Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, I see what you did thar, is a beat’ em up game straight out of japan and set in the Japanese and Gaming culture of Akibahara. Developed by Acquire, who made a very similarly mechanic game Way Of The Samurai, are pretty well known so we can expect a lot from this release that saw an only Japanese prequel. With Japanese heavy themes and stripping of vampires thrown into the mix can this game actually be worth the purchase?
All I ever wanted was a damn Figurine! Well, that is what the main protagonist wanted when he signed a contract to work for a new pharmaceutical company and agreed to try out some new type of drug in exchange for a pay check and ultra-rare Otaku loot. Sadly the tale of epic rewards was a lie as the story starts you off tied to a table with several men above you, the main mastermind Zenya telling you of your circumstance and what has been done to you.
Through some sort of drug or experiment you have been turned into a Synthister, a man-made Vampire of sorts, with increased life and physical abilities but with an aversion to sunlight. If you choose the correct option, not the one demanding figurines that result in an early game over, the facility will get attacked and a daintily dressed woman will charge in, rescuing you in the process. Fighting you way through the hired goons in the room the woman decides it best to leave, not before you defend her from an attack that leaves you mortally wounded.
Just outside the facility the woman gives you some of her blood, which demonic in nature gives you even more power, allowing you to recover your wounds the next day. After the chaotic day before you awaken to a bright and busy day in Akibahara, Akiba for short, and advise your new friend, who calls herself Shizuku, to hide out at MOGRA. The two of you make your way there and from that point on the Synthister plot thickens and it is your job to deal with them the only way you are told how, expose them to the sunlight. To Stripping!!!
The main story will last you around 8 hours with added side quests totalling around 16 hours with a completion run taking around 20 hours, my own first playthrough took 21 hours and I did all I could find in the main game. After that, or even if you leave the city, you can enter New Game+ where you keep your levels, items and equipment for the next playthrough, a staple for Japanese games, RPG’s and the Way of The Samurai series.
There are 2 endings for each of the 4 girls, Shizuku, Shion, Tohko, and Rin, totalling 8 in all, 1 being a normal ending and the other being a true ending. Each ending is different, and the girl’s routes allow for some interesting dialogue and differing scenarios, but having to go through all the game 8 times can get a bit repetitive. There is also an ending with your sister, but that feels more like an after credits screen than anything else.
The gameplay in Akiba’s Trip is very solid, the attacks have weight behind them and really portray the weapons you use and combos rack up quite quickly when you get the hang of it. You move around the city of Akiba, that has around 17 different locations, and enter several lifelike recreations of Akiba shops and interact with the populace. Through the game you will be tasked by NPC’s and your Freedom force to find and strip the Synthisters or to get local punks to leave the area, all through stripping.
You move around with the left analog and look with the right, Triangle is for head attacks, Circle for torso attacks and X for leggings attacks, each dealing damage to the specific article of clothing. You also have a wide set of tools in your smartphone, Fast-Travel and quest log to name the most important. There is a jump button, but it feels useless at most times and I found it hard to think of any time I used it efficiently and not for experimenting.
When fighting you must attack a piece of clothing to lower its health to a point where you can strip it off the opponent and if several articles of clothing are damaged enough you can begin a Strip Combo, that allows you to take up to around 12 pieces off in one go, if you follow the QTE inputs in good time. The better you do in combat the more EXP you get, which is then converted into levels that increase the damage you do and the defence rating you have against enemy attacks.
There are 4 overall weapon types in the game, fist weapons that attach to your fists or are small enough to wield while punching, Small weapons that can be wielded mostly in one hand and are quick attack weapons, unorthodox weapons like Laptops, trays and train sets that have varying attack styles that go for more comical techniques, Big weapons like towers, great swords and Anti-Material Rifles that you hit people in the face with.
For equipment you have slots for Head, Torso, Legs, Shoes, Accessories, Underwear, Items, strip styles and walk styles. There are numerous different pieces of clothing that match together but mixing them around can make an even better look for your characters. There were 8 Strip Styles to unlock through the arena and each one is unique and can really change the feeling you get during combos, my favourite style was “Record of Asuka Style Ninjutsu”.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Akiba’s trip is pretty much flawless, it shows off the themes of Akiba and the game itself very well, with the Japanese influences and action packed tracks you would expect in an anime whilst still keeping some sort of comedic feel to them. There are points where the music stops and you are just left with ambient sounds, but that is fine for the most part as there is always something around the corner to catch you off guard.
Since this game is heavy in Japanese culture, Anime & Manga, along with stripping people to defeat them, people could turn away from this game. While the design is very niche I feel that if you were to swap out the stripping for tearing off limbs this would be a well-loved game, but people can’t see past that one fact. The design and gameplay as a whole feels very resembling of Way of The Samurai with even more quirks and comedy.
Overall I give Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed a 3.5/5, the gameplay is solid and can be very cool to playthrough the first time. But sadly, the game gets very repetitive, with mechanics thrown at you in the first 2 hours and no more development over the rest of the game which means you’ll be doing the same thing over and over for another 6 hours at least. The story feels flimsy and thrown together to give reason to the stripping mechanic and I wish they expanded on the Vampires, Synthisters and Nighteaters a little bit more than they did. People who aren’t into Japanese culture or even Anime at least might not enjoy this release and will cringe at most scenes.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.