Review: Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed

by

Developer: ACQUIRE CORP.
Publisher: XSEED, Marvelous USA
Platform: Steam, also available on PS3 and PS Vita
Price: $29,99 USD
Release Date: May 26th, 2015(Steam port)

One of the most interesting titles in recent times, Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is an action combat game with a twist: You must undress your enemies in order to defeat them. Comical nudity is the prime premise for this game, also excelling with interesting, fresh ideas during gameplay.

Story

Artificial vampires are attacking the people of Akibahara and draining people of their enthusiasm. You, too, have become one of the so called Synthisters, but because of the help of a cute mysterious girl, you’re capable of holding back your violent vampiric urges and instead help fight against them.

The story isn’t intended to be taken seriously in this game. The entire plot surrounding the Synthisters, the attacks against people, and the entire plot surrounding the game are as bizarre and badly-written as you’d expect from a silly comedy anime. The game itself is a huge statement, praising the spirit of the millions of people who frequent and work in Akihabara.

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This is brought up several times during gameplay, whenever the characters speak about how much they love their hobbies, and how much they love the city, and how they’d do anything to protect it. The game’s plot is furtherly belittled by the end of the game, when it’s revealed that despite everything that happened, nobody died or was seriously injured.

Gameplay

Highly recommended the use of a controller for this game. Akiba’s Trip’s controls are simple at first, with just attacking, jumping, and blocking. There are 3 attack buttons, each of them targetting a different height(top, mid, and lower bodies). You may choose to beat a certain article of clothing enough for it to rip and disintegrate, to roughen it up just enough to pull it out, or to outright yank the article off whole, though the latter requires a high skill level in dealing with that particular type of clothing.

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The game takes place in streets of Akiba, which are filled with people and shops. The player receives missions, both storyline missions and side mission, and moves freely around the streets. The assignments themselves aren’t very different from a combat RPG. Fetching items, escorting NPCs, beating up bad guys troubling the locals, those sorts of missions.

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Other than the basics, there is a huge assortment of things to collect in this game. Store pamphlets(from stores that exist IRL in Akihabara), articles of clothing, useless items, and much more. Akiba’s Trip is as much of a collect-a-ton game as it is an RPG.

The game’s has an external options .exe file, that allows the player to set keybinds, the game’s resolution, and toggle between some AA settings.

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A portion of the game’s lore is told from the perspective of Pitter, a ficticious social network used by the residents of Akiba.

 

Sound

Akiba’s Trip is fully voiced in both English and Japanese. There is nothing special regarding the sound effects or the sound direction in this game, and the music quality is all over the place. A few of the game’s soundtracks are great, such as the Main Menu’s them and MOGRA’s background theme, but at the same time the combat themes are awful and repetitive.

Graphics

The graphics are stylized and appropriate for the game’s atmosphere and theme. Not a very demanding game, in terms of GPU power. The story’s dialogue is presented through a Visual Novel interface, with animated character portraits. The quality of the 2D assets in this game is very high.

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While the game might look a bit rough, it certainly does not feel cheap or low-budget.

One important thing to note here is that, although this game’s central premise is to strip down people, sometimes down and including the enemies’ underwear, everything is handled with comedy. The entire atmosphere is light-hearted, rather than naughty, which is what I was expecting before trying the game.

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Downsides

The translations are accurate, and the dialogue is smooth, but it feels like the people in charge of localizing the game could have taken a few more liberties, specially concerning japanese pronoums. Some of the context was lost because -kuns, -sans, -senpais, and -niis were purposely omitted and/or replaced in the dialogue. Considering the game’s subject matter, and its target audience, it would have been wiser to leave those pronoums in the translation.

Perhaps Akiba’s Trip could have benefited from taking itself a bit more seriously than it actually did. I couldn’t feel as connected to the characters as I wish I could be, because the story was outright irrelevant, it just tells me where the bad guys I need to beat will be next.

Akiba’s Trip also committed one of the worst sins a Visual Novel-like game could possibly hope to commit: The best girl in the game DOES NOT HAVE A ROUTE. I didn’t care for any of the characters, except for Kati, but turns out I couldn’t romance her. FML.

Overall

The game’s combat systems are solid, and the game itself is actually surprisingly hard. Admittedly, I had to retry certain fights more times than I care to admit, and I believe that’s a good thing. There is also a lot of replayability in Akiba’s Trip, and the dialogue was interesting enough to keep me smiling through most of the game.

There is also a lot of product placement in the game, of the same kind you’d find in the real streets of Akiba.

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Most definitely, the atmosphere is what makes Akiba’s Trip a great game. Running strange errands such as buying exclusive cake from a bakery, meeting cute maids and goth lolitas in the streets, seeing real world stores in a virtual universe, and beating up cosplayers with a Bus Stop sign are everyday things you can do in this game.

Pros:
– English/Japanese audio
– Low cost to buy
– Not too intensive to run
– Tons of references, everything from games to anime
– Real world location, many of the stores in the game exist IRL in Japan
– Great art
– Tons of stuff to collect
– Great humour
– Combat difficulty increases keep the game challenging

Cons:
– Limited graphical options
– Music quality was inconsistent
– Pointless story and plot
– Combat is a bit repetitive after you’ve mastered it
– You cannot romance Kati(best girl)

The Reviewer has given this game a Final Grade of 7/10.