Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is Inti Creates does Castlevania x Gal*Gun

Good Lord, what an incredible headline. What a delightful list of things that I am Very Much All About. What a potentially awesome game we have on our hands here. Yes, Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is a new title on the way from Inti Creates, announced ahead of Japanese gaming festival BitSummit, where the team will be showing off some gameplay in more detail.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge is an all-original retro-inspired title from Inti Creates that stars Shinobu and Maya, the two demon-hunting sisters from Gal*Gun Double Peace — you’ll notice that Grim Guardians and Gal*Gun have the same initials, which probably isn’t a coincidence.

After a demon castle suddenly appears where their school (presumably the same Sakurazaki Academy from Gal*Gun) once stood, the pair take up their spiritual armaments and prepare to challenge the unknown horrors within. I say “unknown”; the promotional artwork suggests that beloved series antagonist and HELL of a fan favourite Kurona is almost certainly involved.

The early gameplay video we’ve seen from Grim Guardians: Demon Purge’s initial kickoff trailer looks very promising indeed, with some absolutely beautiful pixel art on both the sprites and the backdrops. There’s a real sort of “32-bit” feel to the game as a whole, evoking memories of classics such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and this is, of course, a great fit for this style of game.

This isn’t a straight Castlevania clone, though. Shinobu and Maya both have their own distinct abilities, in keeping with their previous depictions in Gal*Gun. Shinobu fights with her demon-hunting gun, allowing her to attack at range, while Maya fights in a more close-up style using her papercraft shuriken and shikigami-style dolls.

When playing in single-player, you’ll be able to switch between the two sisters in order to make use of their distinct abilities, but there’s also a simultaneous two-player cooperative mode where you and a friend can control Shinobu and Maya at the same time.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge

Inti also promises an array of difficulty options known as the “Style System”, but haven’t yet elaborated on exactly what this means. Their previous retro-inspired title Mighty Gunvolt Burst featured an in-depth customisation system whereby you could power up your playable character and make the game quite a bit easier for yourself at the cost of your score (or inflate your score by making the game harder!); perhaps this will be something along similar lines.

This is, unfortunately, all we know about Grim Guardians: Demon Purge right now, but I already very much want to play this. Inti Creates have previously proven their worth in the “modern retro” space with a variety of amazing games including the various titles of the Gunvolt and Bloodstained series, along with their Blaster Master Zero retro reimaginings and the complex but rewarding action RPG Dragon Marked for Death.

They’ve also proven themselves to be a dab hand at solid storytelling, with all their titles featuring well-crafted worlds, loveable characters and a surprising amount of hidden depth to their narratives. Yes, that even includes Gal*Gun, which surprises many people with quite how well-realised its little world actually is.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge

It’s quite remarkable to think back over the history of Gal*Gun. Over the course of the last decade, it’s gone from being a niche-interest Japan-only title that was the butt of narrow-minded people’s jokes to a franchise that is beloved the world over.

It’s honestly great to see Inti wanting to expand the role of the series’ cast beyond just more Gal*Gun games; Shinobu and Maya’s demon hunting background that is established in Gal*Gun Double Peace makes them absolutely ideal for a game like Grim Guardians: Demon Purge, so it’s a delight to see them getting the opportunity to shine independently of their original host series — complete with their original voice actors.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as development continues. There’s no release date planned as yet, but we do know that it’s coming to all current platforms, including Switch, PS4/5, Xbox One and Series boop, and PC via Steam. We’ll have more as soon as we can — and in the meantime, be sure to keep an eye on the BitSummit website for this weekend’s gameplay demo!

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Pete Davison
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