It’s like one of my Japanese animes!
I knew little to nothing of this title going in, but when I saw the tagline “Undead & Undressed”, I wagered a guess that it was going to be one of “those” games.
You know the type – a game with little depth, riding entirely on the coattails of its excessive fanservice, throwing their lot with a very niche crowd who are into that sort of thing.
After a few hours, I learned that I wasn’t giving the game enough credit and yet, my initial expectations weren’t entirely off, either.
Platforms: PS3, PSV.
Voice Acting: ENG/JPN.
Demo Availability: N/A
Played: 8-10 hours.
The premise of Akiba’s Trip is stupid.
It’s the special kind of stupid that makes you want to shake your head and say, “oh Japan, you’re so silly.”
So, I’ll just keep it simple and to the point.
There are pseudo-vampires walking the streets attacking people, and the only way to defeat them is to expose them to as much sunlight as possible… by stripping them of their clothes.
Why they’re perfectly fine with having their faces out in the sun along with their limbs is not a question worth asking, because it’s a videogame and who cares.
With a ridiculous premise like this, it’s accompanied by an equally silly roster of characters that felt as though they were straight out of the books containing the archetypes commonly found in anime.
It’s not all bad, as many of the characters had genuinely funny things to say, like the main character’s little sister who would refer to him as “brotagonist” and other goofy “bro” themed names.
I found myself enjoying most of the time spent conversing with the other characters, chuckling at the not so subtle innuendos, puns and references. It’s these moments that drove me to continue with the game more so than the overarching storyline or game play.
While the humor is clearly the best part of the experience, everything surrounding it fails to impress.
The combat revolves around damaging pieces of clothing and ripping them off after they’ve weakened. Targeting attacks focus on high, mid, and low areas, and it’s more or less a button mashing affair for the most part.
Enemies can guard, which makes all attacks out of strong charge attacks miss, but it’s easy enough to recognize and deal with as they come. There’s also a great deal of quick time events like trying to rip multiple articles of clothing in sequence, and they happened too often for my liking.
I was often able to see attacks coming, but the stiff nature of the controls and the lack of a good dodge maneuver had me getting hit by attacks I anticipated a million frames ago. That, along with how the enemies had the tendency to attack me in groups, made it into a frustrating exercise in patience more so than skill or tactics.
The open-world of Akihabara is also rather large but they’re sectioned off to such small segments that I would often take only four or five steps before zoning into another loading screen.
In fact, I became curious and once counted the number of loading screens between the base of operations and the mission area, and by the time I triggered the cut scene, I had seen eight loading screens in the span of three minutes.
Luckily, there is a quick travel option, which became my preferred method of travel the moment it was unlocked. Still, given that this is an open-world game, it felt odd that I was relegated to avoiding exploration at all times due to the insane amount of load times.
To the game’s credit, the fan service wasn’t as heavy and offensive as I was expecting, and I spent just about as much time stripping males of their clothes. All’s fair in love and ripping clothes off people’s backs, I suppose.
At the end of the day, the humor alone can’t carry this title away from the chains of its boring, repetitive combat and poorly designed world.
Those who can endure the tedium might be able to find enjoyment in the ridiculous premise and colorful cast of characters, but I certainly couldn’t.
Fun Tidbit – During the game, trailers for other games like Conception and Mind-Zero would play in the TVs. Whenever a trailer for The Legend of Heroes: Sen No Kiseki came on, I died a little inside.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.