I have been enjoying the last couple of Marvelous Game titles starting with Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel and the more recent SENRAN KAGURA ESTIVAL VERSUS. They have both introduced me to some of the more niche anime/manga genres. When Marvelous Games announced that they would be porting VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- from the PS VITA to PC I just had to jump at the chance. This is done by the same team that are responsible for the SENRAN KAGURA series, so I had a good idea what to expect.
Valkyrie Drive -BHIKKHUNI- tells the story of ladies in their teens and twenties who are infected by a mysterious virus which grants them the ability to turn their bodies in to weapons. The virus is currently categorised into the A-virus and V-virus. The start of the story will see two sisters being sent to an island which claims to be able to control the virus, through fighting. You then learn that this island deals with a variant of the V-virus called the VR-virus. It is this that sets out the reasoning for how the battles take place with teams of two. There is a lot of dialogue to read through in this game pertaining to the story but thankfully you can skip your way though it. The story does a great job in setting up the theme, but after a while I found myself losing interest. As expected though there is the usual sexual undertones in pretty much everything you do and it involves lots of breast groping.
There is a total of seven girls in the game for you to play and rank up, each with there own personality and fight style to match. As the story unfolds you are introduced to them one by one with the two main characters being sisters, Ranka and Rinka. One is the protective sister while the other doesn’t have a care in the world. The team do cut close to the line with their interaction but this is to be expected. I have to say the developers have done well with the unique personalities and how this carries on over to their fighting techniques. You have Manpuku Maru-chan who is a food obsessed ditzy fighter. Dawning a French maid outfit her weapon of choice is knives. Viola is a blonde haired know it all and talks down to the six others. Sporting a sexy pink dress she is deadly with her gun that she keeps in her cleavage. Momo is a very angry individual who is a lone wolf type person that doesn’t want to like anybody. Sporting rollerblades her weapon of choice is a spear.
The gameplay in Valkyrie Drive however is engaging and has great mechanics. It is similar to that of the SENRAN KAGURA titles where you will either have a single fight, or have to work through levels with a boss type fight at the end. During your exploration throughout the longer levels you have collectables to find opening up items like underwear and items to music and cut scenes etc. There is also secret missions to uncover in some of the stages. Where the game really shines is the combat mechanics. They are simple but require precise timing so they are challenging to master. The X and Y buttons are for your light and heavy attacks, with the B button acting as your throw and the A button being your phantom dash. Using these in certain combinations can have you keeping opponents high in the air for some serious damage. As the case with SENRAN KAGURA you are also encouraged to beat the clothes of the girls if you deal enough damage. I just love how you can use the Phantom system along with the target system and keep the fights in the air for outrageously combos which is pretty cool.
You will always have a team of two characters in the battles with each one playing there own part. One team member is known as the Exstar and the other is the Liberator. This is where the games Drive system comes in to play. The character that plays the Exstar is the one who can turn their body in to a weapon for the Liberator toy use. This happens when you activate Drive which there are four levels to. Keeping with the topic of titillation each of the Drive stages introduce a cut scene and manor of undress. Not all four levels are available straight away, instead you must rank up the Exstar and the Liberator. This ranking up happens at the end of each stage, where you are given XP points based on how well you did in battle, here you can allocate the desired amount you wish to each.
The dining room in acts as the games hub. From here you will have access to the shop, dressing room, vault, settings, stats and records. It is also here you will be able to develop relationships with the characters which will unlock special conversations. The dressing room acts like a separate mini game where you get to fondle the ladies. You level up by doing this and if you receive heart tickets you can use this to activate another mini game were you will be rewarded with new items in the shop to buy. While this would have used the PS Vita touch screen the transition to gamepad is flawless.
Outside of the main story there are a whole host of options available. There is a tutorial of the basics if you still can’t quite get the hang of things. Then you have Challenges where you will be tested on your skill as a Valkyrie and memory of the combo system. After this you have the Survival Mode pitting you against a number of waves. To open up the survival mode levels you will need to play through the story.
Valkyrie Drive -BHIKKHUNI- also has a fully fledged online multiplayer component with a variety of titillating modes. There is Strip Fight where the aim is to strip your opponent. Liberation battle is where you compete to earn the most points by performing specific actions. The final mode though is a Super Mario Bros. Melee type mode which is outstanding. I just love how the naked foes hit the tv screen. I didn’t get the chance to test the servers as they were not on at the time of writing this review but you can use bots which allowed me to test the modes.
When it comes to the visuals in the game there is eye pleasure in more ways than one. The anime graphics are colourful and without any frame drops that I could see. The characters look stunning and of course there is plenty of different types of lingerie to collect and try on. The battles flow smoothly and easily keeps up with all the on-screen action. The cutscenes are voiced in Japanese and have English subtitles for those that like the authenticity of these titles.
The Good Things
- Seven characters who have unique personalities and fight styles.
- A well implemented combat system allowing for so much action in the air.
- Love the multiplayer Melee mode.
And The Bad
- I lost interest in the story before the end.
- Not the kind of game you want the family to see on screen.
- Near the knuckle sexual references.
- Valkyrie Drive -BHIKKHUNI- is certainly a fun game to play. If you are a fan of the SENRAN KAGURA titles then you will love this. The combat system is great with the Phantom techniques which allow for some great mid-air combos. The idea of one partner fighting and the other using the Drive technique to turn themselves in to a weapon is neat. It is also great the the two are levelled up independently from each other. I may have lost interest in the story before it concluded but it’s still not the worst. The characters do have unique personalities and fighting styles to suit. The multiplayer modes are fun with the Melee Battle mode stealing the show. It is clear to see that there has been a lot of fan service put in to this title.
Sexy Super Mario Bros. Melee style multiplayer what’s not to love.