Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is an interesting JRPG to say the least. It centers around the real-life location of Akihabara in Tokyo also known as the ‘Electric Town’ for all the neon. Developed by Acquire, known for their work on the Tenchu and Way Of The Samurai series this adventure RPG looks to have fans of the genre offer something a little different. Can interesting story and real-life elements make Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed stand out or does it fail to impress?
The story is a rather intriguing one that has players take control of an otaku high schooler who loves the Akiba (short for Akihabara) district. Players are able to name the character whatever they wish which is a nice touch. Soon he realizes that Akiba has been taken over by blood sucking vampire like demons and is slowly turning into one of them. He befriends Shizuku Tokikaze who saves him from a horrible demise and soon his friends, who call themselves the Freedom Fighters help him on his quest to rid Akiba of evil
Players can choose to outfit the main character in what they like but be sure to keep an eye on defense and attack stats that will raise or lower depending on what you wear. As you progress you eventually unlock the ability to customize your female partner as well. You can really choose what to use as a weapon and are able to use their sister (Nana) as a means of upgrading weapons via synthesis at the MOGRA base which serves are your main meeting base throughout the game to report main story story quests and story progression.
Combat in Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed or as some prefer Akiba’s Trip 2, is interesting to say the least. Japanese RPG’s are known to be unique and interesting for RPG fans and known to offer different gameplay that goes off the beaten path, however Akiba’s Trip is crazy as it not only has the story focus on demonic vampire-like creatures but also the means for defeating them is reduced to beating them to a pulp and removing their clothing. Yes, that is right. You remove their clothes to defeat them, male or female. Since you yourself are slowly being turned into one, if your clothes are removed you also can die by direct contact with the sunlight. The triangle (head), circle (body) and cross (legs) button differs the various parts of the body where enemies will wear clothing and you can attack the various parts with your weapons that you choose and hold the corresponding button to remove the clothing if it is blinking. If multiple parts are blinking and you initiate a ‘removal’ action you can chain removals through various enemies and body parts by on screen button prompts that act as quick time events. There is no real healing potion in the game so your best bet is the run away from the main battle and hold L1 which ‘straightens out’ your characters clothing. Despite the simplistic battle system it is quite fun and addictive and reminds me a lot of games like Yakuza which are a lot like brawlers than RPG titles. Not to stray away though, Akiba’s Trip 2, is definitely an RPG that relies heavily on stats of your clothing for defense and your weapons for attack so be sure to keep those up to par as you progress. The levels only marginally increase your stats as you progress so you will consistently keep an eye on your stats as you move forward in the story.
Akiba itself is a character in the game as it has variable locations that constantly change as you progress. Players can choose to defeat random Sythesizers (demon like creatures whom were previously turned) by utilizing a feature on their camera once unlocked that registered Sythensizers (demons) as glitch filled apparitions on the pictures. They can then approach them and engage in battle. The city itself also has various citizens that require your help through the game which are availbe in the side-mision tab on your phone and can be completed as long as they are available. Certain missions are only available for a set amount of time and you will receive an email if a mission you have activated is about to go away. It allows the belief that the world is a living breathing ecosystem. One aspect though that is disappointing is that since it is running on Playstation 3 that the draw distance is limited and there is a ton of pop-in in the world and that there is constant (albeit short) loading times between various areas of the Akiba. Which is disappointing since, to conserve time most players will teleport between areas that they have already visited, so this will lead to some loading time. Hopefully in the Playsattion 4 release this will be fixed.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed marks the first release of the series in North America so this leaves the western audience at a dis-advantage. Players coming into contact with Akiba’s Trip for the first time should treat it as a new franchise. Players will be caught off guard at the interesting subject matter and the Mature rating off the franchise despite the normally T-rated JRPG scene. After all, ripping characters clothing off until they are in their skivvies is not very T-rated. However, purists are able to choose, if they would like to play the game via English dub or original Japanese language with subtitles. Also considering the game is based on a real life Japanese town/city of Akihabara, there are over one-hundred and thirty (130) real-life shops that the player are able to visit during their adventure. Also since Acquire is a big publisher in Japan, there are also a few advertisements in video format throughout the city that various games can be seen whom are published by other companies in the west so it is quite cool and gives the audience at taste of the East like never before.
The end game for Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed is completely up to the player based upon his game experience and choices with the various NPC characters in the game. It is based upon the female character you chose to side with throughout the majority of the game and choices you made to befriend her and grow closer and build a relationship with in the game. There are a variety of endings depending on the characters you choose at the end. All in all it offers a great bit of replay value and fun for JPRG fans.
Akiba’s Trip 2 (Undead & Undressed) is one of the most unique and fun filled JRPG’s to come to western audiences since Persona 4 and Yakuza. This is despite the shortcomings and limitations via the hardware, but hopefully the Playstation 4 version which is set to release later this year will overcome the obstacles set by the Playstation 3 sibling such as load times and graphical hitches that can be overlooked by most fans. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed really is a great time for fans of the genre and is a must by for hardcore JPRG fans.
Akiba's Trip 2
- Available On: PlayStation 3, PS Vita
- Published By: Xseed Games
- Developed By: Acquire
- Genre: Adventure
- US Release Date: August 12th, 2014
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 3
- Quote: "Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed does a great job of introducing a franchise to fans and giving them what they want. Fun."