Anime girls, punching clothes off and unnatural jiggle physics, oh my! It must be a Marvellous game!
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni
is a game about a bunch of diseased girls quarantined on an island forced to fight each other in order to treat their illness. What's more, each combatant must team up with another girl in order for this to work, one fights and the other becomes her weapon... At least I think that is what happens.
There are two parts to Valkyrie Drive
. The first is a lot of exposition presented as semi static scenes where the characters stand together, breathe heavily to engage their jiggling breasts and talk at each other whilst occasionally gesturing to intensify the jiggle. The writing is rudimentary and for the most part goes in circles that usually end in implied fondling. The story is almost exclusively told in this way and if I'm honest you can get away with skim reading and button mashing to skip through this.
The second part is actually fun. You get given the freedom to run through a series of environments and take part in combat. In the environments there are hidden collectibles to be found, boxes to smash for currency or items and small fights against weak, but numerous, enemies.
The combat system works on light and strong attacks paired with enemy juggling and dash attacks. There is a fairly decent dodge mechanic, but I didn't need to use it much outside of boss encounters.
The stars of this show are the fights with the various bosses, which regularly come in the form of facing off with another of the girls. These encounters ramp up in difficulty as the game goes on and will see you using most of the moves at one point or another. These girls go at each other so hard that on occasion their clothes will disintegrate; I'm not sure if this serves a mechanical purpose or if it is purely for 'titillation', but my money would be on the latter.
Completing these combat sections rewards both the combatant's experience and the girl acting as the weapon's experience. You also unlock outfits, accessories, lingerie, music and illustrations.
The game is broken into chapters and in between chapters you have a host of things to do - things like playing dress-up, chatting to the various characters and collecting Golden Hearts to fill up a romance gauge with each character. This unlocks special story segments.
's handheld origins can be clearly seen in its visuals, with simple models and consistently clean but low detail textures. The art style somehow manages to work in the game's favour, although I do wish that the developer would hire more animators so that conversations could be accompanied with the actions the characters are talking about instead of standing next to each other cycling through several identical animation clips that have very little to do with the actual scene.
There is a delightful side to the humour that accompanies to lewdness: each girl has her own quirks and hang-ups that correspond to just about every anime trope in existence, but without those tropes in place we would be stuck with jiggle physics and a fun combat system.
There is a lot to be gotten from Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni
for the audience that it is squarely aimed at. Marvellous knows its demographic and what appeals to them well and it hits the mark almost every time. The people I would recommend this to are most certainly already aware of it. For the rest of you, if you can see beyond the obvious puerile nature of Valkyrie Drive
, there is fun to be found here if you crave a beat-'em-up-lite where you don't need to pay too much attention to the narrative.
(As a side note to the developers - If you give me a cooking game starring Manpukumaru I will happily buy it day one - I am all about fun, ditzy characters that only think about life in terms of food.)
+ Simple and fun combat
+ A whole host of extra features
+ Very clean upscaling of a handheld title
- These games need better animated cutscenes
- The lewd humour will be a turn off to most
- Not enough Manpukumaru-chan!
SPOnG Score: 6/10