Have you ever found yourself playing Shenume or one of the Yakuza games and wished it had just been more Otaku and sillier? If you answered yes to the question, then Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, the sequel to 2011’s Japan-only Akiba’s Trip, is perfect for you. Taking place entirely in the Akihabara district, the otaku capital of the world, the game finds the main character Nanashi being coaxed into a job by the Magimono orginization in which he becomes a vampire and hunts ordinary citizens. He’s rescued by a woman named Shizuku, who helps him cope with his sudden bloodlust, and together the pair go around stopping the Synthisters from feeding on the citizens of Akihabara. The way in which they do so? Stripping them down to their skivvies so that the direct sunlight will destroy them. The story is about as deep as thimble, but it’s goofy fun and filled with so much tongue in cheek humor, references and fanservice moments that it’s almost endearing in it’s stupidity. You mostly go from one event or mission to the other, talking to people and fighting bad guys in between, but it stays light and fun for the most part throughout its entirety and I had fun despite it’s repetitive nature.
Probably the biggest highlight of the game is how much you can actually do and see in this game. You can fully customize your character in various costumes and outfits by going to any number of real world shops in the Akihabara shopping district and there are over 130 different stores that you can go into and explore, all of which are real places. It’s little things like that, that draw me to a game like this and I found it fun to wander around and explore more often than I did actually doing the missions. You also have a lot of choice in terms of dialogue and some of it can really have a big effect later on in the game, so there’s definitely some replayability to be had here.
The combat mechanics have some novel concepts but get repetitive quick. You mostly mash the triangle, circle and square buttons until they go down and then strip off their clothes. It’s funny the first couple of times but after the umpteenth fight it gets a bit tiresome. It’s a solid brawler, and nothing is broken by any means, I just wish there had been more depth like there was with the costumes.
The only major issue is framerate and loading screens. This might be fixed in the PS4 version coming out later this year, but on the PS3 and Vita versions of the game, it had some serious drops at the weirdest possible times. I could understand a dip if there were a ton of enemies or things going on, as the system is trying to catch up with everything happening on screen, but just walking around the game will suddenly grind to a halt and it’s a bit off-putting when you’re just trying to get from one end of an area to the other. The game also loads with a ton of frequency. Granted the loading screens are quick, usually only about 10 seconds or so, but they happen so much that it becomes frustrating after a while.
Akiba’s Trip is a fun but flawed game. If you like otaku culture, a silly nonsensical story, and open world beat-em-ups like Yakuza, then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this game. It’s not that deep, it’s fairly repetitive and the loading screens and framerate drops can really drag down the immersion factor, but despite all that, it’s still enjoyable if you’re in the mood for something like it and there’s a ton of replayability and customization strewn throughout the game. You’ll either love it, or leave it, but it’s a trip I enjoyed taking.