Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed Review + Video Review

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Title: Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed
Developer: Marvelous USA, XSEED Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.6 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: Yes (US Region)

There are a lot of games on the PlayStation Vita that many people question whether they should get.  A lot of these games are like this because they have parts in them that seem more lewd than anything else.  If you don’t know, lewd is a term normally used for something more associated with anime—style games with sexual content or content people interpret as sexual in nature.  For example, the “Sexy Time” mini-game from Valhalla Knights 3 is shown this way.

There are a lot of games that are this way, whether people interpret them correctly or not.  Monster Monpiece, for example, has a very lewd mini-game of powering up your cards by “rubbing” Monster Girls to de-clothe them and increase their stats.  Behind that, though, is a fun and engaging card battle game.  The same can be said for other games, though most Vita games are not as explicitly lewd as that game.  There are other games that are interpreted as such, though.

It took a sale on Amazon for us to buy Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed.  This is a game that a lot of people interpret as a lewd game, as the game has you stripping clothes off.  Why you’re doing it, though, many don’t know.  I didn’t until I finally got the game.  Featuring a shockingly-realistic version of Akihabara’s Shopping District, here is our official review of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed

Story

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Akiba’s Trip takes place in Akihabara, where genticaly modified vampires known as Sythisters are attacking innocent civilians and stealing their life force.  After awakening in a facility used for transforming humans into Synthisters and shielding an intruding woman from a fatal blow, the Main Character escapes from the facility within an edge of his life.  With his life about to run out, the mysterious woman shares her blood with him and heals him.

Shortly after, the two return to the HQ of a group of young Otaku known as the Akiba Freedom Fighters.  With word of the Synthisters on the loose, you and the other Freedom Fighters set out to stop them from stealing the life force of innocent people as well as stripping them of their cruel powers by the only way you can: Stripping off most of their clothes to take advantage of their skin’s weakness to sunlight.

The story of Akiba’s Trip is definitely made for anime lovers.  The game plays out like an anime, and everyone in the game is shown as a huge anime lover.  Nearly every anime and otaku cliché known to man is included in the game, somewhere.  The game also does a nice job at referencing and advertising many other anime and PS Vita games, from Conception II and Mind Zero to the Hyperdimension Neptunia Anime and Ragnarok Odyssey Ace.  There is a lot of fan service that anime and Vita fans will recognize.

Gameplay

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Akiba’s Trip is a bit of a mix between two genres.  To some, it’s an Action RPG.  To others, it’s a beat-em-up action game.  It’s hard to classify it as one or the other, as it has a substantial amount of elements from both genres to justify it being one or the other.  So, let’s call it both.  It’s a beat-em-up game as well as an Action RPG.  You’ll be beating up Synthisters as you find them as well as leveling up and being able to equip and synthesize armor and weapons.

As you play through the game, you will be tasked with fighting Synthisters as you progress through the various scenes of the storyline to uncover why the Synthisters and exist and figure out how to stop them.  To do this, you’ll be exploring the large shopping district of the city as well as constantly fighting, leveling up, gaining equipment, and doing Side-Quests.

Each time you get to a story objective, you’ll have a specific place you need to go, and a specific person you need to take there.  However, the game isn’t linear enough that you have to go there.  You can explore different locations of Akiba to find enemies and shops.  You have a lot of freedom in the game, as you can spend any amount of time either doing what you’re supposed to or explore Akiba to fight and gain new items, money, and EXP or shop for new stuff.

The other side-missions available to you in the game are side-quests.  As you progress the story, you will receive requests from your sister as well as random NPCs that you can find in the various districts of Akiba.  These side-quests will mostly net you cash and sometimes items as well.  While the quests for NPCs are mostly for more money, the quests from your Sister are required to achieve one of the game’s many endings.

Endings are a big thing available to you as you play through the game.  Akiba’s Trip has 9 different endings, 8 of which are Normal and True ending paths for four of the major characters of the game, which are handled by choosing specific options in dialogue to favor the character whose ending you are trying to achieve.  Your affection level with them, affected by these choices, determines which ending you get when you defeat the final boss of the game.

Combat is what you’ll be spending the most time doing, as you play through the game.  Each time you go through a story event, you will be with your partner of choice, fighting off Synthisters.  You can also spawn fights by attacking people on the streets.  Some of these will raise up arms and fight you, as opposed to just running.  Then, combat starts, where your task is to relinquish the Synthister’s powers by exposing them to sunlight.

