Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed: It’s about people

August 12, 2014


I’ve never been to Japan before, but I imagine it’s not unlike playing the new title from Acquire and XSEED, Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed. Sure, the game features way more blood-sucking demons than you might find in the real Akihabara, but otherwise it has to be close, right? Akiba’s Trip is exactly as bizarre as I expected, but it’s also surprisingly charming despite its rough edges.

You begin the game in a precarious situation: you went in to interview for an enticing part-time job, only to find yourself strapped to a table and being subjected to experiments. It isn’t long before you are saved by the mysterious Shizuku and sent on an adventure through Akihabara to stop an organization turning ordinary humans into vampire-like creatures. To call the story strange would be an understatement. It’s an oddity that never feels focused, yet doesn’t really need to be. You’ll soon learn it’s less about the overarching narrative and more about Akiba’s Trip’s greatest strength: its characters.


The cast never feels particularly fleshed-out, some of them fitting into their specific roles and rarely breaking away from them. You have the mysterious, powerful and mostly-serious leading lady, the childhood friend, the busty older woman and even a dorky, overprotective sibling. Despite these tropes, I found myself quickly becoming attached to the lovable cast and wishing I could have spent more time with them. They alone manage to transform an otherwise-soulless tale into something memorable.

It’s mostly thanks to the writing, which sometimes falls into the stereotypical camp, but never stays there for an abundant amount of time. This is also thanks to the conversation choices, which allow your otherwise-silent protagonist to be as serious or silly as you’d like. Even if a good number of your choices don’t add up to much in the end, they do offer some varied responses and can open up small bits of dialogue you might have missed otherwise. Sure, it’s no Mass Effect, but it gives you more of an opportunity to interact with a cast that might otherwise feel underdeveloped.


Outside of the various conversations between your character and his colorful group of friends, you’ll spend a lot of your time traversing Akihabara. The district doesn’t offer much reason to explore and you’ll quickly find yourself fast-traveling to the required locations rather than traveling there on foot, making you question the point of having an “open” city to explore to begin with. On top of that, there are a number of stores scattered throughout the streets, each selling different items. The tedium really set in when I was looking for a specific item or type of item, turning a quick shopping trip into a chore.

The meat of the game, however, is the combat. It’s relatively basic, with three standard attacks that target an enemy’s head, torso and legs. There isn’t any deeply complex reason you need to target these specifically. In actuality, it’s entirely based around damaging their clothing so you can strip them. Yes, you read that right.

The goal is to strip your opponents down to their underwear so they will either be exposed to sunlight, causing them to essentially evaporate or, for those human enemies, run away in shame. After you damage an article of clothing enough, you can hold that particular attack button to rip it off or wait until multiple enemies have torn clothes. Waiting allows you to perform a combo in which you destroy multiple pieces of clothes in, essentially, one swift attack.


Sometimes it’s advantageous to take out single enemies as quickly as possible, but in most situations you’ll want to wait as much as you can to perform high-number strip combos. The combat itself feels clunky, with the game’s animation often getting in the way of properly blocking or avoiding taking damage. Despite that, there was something oddly satisfying about pulling off these combos when you get a handle on the relatively basic mechanics. Once you get the hang of the surprising nuances, you might just find yourself ready and willing to take on anything that stands in your way.

Unfortunately, Akiba’s Trip has a number of technical issues, including some major slowdown during larger fights and a tendency to hard-lock the system during loading screens and other transitions. It wasn’t a common occurrence, but it happened just often enough to be annoying, especially when progress was lost as a result. The freezes happened less as the game went on, but I would recommend saving often just to play it safe.


Sometimes a problematic game can get by on some endearing quality; thankfully, in the case of Akiba’s Trip, it features plenty of it and then some. Even if you won’t remember anything about the story or find yourself eager to explore the Akihabara district much beyond the first hour, there is enough here worth diving into that you might just be able to overlook its faults. It’s an offbeat, often-problematic adventure, but one you’ll ultimately be glad you had.

Pros: Excellent writing, charming cast of characters, surprisingly enjoyable combat
Cons: Traversal and shopping can be a pain, unfocused story, some rough technical issues

Score: 4/5

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