NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS MY OPINION ONLY. ALL PICTURES ARE CAPTURED IN GAME WITH MY PS VITA. ENJOY.
AKIBA’S TRIP: UNDEAD AND UNDRESSED is a third person beat’em up developed by Acquire and published in North America by XSEED. It is the sequel to the Japan-only game, Akiba’s Trip.. It is for the PS Vita system and is available in physical or digital format. It is PlayStation TV compatible.
The game’s setting is the famous shopping district in Japan called Akiharbara (or Akiba for short.) It is a Mecca for those who love video games, electronics, collectables like action figures, and manga. Shops cater to fans of these items, called Otakus. The game recreates this famous area, even including some real shops and landmarks. You can find shops from restaurants, maid cafes to “adult novelty shops” (though since your character is 17, you are told to come back when you’re older.) Some shops don’t sell items in the game, but it gives you a bit of information about the real-life store it is based on.
The game itself revolves around your player character, an otaku, as you find yourself an unwitting participant in an evil scheme. A mysterious man from the Magaimono Corporation is building an army of Synthizers, energy vampires, to attack the people in Akihabara and drain their energy. Your character is to be the newest synthizer in his army. Your strong will and timely intervention by a mysterious girl named Shizuku helps you avoid this fate and you make your way to your friends, a rag tag group of concerned otakus called the Akiba Freedom Fighters. With them you set to find out the Synthizer’s evil scheme and stop them…by beating the pants off of them. Literally.
You see, Synthizers , like vampires, can be destroyed by exposure to the sun. But, unlike vampires, clothing acts as a protective barrier. So, in order to defeat them, you must beat them enough that their clothes are damaged and them rip it off of them. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, you strip them to their underwear to defeat them. But as a Synthizer yourself, you are also prone to bursting in flames while in the buff.
The game is well acted. There is a full English voice cast bringing the characters to life. The original Japanese voices are available with English sub titles. Your character remains silent for the most part, with the only voice acting for the character used for the fights. You interact with the characters, such as Shizuku, your mysterious savoir, Touku, your tom-boyish childhood friend, , Kati, a foreigner form Finland, and Nana, your character’s little sister, who refers to you in terms like “Brotagonist.”
Combat occurs when you encounter enemies while patrolling Akiba. You can target the head, body, or legs of an enemy to wear down their clothing pieces. Once you have some sufficient damage, you hold the button for the body part and remove the piece of clothing. Strip them down to their underwear and you have defeated them. Sometimes you can perform a chain strip, rapidly stripping you enemies. If you get a high enough combo, you can do a strip finisher with even takes off their underwear. Any items or articles of clothing you take from an enemy, you can pick up and use for yourself, even the underwear. Yes, you can wear the underwear of you vanquished foes. Ew.
The game is good. The acting and the cut scenes are good, and the story is interesting enough that I want to keep playing to find out more. The premise of stripping your enemies may seem weird and a bit of fan service, but it works for the story and there seems to be more male enemies, at least as first. You can’t just attack normal citizens and strip them down, though some side missions may result in fighting a normal human. You can get power ups in to increase your strength and effectiveness against certain enemies. There is even one specifically for enemies in “normal lolita-type outfits.” Hmm, maybe the creep factor is there…
Combat is chaotic, with you and your partner character fighting in the streets of Akiba. Sometmes the camera goes too close to see you enemy, sometimes it pans out too far. Locking on a character is problematic as you zone in on the one you attacked. If another enemy starts attacking, it is hard to switch targets. If you have a weapon with a good attack radius, this is not so much a problem, but it can get annoying.
There is not much customization for your character, save you name at the beginning. You can equip the clothing you bought or taken from your enemies. You can have a female character if you download one of the free character skins from the PlayStation Store (many are based on characters from other games or anime). This is cosmetic, however as the cut scenes still show the default male character and the NPC still refer to you as such.
All in all, it is a decent game. I have always wanted to go to Akihabara, but this is probably the closest I will get. I like it when some of these stranger games from Japan get a western release as we get to see something different. Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is definitely different. It may not be for everyone, but fans of Anime and Japanese games will want to check it out
3.5 out of 5