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Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed Review – A Trip on the Strip Whilst Stripping

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Akiba’s Trip was created by Way of the Samurai creators Acquire and published by the awesome people of XSEED Games. You play as Nanashi, the protagonist who is a hardcore otaku that falls for a shady deal to accept whatever happens to him, so that he may be paid in rare figurines. Shortly after it is revealed that a shady male, Zenya, has modified your body to become a Synthister, which is basically a man-made vampire that feeds off of energy instead of blood to create an all-powerful race.

You are freed by a mysterious girl named Shizuku and following you taking a deathblow from Zenya to save Shizuku, Shizuku performs a blood transfer to save your life. Story pique your interest yet?  After that you and Shizuku return to MOGRA, a game bar that houses the Akiba Freedom Fighters. These are friends of the main character that perform good deeds and aim to keep Akihabara safe. The story then leads to these crazy otaku heroes saving Akihabara from the Synthister threat.

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Akiba’s Trip 2 is obviously a professional game that should be taken seriously, and it needs to be. When reading some other reviews, some reviewers have complained about the games core combat mechanic – which is stripping, which is seemingly affecting them psychologically or on a social standard level, one went so far as to give the game a zero. How this pertains to the story is that since Synthisters are man-made vampires, they are prone to sunlight from the neck down. Therefore, the main character has to remove the clothes from both synthister men and women to vanquish them.

It’s a shame seeing reviewers bring the score down just for that point. The game is silly but the mechanics behind it and everything else are actually quite solid. Based off the equipment the opponent is wearing, you must wear down an enemies head, torso, and legs to fully vanquish them.

There are different styles of weapons that exist that perform different and outrageous, silly looking attacks that simply lower the durability of said articles of clothing. If multiple bits of clothing from various enemies are weakened, the character can massively strip everything – even underwear, which can then be worn by the character.

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To go in a bit more detail about the combat; it is very akin to the Way of the Samurai in nature. In fact, the whole game feels like a vanilla version of it, which isn’t bad at all. Throughout the game you have a partner to help dish out the pain, which can be one of the 5 main heroines in the game. Both the player and enemies can perform unblockable attacks, counters and basic hits, all of which will tout more damage the higher the combo you make. The combat is fun but there are a few problems that hinder the gameplay a bit, one of them being camera control.

It’s pretty easy to lose focus on the enemy, but one of the more annoying factors is when the battle ends up near an exit – which auto locks the camera into position, meaning the main character can go in and out of that auto lock which creates disorientation in battle. Other then that, the difficulty can be challenging as playing the game’s hard mode got me stuck with enemies wiping my durability bar to zero with one hit. Luckily enough, the battle allows for a healing effect, which is the ability to re-sort your clothes to restore durability and save it from being stripped, because once stripped your clothes are gone for the battle.

Another little nuisance is when the main character performs a failed strip alongside many enemies, he may teleport from his original position, leaving you more prone or safe from danger. It makes sense why this happens, as it seems like the collision box of the MC is temporarily disabled for the cinematic and then reattached on top of other enemies. This in turn leads the game to calculate where to drop the hero, without causing a collision error – this isn’t a major issue as it’s not outwardly outrageous. Overall though the combat is very silly and fun to play, but it can be a nuisance with the camera controls, which I believe is the main Achilles heel of the game.

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Moving on from a few of my gripes – the art, feel, and immersion of the game is the strongest asset of this title. The game takes you to a legitimate recreation of Akihabara Strip, complete with stores that are existent in their respective real locations. The game goes to the lengths of representing the Akihabara Strip in reality by doing tiny things that simply add to the experience. Examples of this include having street vendors pass legitimate advertisements of the real stores, and these are also viewable pictures on the MC’s smartphone. A nice touch was having loud advertisements from different media on load screens and big screen displays within the game.

The smartest thing in fact is how the game advertises live concerts and multiple game trailers from various companies. There are trailers showcasing Mind Zero, The new Legend of Heroes Title, Conception II, and other various Japanese titles, with the aid of other great companies like Nippon Ichi, Sega, Square Enix, and Spike Chunsoft. Advertisements from all of these game companies was a smart move to cross promote games and also aid in the immersion of the title. Another cool thing the team added was a pseudo-social media aspect to the title, which is the chat forum call Pitter and the usage of cell phone email messaging.

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The translation via XSEED Games did a pretty good job in simulating reactionary posts from NPC’s, but I could only wish they added more random people as it got to the point that you’ll recognize each and every poster within a thread or two. Aside from the advertisement and social media pieces, the environment art may need a slight tune-up.

As the game utilizes more of a realistic, photographic, texturing in lieu of an anime/cartoon based character setup, the resolution of the wall textures are quite low and flat which makes sense to balance out the characters anime-style pop of color to the environment. However, the game at some parts fails to give significant visual monikers of certain locations.

