Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- Review
Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- is one of those games that you should play just to for the experience. It’s a little slice of average Japanese male power fantasy, mixed in with a healthy dose of boob physics, and topped off with a dusting of visual novel. Going in to Valkyrie Drive I was expecting some fun light ecchi laughs, with a little bit of a brawler mixed in. I was honestly surprised to find a fairly deep fighting game, wrapped in an epic story and fully fleshed out characters. Each of the games characters have their own stories and motives, none are flat, and honestly this game has a better story than some RPG’s.
The basic premise of Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- is not complex. Two sisters arrive on an island after being infected with a mysterious virus that turns them in to weapons. Weapons that are activated with Ecchi acts. In case anime terms aren’t your thing, that means being lewd. Normally this wouldn’t be a game you would expect on steam, but Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- largly toned down from its original PSP release. Romance is of course also present, and you will spend parts of the game collecting love, talking to the various girls (the full case is 7 girls all well endowed)
After you get past the introduction the game is actually quite deep. Each of the 7 girls has a difrent set of combo based moves. It’s a fully brawler fight system, with air combos, counters, dodges, and a heavy emphasis on strategy over just button mashing. The tutorial quickly taught me how to use the basic set of moves, how to air juggle, and how to use the games signature Valkerie Drive move.
Each move set feels fresh and has it own animation, and every character has fully animated move sets. They break down in to categories (stun, knock up, light and heavy) all appear. But the rest of the games fighting is pretty unique.
When you get in to the game, instead of being a Dynasty Warriors-style simple hack and slash game like the Senran Kagura or Ikki Tousen games, Bhikkhuni features a lot more skill-based combos and maneuvers that involve precise timing. I felt much more like I was playing streets of rage, or ninja gaiden, then a simple anime fighting game. There were parts of the level that I will call travel segments, where you had to fight groups, but the rest is one on one.
All of the travel segments are fairly short, and most of the levels called “drives” have some of both mixed in. The travel segments commonly have locked rooms where you have to kill X number of enemy to advance. I didn’t find this annoying, but it did disrupt the more story based fights of the game.
The main 1 on 1 fights are really two on two. You choose a partner, an “Exter” to go with you, and which character you choose for your Exter and their current level also adds extra stat boosts or move sets for your main character. This is where the Valkerie Drive part comes in. As you level up your exter you will be able to equip them more. I do mean more in this case, there are a total of 4 levels of this equip, and each one adds something new. With 7 different characters your not going to spend a lot of time leveling these girls up. I quickly found a favorite and got used to her move styles. Sadly you cant play every drive with every character, so sometimes you will have to swap.
The game features 56 full missions to play in the main story mode. Each story mission has three difficulty levels, and the start mission screen will show you what difficutly you have completed a drive on. This adds a huge amount of re-play ability, since you can literally chose any mission on one of those difficulties to play. This is of course a Japanese game, so there is arcade scoring. Ratings from C to SSS are awarded after each mission. There are also two other modes, survival and training. Training is well training. Every single move is explained in video form with button press prompts. Its awesome to see such a deep training mode in a game that I thought was going to be about boobs! Survival is a long term fight against as many enemies as you can kill, with difficulty getting more and more as you go. I disliked this mode, since it made my hand cramp up and just seemed to be an endless death march.
I did say this was an ecchi game, so of course during fights, clothes get blown off. At 2/3 an 1/3 health, each character losses some more clothes, revealing underwear (that the player can chose). You choose that underwear in the dress up section of the game. Located off the dining room (the games main hub) you can change each characters outfits, hair, accessories, and underwear. New underwear can be obtained on missions or bought from the in game store. There is also a fun and random underwear printer that will give you a random pair in exchange for cash. I really enjoyed playing this game, getting different sets of panties, and then dressing the girls up in them. There are over 100 patterns, and some are simple, while others are complex with colors nad other things. You will be seeing these a lot in game, so choose wisely.
The dining room also serves as the games main social hub, here you will engage in the VN and relationship elements of the game. I am always excited to play visual novels, and this game was no slouch when it came to that. 20 hours in I haven’t even scratched the surface of the available routes, dialogs, and pairings. On that note, I haven’t even finished the whole campaign, this is one massive game. Fights get a little bit repetitive, but honestly what fighting games, single player doesn’t?
I would be remiss not to talk about this games visuals. Anime games to me always look better than the average AAA game. Maybe it’s the softness of the art style, maybe it’s the subject, or maybe im just a weaboo. No matter the reason the art in Valkerie Drive –Bhikkhuni- is drop dead gorgeous. Everything is colored, animated, and very well done. Everything from pre-set hits, to the apparently gravity defying breasts is beautifully animated. In true Japan style all of the girls in this game are well endowed. Those boobs seem to have their own physics and really not respect any of the physical laws of nature at all. That being said I very much enjoyed them.
Overall, I loved Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni-, the art is fantastic, the fighting is surprisingly deep, and the sounds track is great. If you are a fan of beating the clothes off of cute girls, or brawler style fighting games, don’t miss this gem. It may not have cutting edge graphics, but it does have 7 cute girls, and over 100 pairs of underwear to choose from.
It. is one of those games that you should play just to for the experience. It’s a little slice of average Japanese male power fantasy, mixed in with a healthy dose of boob physics, and topped off with a dusting of visual novel. Going in to Valkyrie Drive I was expecting some fun light ecchi laughs, with a little bit of a brawler mixed in. I was honestly surprised to find a fairly deep fighting game, wrapped in an epic story and fully fleshed out characters. Each of the games characters have their own stories and motives, none are flat, and honestly this game has a better story than some RPG’s. All Ecchi and perversions aside, its also a good fighting game/brawler, and the VN has some genuinely sweet and comedic moments.