Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni PC Preview — Spending the Summer on Bhikkhuni Island
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni PC is the best way to experience the game, as the updated visuals far surpassed my expectation of what this Vita exclusive once was.
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni is a game that needs little introduction to fans of niche Japanese games. It was a game that, due to mature content, most gamers assumed would never make it to the west. However, that all changed once PQube announced they will be localizing the game for the PlayStation Vita for all to enjoy.
Now, publisher Marvelous Europe is bringing the game to PC with visual upgrades compared to its handheld counterpart; the game will now play in 60fps in 1080p resolution because of that. After spending quite a bit of time with the PC build of the game, I wanted to share my experience.
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni tells the story of young women who are infected with something known as the “A-Virus”, which evidently has them turn into powerful weapons. On the other hand, there are also girls infected with the “VR-Virus”, which allows them to take on the roll of either “Valkyrie” or weapons.
To stop the spread of this disease, all infected girls must be quarantined on a special island called Bhikkuni to continue their schooling. On the island, the girls must take control of their power by fighting against robots that roam the island, which seems to be the only method of keeping the disease under control.
The gameplay closely resembles that of the Senran Kagura series, where the player will go from one point to another while clearing out enemies throughout the level. However, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni adds to the combat system by allowing players to pull off a revenge attack or phantom combos that might take some time to master, but are definitely worth using in battle.
With the PC version, something I would have liked to see was a way to skip the incredibly long tutorial levels. Although it could be used to relearn the systems for players returning to the game, I feel like the option would have benefited my playthrough as these levels can last around two hours to complete, with the dialogue and all.
Long tutorials aside, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni on PC changed my small gripes I had about the Vita version. The random crashes and framerate drops are non-existent, and the 60fps helps tremendously in some of the battles with lots of enemies and high action. Also, I’d like to add that the levels also look rather impressive with the anti-aliasing turned up. For those returning to the game, if you didn’t like the long dialogue scenes before…well, those are still there, but at least they can be quickly fast-forwarded through.
The graphical improvement is something that I was looking forward to, although I should say that this isn’t a game that should be played in your family’s living room. From a game that definitely knows its audience, the high amounts of fan-service look better than ever before. Oh, I should add that they also look great during dialogue scenes as well. Additionally, I decided to spend some time in the dressing room to see how the PC version handled the removal of the Vita’s touchscreen. Surprisingly, the altered button mapping was easy to navigate and I was changing the girls’ outfits in no time.
I played Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni on PC using a PlayStation 4 controller and you’d be surprised how much easier some of the combos are to pull off with an actual controller. I never found it completely difficult on the Vita, but I would get frustrated with the smaller button size often.
Strangely, I’ve always thought the characters in Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni appeared to have a super bright white glow about them. It might just be a personal gripe of mine, but if these girls spend so much time on this island, I would expect them to have at least a little bit of color.
The PC version of the game also contains all available DLC from the PlayStation Vita version, which is a pretty hefty amount of extra content. This includes both characters from Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, all the swimsuit and underwear sets, and all extra character add-ons.
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni on PC is by far the definitive way to play this fan service-filled action game. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are multiple reasons to return to the game, whether it’s for the much smoother fighting experience or for the giant-breasted girls in 1080p. However, if you didn’t like the game’s story before, then you probably wouldn’t like it now since it has been left untouched in this remastered port.