Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is one of those weird JRPG’s we seldom see come out of Japan but thanks to the market boom and demand for these types of games, publishers like Xseed Games and NIS America are bringing them to the North American market. On the outside it looks like a game that only perverted or in Japan’s case Hentai would play. But beneath the cloths stripping, the lewd behavior and scenes is a pleasantly fun game. Akiba’s Trip or as some would like to call it Akiba Strip, is a JRPG with a brawler combat battle system. Your character, Nanashi, starts with nothing but standard clothing that gives him little protection but as you progress through the game you get better clothing that increases your “armor” rating/HP and better weapons that can do more damage to enemies as well. Clothing can include strange things like a fanny pack, earmuffs, military clothing, a maid outfit; honestly anything you can cosplay with. On top of that the weapons are equally strange and include things like glow sticks held like you are wolverine, wiffle ball bats, computer monitors, Kebab pork meat on a stick, signs and many other unique weapons. Each weapon falls under a different type which allows for different combos.
During the fights the goal is to strip/rip the cloths off the enemies to defeat them or in the Synthister’s case, disintegrate from the sun. Your attacks consist of high, mid and low which correspond with the triangle, circle and X buttons respectively on the PS3 controller. As you do those high, mid and low attacks weakens that article of clothing that is either on their head, upper body or lower body which mimics the location of the attack. After a certain while, those articles of clothing become weak and you can rip them off the enemy and proceed to attack other parts of their body. The same however can happen to you if your article of clothing takes enough damage. Along with the main quest there are many side quests. The benefit of side quests is to get money but unfortunately you don’t really need that much at all. Also the combat can get extremely repetitive and boring along with being tedious as the enemies tend to out number you and can do a whole lot of damage as well. When trying to heal it costs you a few precious seconds which allows enemies to catch up and hit you before you can finish. This doesn’t necessarily make combat hard but more frustrating and annoying. It usually causes the combat to be drawn out instead of allowing you to use skill and combos to defeat them quickly. Combat usually consists of you running in, hitting one enemy a few times, running away and healing; then rinse and repeat. It can get tiresome to say the least.
The story is in itself fairly unique. The main character, Nanashi, was baited into a part time job that paid in rare anime figures but was turned into what is called a “Synthister.” It is easier to think about a Synthister as a sort of vampire but they don’t feed off blood. Instead, they feed off the social energy, will to live and desires of the people in Akihabara or Akiba for short. He is saved by mysterious woman named Shizuku who joins him in order to combat the Synthisters. They team up with his friends in order to form a group known as freedom fighters to fight the organization behind the Synthisters. Based on your affection level with the different female characters the ending will differ. You can also cross-dress.
I feel like there are a lot of similarities between this games story and that of something like Blade. It is classic trope of the main protagonist being of the same kind as the enemy but forms a group to combat them instead. You’ve got a Vampire that is fighting other Vampires to prevent them from harvesting humans in a certain area (Akiba). He has a few other Vampire allies (Shizuku) who help him along with several humans that form a group to combat the bigger organization of Vampires (Magaimono). Despite it having similarities to that of Blade, the main story isn’t really done very often in games and especially isn’t done by manner of stripping cloths off people.
The graphics are fairly straight forward cel shaded that a lot of JRPG’s use in order to have a sort of “Anime” feel to the game. For the most part it is easy on the eyes too. The colors are all rich, there really isn’t any jagged edges that come with a lot of “realistic” games from the PS3/X360 era. On top of that Acquire (Japanese Dev) made every effort to make Akihabara as close to the real thing as possible. All the actual names of buildings are all there and in the correct location. They have builds like Gamers, Sega building, Sofmap, Yamada Denki and many others. They in fact made sure they had 130 actual stores within Akiba. Having been there myself I can tell you that Akihabara that the developer, Acquire, has made in Akiba’s Trip is dead on and looks similar to how the real city is. If you need a digital map of Akiba before you visit in real life, feel free to play this game and you’ll know exactly where everything is.
Within the game you have the options of choosing Japanese or English audio along with subtitles. The voice acting isn’t bad and is what you would expect a smaller niche publisher to be able to produce. It is definitely mediocre however XSeeD has gotten better over time. The music is unfortunately repetitive and there isn’t much of it. You end up drowning out the music over time as it isn’t that impressive.
Overall this isn’t a bad game it just isn’t overly impressive either. The combat can be fun at first but starts to get repetitive and the story is somewhat unique and entertaining. They did a fine job of making Akihabara in game however their sound/music is just average. Like a lot of JRPG’s it has a clear save file or new game+ which unlocks various features thus adding some replay value to this game. This isn’t a bad game to get for about $20 but I wouldn’t recommend it for much more.