Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni (PS Vita) Review

By Drew Hurley 25.10.2016

Review for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni on PS Vita

Like many new franchises these days, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni is more than just a game—it was produced as a project, with this game, an anime series and a smartphone title launching in Japan. It comes from the creator of Senran Kagura, and from the cover art alone, you know what to expect. This risqué title is filled with pervy comedy, busty young ladies and brawling action. Is there more to this game than just cheap thrills and fan service, though?

Valkyrie Drive certainly has a unique premise. Set in the near future, a mysterious illness is spreading through girls in their teens and early twenties. This virus comes in two different forms, known as the A-Virus and the V-Virus. To help control the spread of the virus and to research a cure, the government has constructed five artificial islands where the infected are quarantined. This story follows the latest batch of infected girls arriving at an island where the girls have managed to overcome a special strain of the V-Virus, an island called Bhikkhuni.

Thus far it all sounds above board; it could be a premise for any type of game—that is until the details of the virus come to light. The girls are able to transform into weapons… when they're sexually aroused. Yup. There are two types of infected: Extars, who can transform into a weapon known as an "Arm," and Liberators, who can wield an "Arm." The girls of Bhikkhuni are infected with a special strain of the V-Virus, known as the VR-Virus. Those infected with the VR-Virus hold the abilities of both Extars and Liberators at the same time. These VR-Virus infected patients have to battle each other to get stronger and eventually overcome the "Four Pillar Gods," powerful teachers/huge robotic animals. As much as this is an absolutely mental, fan service-filled game, that doesn't mean the story sucks. It actually has its moments! There are some decent twists, and a few of the cast actually have interesting developments or backstories. It's not just about their huge… tracks of land.

The main story mode of Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni is separated into 16 chapters, or Drives, totalling over 50 stages to battle through. The beginning stages are a great tutorial and introduction to the game, slowly introducing different moves and unlocking characters along the way. Fans of Senran Kagura will love this game; in both its style and game design, it feels like the next step for the now long-running busty ninja battling series. The gameplay is very reminiscent of the recent Estival Versus, with stages consisting of fighting through faceless ladies or robots, finishing off with taking a boss fight, but the combat is improved with some added depth, relying on comboing attacks and juggling enemies. The combat system is easy to pick up and it's possible to just mash through most of the game on normal difficulty, but it's worth experimenting as the system feels fluid and smooth once mastered.

Screenshot for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni on PS Vita

The stages themselves can be quite repetitive; kill a bunch of minions, hunt around for collectibles, take on a fellow infected boss fight—occasionally a cool giant robot boss fight where individual parts have to be targeted and taken out. Thankfully, the seven characters give some extra life to the replayability; each girl feels individual enough, and taking on levels already completed on harder difficulties is challenging, and replaying is required to rack up enough SS ranks to unlock the full ending. Outside of the Story Mode, there's Training Mode, Survival Mode, Challenge Mode, Online Battles... and even some mini-games, too—not to mention side stories to unlock by upping characters' affinity, as well as plenty of items to unlock, all amounting to tons of hours' worth of play here.

It's very evident that this is the work of Kenichiro "Tits are life, ass is hometown" Takaki, with those two essential elements being front and centre. The camera makes sure it's often in the upskirt sweet spot, breasts heave and bounce at the slightest ripple of air, and, of course, each character's outfit leaves nothing to the imagination even before it's stripped off—from schoolgirl sisters Rinka and Ranka Kagurazaka, each dressed in Ann Summers versions of the Japanese sailor school uniform, with tops that cling like latex, skirts the size of belts and thongs riding way, way, waaaay up there, to an amnesiac rollerblading ninja in a miniskirt.

PQube knows what fans of this type of game want and has brought the game over completely unedited, barring the removal of each character's age. The most pervy moments happen during the gameplay. First off, there are the girl's transformations, where they're groped by their partner and moan in ecstasy. It can make for awkward moments if played on public transport! Then there is the returning clothing destruction system from Estival Versus. The girls have three stages of clothes to be separated from: convenient rips to show off the lingerie progresses to just lingerie, and then completely nude. The explosion of clothes pairs with a slow zoom in on the poor girl as she tries to cover herself. These destructible outfits are, of course, customisable. There are a few outfits for each character and tons of lingerie options to toy with in the dressing room, spinning the characters around in the tiniest fragments of cloth as they jiggle and burst their way out—all the while, translations of their comments stream across the screen in a Nico Nico style.

Screenshot for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

This feels like the natural successor to Senran Kagura. The ecchi elements of Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni will be a deal breaker for many, but doesn't mean there isn't a quality game beneath the T&A. The combat is dynamic enough to make for addictive play, the story is decent, and most importantly of all, the fan service is fantastic. There are some problems—repetitive gameplay, long loading times and translation issues being chief amongst them—but they aren't noticeable enough to overly mar the final product.

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

PQube

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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