Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed Review – Stripped Bland (PS3/Vita)
If you have read our recent interview on Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, you are already aware of just how different this game is than almost anything you have ever played. It is a game that won’t be for everyone and I believe the developer/publisher understand this. Releasing for the PlayStation 3 and Vita, with a PS4 release to come, Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed brings Japanese kookiness to US and European gamers. Read on below to see if it’s worth your time to check out this unique game.
In Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, you are put in the underwear of (name), a normal Otaku who wakes up one day as a manmade vampire, or a Synthister as they are known in the game. However, as soon as you learn this you are whisked away by a strange girl. Now you must team up with your friends at the Akiba’s Freedom Fighters to protect Akihabara from these vampires that are roaming the streets undetected and making people disappear.
The idea of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed sounds interesting enough on paper but fails to deliver on so many angles. The story fails to really stand out and be something special, taking a unique idea and completely squishing it. With such an outlandish concept, you would have expected the same from the characters and it just isn’t there. Almost every character is forgettable and doesn’t do much to invest you in the story. Where are the crazy characters with the insane voices or the cross dressing boys? It almost seems like they purposely toned down all the characters instead of just running crazy like I feel they should have.
Now don’t start gathering all the silver and garlic in the house and definitely don’t go getting holy water, because they won’t be any good in this game. The vampires here are still prone to sunlight and to make sure they dissolve, you must physically abuse them and then once weak, strip off their clothes. I know that it’s a change of pace from the normal vampire lore but that’s where the game gets some of its charm. Now it is up to you and one of your friends to patrol the streets and take out any Synthister’s that you can find.
Combat is a fairly straightforward affair. Come up on a group of these baddies and attack them, wearing down the durability of what they are wearing on their lower body, upper body, and head. There are multiple different weapons that you can collect throughout the game and use, ranging from baseball bats to laptops. The combat is fairly simple, as you use a corresponding face button to attack a specific part of the body and spam it until it wears down enough to grab that part of their body and strip off the clothing. Once you have gotten them down to their undies, they will disappear. As you get around a big group of enemies, you can chain together stripping multiple enemies, in an attempt to pull off a Strip Finisher.
During combat you won’t just be attacking, as you will have to pay attention to your opponents attack patterns and dodge whenever is needed. The big problem is the dodging mechanic feels kind of sluggish and I often times found myself never using it. Instead I would just take my lumps, run away, and then straighten my clothes to restore their durability. Pay attention though as you are a manmade vampire as well, so enemies will try to weaken your clothes and strip them off. However through my two playthroughs I only had an article of clothing stripped off maybe three times.
Outside of your story missions, there are also side-missions to take part in at your leisure. These missions will have you walking through the streets of Akihabara to collect pictures, buy something for someone, or take out overzealous fanboys. The missions and really the combat in general remind me so much of the Yakuza series, albeit without the strong characters or story. The missions are time sensitive and at times can be a little vague on where to get things, but for the most part are fairly easy to complete. There are also a few shops in each area to go and shop through, buying up armor, weapons, and items to use throughout battle.
Whether on the PlayStation 3 or Vita, Undead & Undressed looks rather average. The shops look well done and feature some real life shops found in Japan, but outside of that everything else is just kind of OK. There are about 10 areas that you can visit in the game and thankfully there is a quick travel option because otherwise it is a lot of loading screens while running from place to place. Voice work is also on the average side, though thankfully you can throw on the Japanese voice work and it is a lot better. The opening song to the game is rather epic though and really most of the songs throughout the game are very well done. The game falls in around 7 hours to complete and then adds some options via a new game+, like changing your main playable character and unlocking a new difficulty.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is a game with a concept so far out of left field, that one would expect the rest of the game to follow that same path… and it doesn’t. Everything outside of stripping clothes off of vampires feels safe and doesn’t do enough to build upon the initial idea, which is such a disappointment. It’s like getting a sneak peak at something new and fresh, only to start playing and have a game that is kind of ordinary. Even with my disappointment at the lack of creativity, there is really nothing fundamentally wrong with the game itself. The combat plays well and I found myself coming back to it again and again to gather more items or trophies.
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