Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, an anime fighting game with vampire-esque characters who can only be defeated by tearing their clothes off. I know, it sounds more than a little bit pervy. Often times it’s hard to not judge a book by its cover, or more appropriately, a game by its art type. I have little to no familiarity with anime as a genre and tend to shy away from games that utilize those visuals as they don’t typically interest me.
If I’m playing a video game based around Japan, I’d prefer Godzilla to school girls. But what’s life without venturing out of your comfort zone and trying new things from time to time? The following review for the PlayStation 4 release of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is based solely on this single version of the game. I’m just a girl, writing a review about a game, trying to punch the pants off people.
This game has what I like to call the “What?! Factor”. There were few parts of the story where I didn’t find a bit stunned by how silly things were getting or the turns it was taking. I found myself asking questions to an empty room, seeking answers that were never meant to be found. There is no sanity to be had when your special attack is to toss someone in the air and rip their clothes to shreds. Don’t worry, we’ll be coming back to that. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is absolutely ludicrous in concept yet somehow it works! Even the parts that I felt like I should find offensive were done so care free that I couldn’t help but laugh.
The lead protagonist Nanashi wakes up to find himself strapped to a table, wondering what happened to the part-time job he signed on for that offered to pay in figurines. Turns out that it was actually a contract to become a human test subject! Poor little otaku was blinded by the promise of rare collectibles. He’s in pretty bad shape until the mysterious purple haired heroine Shizuku barges in, teaches him the ropes of combat via a built-in tutorial, and saves Nanashi’s life by turning him into a Synthister, just like her.
Synthisters are much like vampires in that the only way to become one is to drink the blood of another, or so we think. As the story unfolds you learn that Synthisters are running rampant in Akiba! However, the major differences is that unlike vampires the Synthisters can be out in sunlight. They just need to be wearing clothes. Strip those suckers down to their underwear and they crumble into nothingness. You spend the game patrolling the streets of a carefully recreated and colorful landscape of real life Tokyo’s Akihabara district. However, the load screens between parts of the city don’t feel nearly as modern as the rich enviorment. Load times are brief, but they do serve to put a damper on the spirit of exploration. The in game city does do an amazing job visually of capturing the spirt of Electric Town and its people. Of course real world Akihabara has a severe lack of Synthisters! Now that our hero Nanashi has his new found powers he teams up with the Akiba Freedom Fighters and Shizuku to find out what the cause for the sudden upswing in crime is.
Combat is easy to learn with three buttons for attacking assigned to high, mid, and low levels on the body, and the ability to block and counter. A flurry of blows against your opponent will cause their clothes to become damage. If you don’t want to spend the extra time mauling your enemy until their clothes tear, there’s always the speedy chain strip option! Once you’ve done enough damage to a bad guy’s clothing, you can trigger an animation that sees you forcibly stripping them and any other baddies who have damage to their clothes. Additonally, when fighting with one of the other Freedom Fighters, you can perform a tag-team assault that almost always knocks the pants off them! It’s a nice way to speed up a sometimes tedious process, but the animations become very repetitive rather quickly. Armed with your trusty phone app that allows you to snap a photo and identify evil doers there’s nothing that can stop you! Except for the police that always seem to materialize out of nowhere, lock you up, and take your yen.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is a fighting adventure game with a strong story overall. Mix in a dash (or more if you choose) of dating sim elements and you can play your cards to nab any girl in the game. Customize weapons, upgrade your clothes, and collect the panties of thine enemy. The replay value comes in the form of the unlockable content you get upon completion as well as trophies. It’s a little cringe worthy at times, stripping a someone’s clothes off as they screams “No!”. Yet the game manages to do it in a way that doesn’t feel creepy and instead keeps it light, cartoony, and fun.