An example of this is the Raffle vendor, which is a small red box full of advertisements to hand off raffles for a possible chance to win ludicrous amounts of money. Despite its significance, it utilizes the low resolution which makes it look like some insignificant box and is hard to tell if the player can influence it or not.

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I feel as if things like that could solved with possibly a highlight underneath an influenced object, or by adding more to the particular object to make it loud and apparent that it is something. Although the environmental art may need a slight tune up, the animations for characters are amazing and I was extremely surprised by them.

I had a lot of fun with the ability to switch the MC’s walk cycle and strip animation cycle to something as realistic as a tourist based walk cycle to ones as silly as a pantomime walk. You can even strip enemies like a luchador, or with psychic powers. The game offers really awesomely smooth animations that give the player more customization that I appreciate which is normally not done in games.

Audio is performed pretty well. The game does offer dual audio, which most general Niche Gamers will probably end up picking the Japanese voice work but the English voice sets are actually not too bad. The only one that is a bit odd I found was Nana’s voice (MC’s sister), I appreciated it and liked her dub as it strikes the shut-in, really weird character vibe, but it went into a more solitary serious sounding sister.

This is while the Japanese VO did a more cutesy sound to the shyness, so it gave a completely different feel. It was pretty cool to have live concerts shown on the big screens of the strip, most of which featured pretty catchy songs. On top of that the store music switched from poppy-jazz ensemble which is becoming common in these style games and the always fun rap music. the music varies and it is fun to listen and quite catchy.

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To add in my last tidbit of critiquing, the another major problem I found in the game that hinders the experience is simply navigating the world. To be clear, these are many small issues that lead to something a bit more grandiose. While it did make sense that some areas can be small and confining, I’ve noticed that there are a good amount of small areas within that game that are separated with loading screens.

Although the load times don’t last too long, the problem lies in going place to place in quick succession. This leads to multiple loading screens, which easily stalls the gameplay quite a bit. I began to wonder if some areas could be linked together directly, such as the Radio Kaiwan/Electric Plaza going into the train station.

For a small area such as the train station, it could have been linked with either one of the plazas, but luckily enough there is a quick jump option to jump from place to place easier. Another related issue I had was character load-in; it can take a good 8-15 seconds before NPC’s are loaded into the area. Unfortunately, this stalls the movement of the character and technically stops gameplay. When you add the loading screen in conjunction, this simply adds to lost time in gameplay.

This can get especially annoying during side missions when you are fervently looking for the client or objective which can get to be frustrating. Last but not least, I think that the game could make do with a tiny mini-map compass on the UI to aid with the nuisance of finding clients. This isn’t necessarily a downplay on the game per se, that one is just a critique I had.

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Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed allows for a good amount of replayability and length due to side missions, new difficulties leading to newer stronger clothing, and it also features 5 different endings based off the strongest affinity you have with the girls. It’s not as intensive as Way of the Samurai in customization and scheduled-based gameplay, but fans can find a huge amount of similarities between the title.

Luckily enough, I find that with Akiba’s Trip being a slightly watered down Way of the Samurai, it’s a lot easier for anyone to get into it. With a direct story and no time limit, the game allows the player to take in the experience of a delightfully weird, quirky, otaku-crazed story coupled with fun, engaging gameplay, in the immersive world of Akihabara.

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed was reviewed on Playstation Vita using a code provided by XSEED Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s reviews/ethics policy here.

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Chris Gollmer

About

I have been an avid gamer since I was a child, playing Legend of Zelda on the NES and began true niche gaming during the SNES/Genesis battles.




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24 comments
  1. The Grim Heaper
    The Grim Heaper
    August 16, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I was really excited for this to come stateside. I imported a copy at launch and while I enjoyed what little I played, it was too obtuse and diverse to really understand with my minimal knowledge of the language. So when XSEED confirmed it, I was super happy! But the more info the released about it, the less I wanted it. Mainly due to how awful the script is, even more so than their standard fare. I guess it helps make me want to play more of my JPN copy, but… yeah. Disappointing. ): It’s kind of like Atlus and Conception 2, except I never imported that one. But the dub was just so awful that I couldn’t justify a purchase. Glad you enjoyed it, though!

  2. bf313
    bf313
    August 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Really loving the game on the Vita from what i’ve played. Only minor issues are load times, quest navigation, and some weird camera angles. Tons of stuff to collect and the combat although simple is a lot of fun and I have yet to get bored of it. Xseed did a great job with the script as well, lots of funny moments and hidden references. It’s really a shame that some people react so adversely to stuff like this but it’s understandable based on the current trends in gaming journalism and the games content. I just hope that bias doesn’t scare away people who enjoy this type of game just because some people give the game biased reviews. It’s not a perfect game but it’s silly, over the top and most importantly fun.

