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Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: NIS America (EU), XSEED Games (US)
Developer: Acquire
Release Date: Aug. 12, 2014 (US), Oct. 10, 2014 (EU)


PSV/PS3 Preview - 'Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 20, 2014 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed takes players on an eclectic trip through Tokyo’s “Electric Town” electronics district in which they will battle vampire-like foes in over-the-top, highly stylized role-playing action.

The first thing anyone will notice about Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed is the setting. The title is set in a near-perfect photorealistic rendition of the nerdy Akihabara district in Japan. You'll find many electronic stores, model kit stories, cosplay cafes, and other sorts of places. A lot of effort went into rendering Akihabara as realistically as possible. Many of the game locations are actual buildings or places that can be found in the real-life version of the city. There are posters and signs that don't reflect reality, but it's close enough that photo comparisons between the game and the actual location are eerily close. Even the layout is pretty much dead-on.

Akiba's Trip isn't just an Akihabara simulator, though. You play as a young otaku boy who discovers that Akihabara is being invaded by vampire-like beings called Synthisters, which are basically vampires. They're vulnerable to sunlight, but it must shine directly on a majority of their bodies. Consequently, the only way to defeat these Synthisters is to strip them of their clothing. Unfortunately, the creatures turned the protagonist into one of them, so the same applies to you!

In Akiba's Trip, you wander around Akihabara searching for vampires with your camera phone. Regular people show up normal in photos while vampires are blurry. Once you encounter a vampire, you can confront it and enter a fight. The combat system is based around high, medium and low attacks, but they're not the usual fighting game attacks. High attacks hit hats, sunglasses, and the like; medium hits attack shirts; and low hits tackle pants and skirts. Each piece of clothing has a health bar, and once you've lowered it, you can attempt to strip them off by playing a button-mashing minigame. If you succeed, you'll do a high-energy special move that destroys the opponent's clothing. Tear it all off, and they are defeated. Vampires turn to ash while regular human beings run off in embarrassment when they're reduced to their skivvies.

There are other twists to the combat system. Players can set up Chain Strip combos. If you strip an enemy and other enemies are nearby with damaged clothing, you can start a simplified QTE that lets you strip multiple enemies in a row for more XP. If you strip enough enemies in a row, you can steal their underclothing, which can be equipped to your own character for customization. You also have a partner character who fights alongside you and can perform special moves in conjunction with your character. Your partner character builds affection as you fight alongside him or her, and you'll get a different ending depending on which partner character you use.

The combat system is incredibly customizable. There are lots of different items and clothing pieces you can equip to alter your stats. Your partner character can also be customized eventually. You can customize your stripping animations and the character's movement animations. Once you finish the game, you can even switch your protagonist's model to any other character in the game, including random NPCs and your partner characters.

According to XSEED, the game is not overly lengthy if you just want to finish the main story, but there are a number of side-quests and submissions you can do to unlock clothing, combat styles, weapons and other things to customize your character or explore new areas. The quest we saw in the demo was a reenactment of "Romeo and Juliet," except you avert tragedy by encountering a fight between the two rival houses and beat all of them into submission. The sub-mission list in the demo was quite lengthy.

Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed heavily emphasizes both fan service and customization. Rather than an in-depth fighting game or anything of the sort, it's more about giving you the freedom to explore and do what you want — and a lot of stripping. Fans of Japanese voice acting will be glad to hear the game supports dual audio and contains many of the original Japanese signs from the original game.

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