gameplay.

Once you complete a level, you’ll have the option to travel to other locations you’ve completed or are currently on. These backtracks have hidden areas that aren’t available during your first runthrough, and there are missing students that still need rescuing.

For those playing on the PlayStation 5, you’ll have the option to turn up the frame rate up to 120. It makes animations very smooth, and loading times are a snap. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t take advantage of the console’s DualSense controller. Haptic feedback and adaptive trigger feedback would make the experience even better.

Don’t expect a long journey in Gal Guardians. The game can be completed within six hours for the main story. Add a little extra time for backtracking for hidden areas. There’s a lot of potential here, but it feels like it needs some extra content to make it more memorable. It would be quite entertaining if the game took another page from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by making the castle playable upside down (reverse castle). Maybe a DLC (downloadable content) is in store for this in the near future?

Various Weapons

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge - Screenshot

As you play, the game does an excellent job giving you the ability to swap between the Kamizono sisters when playing as one player. Whether you are in the middle of a boss battle or running through a level, a simple press of a button on your controller lets you swap immediately to the other sister. In two-player mode, the option is not there as both are being played at once.

When one of the sister’s health gauge is depleted, it’s up to you to revive her. While playing as one player, the game will restart to where your last save point was. Then, it’s up to you to go back to where you initially fell to find your sister’s body. Once there, you’ll need to perform CPR by button smashing. Be careful as you’ll be vulnerable to enemy attacks. If you’re playing as two players, you won’t have to return to the save point and instead you can immediately go to your fallen partner and perform CPR. This mechanic keeps the gameplay moving along great for two players. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t swap your character in single player mode.

Both sisters have their own unique set of weapons and skills. Right off the bat, you’ll rely on Shinobu’s handgun and Maya’s origami. Shinobu’s gun has a limited amount of ammo, and you’re required to push down on the controller twice to reload. It’s a bit of extra work, but at least you have unlimited reloads. Maya can transform her weapon for up-close encounters to slice enemies in half.

After completing a level, you’ll earn new subweapons for both fighters. For example, Shinobu can use ball-shaped grenades and Maya can use an origami penguin that can freeze enemies nearby for a short time. Each new subweapon you earn gives you new ways to access hard-to-reach places in previous levels. You’ll surely use all these weapons before visiting the game’s final boss.

Many Ways to End

There are three ways to end the game. The answer you give to the final boss will determine the game’s last battle gameplay and ending scene. For example, choosing “you fight for love” will initiate the “Doki Doki” gameplay scene that Gal*Gun players will surely remember. Choosing the other two options will initiate a final battle where familiar characters will aid you in the fight.

It’s an entertaining value to provide these options. It’ll be interesting if Inti Creates will add any extra playable characters to the game. The option to have three players or more would make things much more entertaining.

Pixellated Gore

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge - Screenshot

Inti Creates, the developers of this game and the Gunvolt series, has created entertaining retro-style games that resemble the ‘90s era of video games. This time, the game doesn’t hold back on the gore. Destroying enemies with bullets or origami attacks splatters the floor and wall with pixelated blood. It’s a completely different approach from what Inti Creates has done in its previous titles, and the amount of blood and gore thrown out is almost comical. That said, seeing Maya cutting enemies in half is pretty fun to see.

The game’s overall design and level layouts closely resemble the Castlevania series. You could (rightfully) say that Gal Guardians is a clone but with Gal*Gun characters. For example, when you’re moving around after your ultimate attack gauge is filled up, the Kamizono sisters have an afterimage much like Alucard does in Symphony of the Night. Additionally, players can replenish each gauge by hitting shields placed on poles, much like hitting candles in Castlevania. Even most of the boss battles would feel right at home in Dracula’s castle.

Boss battles can be a bit troublesome if you haven’t figured out their attack patterns. Once you do, it’s straightforward. Do be careful: once their health gauge is gone, it doesn’t mean it’s the end. These bosses will try to throw one more or more attacks before expiring. If you travel back to play the level again, you won’t fight them again. These bad demons are available in the game’s boss rush mode if you want to try and beat them more easily than last time.

The game’s soundtrack is solid. Its mysterious, dark, and gloomy scores add a dreary vibe while traveling through this demon castle. Boss battles themes amp up the flow with faster and more intense beats. It’s a fitting score for this type of game.

The game has voice overs, and they can be changed to different languages prior to playing. However, unlike with the difficulty, the option to switch them on the fly isn’t available. While some players may find the sisters’ shouting and grunts occurring too much, it’s common to see in many titles today, especially fighting games. Still, an option to turn off specific sound effects would be handy. You can never have too many options to offer for players.

The Final Purge

Gal Guardians: Demon Purge is a love letter to the classic Castlevania series that fans can enjoy, even if only for a short time. There’s a lot of potential here, but there needs to be more to make it more memorable. Still, it’s solid entry in the Gal*Gun universe.

A PlayStation 5 review code provided for this review and gameplay footage.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge - Gameplay Footage (PS5)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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