Welcome to Bhikkhuni Island, an isolated land mass dedicated to the training and treatment of young ladies affected by the VR Virus. It is here that Honey Parade Games’ lewd brawler Valkyrie Drive-Bhikkhuni- takes place. Originally a PS Vita exclusive, publisher Marvelous took on the task of localizing the game for Western audiences on PC, bringing a shinier looking version of the over-the-top fan service title to a new audience.
For those already familiar with Senran Kagura’s sister series Valkyrie Drive, I’ll start with what the PC version specifically offers. Most notably the game runs at 1080p,60FPS and looks better than it ever has. Many players will find that being able to use a controller for this style of beat ‘em up is a preferable way to play the game. Overall, Marvelous has done a great job with the PC port of this game.
For those that aren’t familiar with the game, the premise is both convolutedly set up and thinly executed. There’s two different strains of a virus going around, the negative effects of which are never fully explained but, the girls afflicted with it need to be cured. The heroines of our story have the VR virus which allows them to turn into weapons or wield others that turn into weapons and fight with unnatural strength and ability. The cure for this terrible illness according to the elite island school’s administrators is to fight over and over in order to better control their special abilities or something vague like that. There’s also a government organization orchestrating all of this which is never properly explained but does become a bigger plot point later.
So basically, young attractive women need to fight robots or each other and this island was established to enable them to do just that. That pretty much sums up the who, what, where and why of the whole game. The plot is not particularly interesting or well written. Especially at the start, which moves along at a slow trudging pace, a fact that isn’t helped by the overlong and mostly unnecessary tutorial. Eventually, the plot takes an interesting turn, but nothing novel enough to save its earlier pacing issues. This story line isn’t done any favors by the fact that the characters in the game aren’t particularly interesting either. While each girl has her own unique personality they are all pretty boilerplate cliches found in any anime, leaving players to choose their favorites based purely on their playstyle. Or more likely, their physical appearance.
Indeed, in this fan pandering title aesthetics are the biggest draw. Young ladies are all amply proportioned and are clothed in revealing outfits. Collecting lingerie, groping girls in dressing rooms and stripping off their clothes during battle are some of Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni-'s highlights. For those that enjoy a good fan service experience, this game doesn't hold back. From boob jokes to the blatant sapphic overtones, this title delivers plenty of screenshots worth saving or unlocking.
The combat in Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- isn’t half bad either. Featuring simple controls and different playstyles for each character, fans of the brawler genre will likely find fights enjoyable. The ability to replay missions with different characters or to try and beat your best score along with multiplayer battles lends a fair amount of replayability.
Actually, the gameplay can be a bit too challenging considering there’s a huge sudden difficulty spike that occurs late in the game. There’s also a limited number of arenas and enemy types which can make missions a bit tedious at times. Still, exploring the arena to find the most optimal path and all the hidden objects is a nice challenge.
Although PC is the best way to play Valkyrie Drive-Bhikkhuni- it wasn’t without its issues at launch. Many players (myself included) experienced issues with the game freezing up at loading screens, controller issues and other bugs. Luckily a recent patch has fixed most of those extremely frustrating hindrances.
If you are considering whether Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- is worth your time, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you enjoy a good ‘ol sexy fan service game. It fully embraces its lewd nature, stopping just short of something found over at Nutaku. If you also enjoy a decent brawler than you probably won’t be disappointed. However, if story plays much of a role in your decision-making process, all the bouncing bosoms and hiked up hemlines likely aren’t going to be enough to redeem this one. It would be one thing if the game had next to no story, just pausing for lewd joke or reference here and there letting the combat and erotic elements speak for themselves, but instead, the game has long visual novel style exposition, repetitive and tedious dialogue and scores of-thankfully- skippable dialogue shoved into it. While Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- is enjoyable, there isn’t really anything about it that shines-other than the censored naughty bits of the leading ladies.
Our Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni Review was conducted on PC via Steam with a code provided by the publisher.
Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- is a fun foray into fan service and brawler style fighting brought down by poorly written story content and a lack of enemy variety.
- Improved Graphics
- Decent Brawler Gameplay
- Plenty of Fan Service
- Long Tutorial and Intro
- Uninteresting Story
- Missions Lack Variety