  3. bf313
    bf313
    August 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    The Conception 2 dub was not bad at all and neither is the script for this game, you sound a bit over critical.

  4. Chris Gregoria
    Chris Gregoria
    August 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Admittedly, while I really like a lot of the VAs that put their voices in the game, a lot of the acting wasn’t so great with the exception of a few characters. The translation of the script may not be exact, but they’re pretty close, and most of the changes they make are only in good fun.

    The english version is worth it, I would say, just for everything being the native language. That said, I play with the Japanese VAs.

  5. The Grim Heaper
    The Grim Heaper
    August 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    How is being ‘over critical’ a bad thing? It didn’t match my tastes or standards, so I’m going to point it out.

    The voice direction for Conception 2 is the worst I’ve heard in a long time. The actors and actresses themselves are fine, for the most part, but Atlus has horrible directors working on their dubs most of the time. They don’t point out when lines sound flat, or wrong or not even proper English in their speech with long pauses or a run-on sentence. It’s a terrible job done by the party involved and it reflects badly on the product for me. And while I like how goofy XSEED makes some of their scripts, I’d vastly prefer them to keep the memes and inside jokes to a minimum. From what I’ve seen of this game so far, there are quite a bit of those types of changes. I’m not asking for a literal translation where many jokes would go right over our heads, but at least have some creativity. Using a joke from one of the worst fansubbing group(which they did in SKB numerous times) is not funny, nor is it interesting.

    Just because you thought it was, and is, fine doesn’t mean others don’t. I’m pointing out what I dislike about certain choices and the titles as a whole, just as people point out what they love about it.

  6. The Grim Heaper
    The Grim Heaper
    August 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Yeah, that’s usually how it is with myself as well. I love a lot of the talent that these companies get for their games, but the lack of direction when they pull them in really brings it all down. You know these people can pull off a great character or voice, but since nobody is doing a good job guiding them in the booth… it’s not exactly being done well.

    I think I’ll get the english version at some point just to compare and whatnot, but not just yet. Got a busy few months ahead with so many interesting games coming!

  7. nonscpo
    nonscpo
    August 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I was a lot more excited initially over this games localization, however the honeymoon phase is over and I’m starting to notice a lot more problems than I expected. While I’m loving the story, cultural references, and English voices (except Nana I hate hers). What I ended up disliking so far is the load screens, button layout during combat, store shops (no consistency between 2D and 3D shop keepers). Seriously I was expecting to get an anime GTA feel out of this game, hopefully they improve upon this for the third one.

  8. amc99
    amc99
    August 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    I don’t understand why anime games like this that have a nice gameplay and have some silly fanservice (without actual nudity) always get bashed so badly in west? But games like GTA, witcher, and mass effect that also have a great gameplay on its own, always being highway praised although some like gta have sex, nudity, violence, alcohol, and even prostitution. It’s like they don’t even notice (or just ignore) that part of those games just because it is not an anime games that come from Japan.

  9. amc99
    amc99
    August 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    well, I I love the dub in Conception , Imo it’s one of the best dub in the games I’ve played.

  10. nonscpo
    nonscpo
    August 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Simple answer xenophobia, that and theirs a lot of internet crusaders, white knights, and femenist that hate anything coming out of Japan.

  11. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I agree in conceptions dub. It was really great in my opinion as I felt emotion alongside good character movements/animation integrated extremely well so it become more personable to me real quick, but that’s great that everyone has an opinion. To me, when it comes to dubs and reviewing dubs is trying to stay in the middle ground. It’s real common for most niche and anime enthusiasts to stick with the traditional JP VA’s so English Dubs have a hard uphill battle to face to win over fans. As long as they are not painstakingly harsh on VA inflection and/or bad noticeable recording errors such as Mic noise, I don’t grade it harshly. I can only think of Chaos Wars and how I cried at how atrocious it was to me on the dub level T_T

  12. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Glad you are liking it man, enjoy! I’m still playing for the collectibles and the rarity clothing hunts. It has a good, fun foundation and definitely needs to fix some of it’s kinks. The camera angles have always been a weird thing that’s been stuck with Aqcuire’s WoTS title’s, which I don’t know why there hasn’t been a push to fix it.

  13. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Sorry you had a slightly more poorer experience. I actually had to change the button layout to get a better experience with mine. I believe I did option C on mine with the Vita version and couldn’t be happier. The load screens were definitely a problem; I didn’t think they were too monstrously long but a load screen would happen quite often in short distances traveled making it a huge nuisance.Luckily I wasn’t assuming an anime GTA (although that’d be quite bad ass haha) As gamers you guys always have to power to reach out to the developer haha. Can always send Acquire a Twitter message or email. Dev’s love critiques, detest hatemail though. ^_^

  14. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Hey man! Thanks! Games should always be enjoyed and be a forefront of having fun. Sadly I’m too inexperienced in the japanese language to fully appreciate the original scripts and context so if you can understand that, even just slightly then definitely more power to you. As for gameplay, I do hope you get the urge to play it through some more as it is a nicely built catering to otaku culture which is pretty awesome.