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The act of doing this is by attacking clothing sections.  Each enemy can have Head, Body, and Leg armor.  Your task is to remove all of these pieces.  You can start removing the clothes once that part takes so much damage, all until you can rip it off and defeat them, and they can do the same to you.  You can also do chain attacks when fighting groups as well as Ultimate Skills with your partner to do a cinematic attack on the enemy to quickly defeat them.  Once all pieces of clothing (other than clothing covering sensitive body parts) are removed, they are defeated and you earn Experience Points and can take their items, weapon, and money.

The two things that separate this from other beat-em-up games is the fact that you gain Experience and your way of healing.  When you take damage, you can immediately restore your health by moving away from them and taking a moment to straighten out your clothes.  This is very useful, but also a strategy of constantly beating down your enemies as they can do this as well.

The other is the RPG Elements that are within this game.  Once you earn enough Experience, you will level up and increase your attack and defense.  Along with this, you can gain all sorts of weapons to use as well as upgrade and synthesize with your other inventory and money.  The weapons are unique as they are all kinds of everyday items.  You can find weapons to beat down opponents from normal weapons like bats and swords to oddities like computer monitors and wooden signs.

All in all, the game features about 9 hours of content if you focus more on story progression than side-quests.  At this point, you can access New Game Plus, where you can replay the game with your previously-acquired equipment and go through with any unlocked character avatars that can range from enemy templates or other major characters of the game.  Some of these avatars are not unlocked unless you acquire certain endings, though.  You can also access the hardest difficulty through New Game Plus, adding tougher enemies.

Controls

The first thing to know about controlling Akiba’s Trip is that you won’t need to use the touch screens for anything.  Although the game uses most of the buttons on the Vita, itself, it doesn’t have the touch screen doing much of anything.  The camera, however, is used in an alternate game mode, where you can use AR Cards on the Akiba’s Trip’s Web Site to simulate some of the girls standing around wherever the camera is pointing.

Controlling your character is done with the Left Analog Stick and the camera can be rotated and moved with the Right Analog Stick.  The D-Pad is also used, but for various other features, such as the camera to look at details of the NPCs around the area, giving orders to your partner in battle, and seeing the Map or To-Do List as you explore Akiba.  These features vary, depending on whether you’re in battle or not, but there are small icons on the screen to showcase what each one does.

The L and R triggers also have various functions.  While exploring, the L trigger does nothing and the R button centers the camera behind you.  In battle, though, the L button is used for taking out or putting away your weapon and the R trigger is used to guard against incoming attacks.  The Square button lets you jump, whether you’re in battle or exploration.  The X, Circle, and Triangle buttons however, have different functions.  They all function as attacks and grabs in battle, though the X button allows you to talk to NPCs and choose options in the menus outside of battle.

The battle system can seem a little daunting at first, but once you play it a bit, everything falls in line.  It’s pretty easy to remember once you get used to it.  The lack of touch controls also helps it not be as intimidating as it could be.  It controls the same on the PlayStation TV as well.  The R2 and L2 buttons don’t have any special function.

Presentation

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The game’s presentation is one of its greatest assets as well as most frustrating flaws.  Visually, the game is really well done.  The cell-shading they did makes it hard to find even a single jagged edge on the character models.  If you play the game on the PlayStation TV, you’ll be convinced you’re playing the PS3 or PS4 version of the game and not the PS Vita version.  One of the best-looking cell-shaded PS Vita games, by far.

The flaws in the presentation comes in two ways: Camera and Load Times.  First of all, the load times for the game are pretty long.  While the game utilizes the same loading sequence for every part of the game, it can get a little frustrating while waiting for the next area to load.  Each Load Time will likely take somewhere between 8 and 12 seconds a piece, even for areas you just visited.

The camera is the other annoyance in the presentation.  As you play through the game, you will find a lot of situations where the camera will place itself in an area where you cannot see your character at all.  When this happens, it gets stuck and you have to move your characters and re-center the camera so you can see what’s going on.  This happens very frequently and is a near-constant hindrance on fighting battles, especially bosses.

Other than the camera, the game plays pretty well.  There aren’t any sections where the game lags or has slowdown.  The gameplay goes through rather smoothly, especially considering this game looks just as crisp as the console release.

Summary

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is: Good
Akiba’s Trip came to the PlayStation world in a localization that many never thought would take place.  On the downside, the game has long load times and some camera issues during combat.  Past this, though, is a fast-paced action game / RPG combo that any RPG or anime fan can get into and enjoy. 

8/10

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