Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)

Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)

Marvelous, a development studio famous for creating the saga of Senran Kagura, is back on the market with a new action entitled Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni. The title is inspired by the homonymous anime, protagonists and events are different but the events of the game take place in the same universe. After talking to you about the PlayStation Vita version, let's go back to the fighting girls on the occasion of the release on Steam.

Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)
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Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni
Strange viruses infect our girls

The plot that precedes the events of Valkyrie Drive is, as usual from Marvelous, quite simple and not very thorough. On the other hand, a particularly impactful story was not to be expected from a title of this type that aims exclusively to entertain. The girls protagonists were hit by a virus that (accidentally) infects only young students and to prevent its spread, the state has created artificial islands in which to contain the subjects. In these islands, the girls live an almost normal life, but their job is to train hard to learn how to contain the virus inside them. How will they have to train? Obviously by fighting each other and improving their warrior skills. Because while the uncontrolled virus can harm girls, a well-managed virus is capable of providing students with incredible fighting skills. The title does not lack fan-service, but not at unbridled levels as in the Senran Kagura series, the development team wanted to maintain (even if minimally) a higher level of "seriousness".

Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)

Time to train!

The gameplay of Valkyrie Drive takes a lot from Senran Kagura, thus proposing action sections in which we should fight and defeat dozens of androids created specifically for girls to train. The heart of the gameplay of the title lies precisely in the clashes, in which we should show off our skills as warriors to continue in the story. Each level will be faced by a couple of girls in which one of the two will be the so-called "Liberator", while the other will be an "Extar". By "Extar" we mean the girl who, thanks to the capabilities introduced by the virus, will turn into a weapon (in the literal sense of the word), while the "Liberator" will be the one who will hold the weapon to fight. During the story the pairs of girls will be pre-set, while in the other modes we will be given freedom in choosing them. The clashes manage to be quite fun, thanks to a simple but functional combo system, thanks to the frantic and fast movements of the girls and the animations of the special moves. During the story these fights will be carried out in little extended levels, very similar to arenas, and once we have defeated the androids that will block our way, we will often and willingly have to challenge another couple of girls.

The moments when the goal is to fight with the other students, are probably the best of the Marvelous production, as they manage to raise the level of challenge and be satisfying. Too bad, however, that the difficulty is really nil, given that the enemy AI (apart from that of the other girls) will rarely be able to hit us, at least we would not remain completely motionless. To increase the variety of gameplay, Marvelous has created a different fighting style for each girl. Being able to fight with different weapons and styles is probably the greatest help we are given to avoid getting lost in the endless monotony of the clashes, which would have risked boring after a while. In addition to the story mode there are a "Challenge" and a "Survival" mode. In the first, our goal will be to complete challenges and requests of various kinds: we will go from completing simple combos to having to defeat a wave of enemies in a pre-established time and so on. While as far as the "Survival" mode is concerned, as the term suggests, it will be about surviving ever-increasing waves of enemy androids. The main problem of Valkyrie Drive, is that these fights are interspersed with long narrative sections in visual-novel style that lack bite and will only bore us, as well as abruptly break the frenetic action of the fights. Unfortunately, the good characterization of the girls alone fails to overcome the problem of dialogues that are too often verbose and boring.

Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)

The technical side of the Valkyries

The best advantage of Valkyrie Drive as far as the technical side of the title is concerned, it is certainly the care with which the models of the protagonists were made. Each girl has been created with care and they are all accompanied by noteworthy graphic animations. On the other hand, Marvelous continues to carry its typical flaw: the settings. In addition to being created with low quality textures, the settings are all too monotonous and similar to each other, failing to create the right atmosphere that the clashes deserve. Furthermore, the camera is often badly positioned and there will be many times when we will have to reposition it manually. Even during the most chaotic clashes, the title remains very fluid and keeps the 60 FPS fixed, without ever suffering drops. The soundtrack of the title is instead pleasant to listen to and very cheerful, too bad for some track that is repeated too often. Do not forget the presence of the "Dressing Room", where we can dress and customize our girls as we like with unlocked items.

Valkyrie Drive Review: Bhikkhuni (PC)

Verdict 7/10 Girls who turn into weapons ?! Comment Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni unfortunately takes a step back from Senran Kagura Estival Versus, a title from which it strongly draws inspiration in gameplay. The dialogues are not as captivating and funny as in the aforementioned Senran Kagura and too often they flow into the verbose, interrupting the action. Fortunately, the fights manage to be fun, enjoyable and satisfying, especially in the sections where you clash with other girls. If you've enjoyed other Marvelous titles, the fan-service doesn't bother you, and you like to scuffle beautiful Japanese students, Valkyrie Drive is the title for you. Pros and cons Fun fights
Well done girls models
Different modalities x It gets repetitive after a while
x Poorly maintained environments
x Overly verbose and boring dialogues

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