    What were some of the best dubs you’ve experienced?

  15. RPGEndBoss
    RPGEndBoss
    August 17, 2014 at 6:07 am

    I’ll narrow it down even further: Fear (and misunderstanding) of Japanese culture.

    Western culture will tolerate sex, but only if it involves older folks and is done is some soapy-dopey dramatic way. Case in point, The Witcher. I love the game, but have you ever noticed how they play the light violin sounds during sex and its done in a “Soap opera” style? Geralt can rub Triss’ tits and grind her in a bathtub, but as long as the tub is surrounded by flowers, the ambient lighting softly caresses their skin and airy violin music is playing, it’s considered “high art” when he rams her tiny hole.

    Japanese culture just cuts the crap and lets us see the boobs. Western media/culture doesn’t like or support this. That’s why you see that. Plus with GTA it’s basically lampooning american culture, so people sort of give it a pass for that. Unless they are numbskulls who don’t see the parody.

  16. The Grim Heaper
    The Grim Heaper
    August 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    You’re welcome! I tend to like reviews like this, that say exactly what you want from a review and throw in some extras, like humor and whatnot. I’m definitely giving it another go sometime since it seems like a blast… but not yet! Too many games!

    As for some of my personal favorites dub, strictly speaking Japanese localizations, I think NISA does a great job with the Disgaea and Neptunia series. While some lines come off as flat, which is to be expected, I think they nailed at least the main characters. Melissa Fahn as Neptune was such a fantastic choice, and she does it so well. And while I may not… enjoy all the characters in some of the Disgaea games, I’m usually very happy listening to the dub all day, Disgaea 4 having one of my favorite dubs in recent memory. It probably all boils down to personal taste and preference, however.

    And although I haven’t played it that much due to awkward controls, I definitely should mention Kid Icarus Uprising. The script and dub for that are both absolutely glorious, laughed so much while playing it.

  17. Eritach
    Eritach
    August 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I am hoping the PS4 release takes care of the load time issue, but other than that, this was the game I was most excited to play this year. I doubt I’ll get to go to Japan anytime soon, so I’d like to check out the anime version of Akihabara for myself!

  18. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    It’s a great experience in general and the game does a pretty outstanding job giving you the feel of Akihabara. From reading a few comments about the game from other sites. People have said that the game is extremely spot on with it’s replication of the strip with few changes on the name’s of a few stores, so i was very pleased to experience the romanticism of the otaku mecca. ^_^ I do hope they work on the loading issues too, my gut tells me of just a standard port but who knows; just enjoy the game if you can!

  19. Chris Gollmer
    Chris Gollmer
    August 17, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Indeed; I feel weird about reviewing sometimes as a lot of it, especially in recent gaming journalism is very opinion based, so much so that seeing 0’s and uber low scores like 2-3’s which are normally never a thing in reviews now thrown so haphazardly not because of a broken game but more of a personal agenda its weird to say the least. It will be near impossible to satiate everyone’s desire of a review personalized for them but I do hope that I can write as transparent for viewers as possible, to not be clouded by personal qualms or anything. So again, thank you for enjoying! ^_^

    Exiting from my personal little diatribe haha, I can totally agree with the two selections; I think Kid Icarus had great english voice-overs and was funny as anything although I do enjoy the dubs of Disgaea, I will have to say I’m upset with the change-up of the Prinny’s English voice dub since the first one. Felt like they had the essence of Dood so perfect and now I keep thinking it’s slightly off from perfection each game. I did fall a bit behind on Neptunia games which I’ve been wanting to play for sometime similar to the Atelier series which I haven’t played yet.

  20. Grandadylongstik
    Grandadylongstik
    August 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Watered down way of the samurai. SOLD!Thx for the review

  21. Mark Jackson
    Mark Jackson
    August 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I’m really tempted to get this *consults wallet* wouldn’t mind the ps4 version if I had a ps4 *buries the wallet*

  22. Ninezero
    Ninezero
    August 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    nice to see a good review this time without the typical prejudice from most western sites that instantly bash any kind of game that features some fan service, keep the good work.

  23. Kiujazi
    Kiujazi
    August 22, 2014 at 3:56 am

    -adds to the ever growing list of games to get once money starts coming in- Seriously, you guys may have single handedly sold me on a Vita.

  24. Zypex117
    Zypex117
    February 3, 2016 at 3:08 am

    WTF. This is a pretty interesting game.