The first of a collection of games I am going to review is one that I had avoided on PSN for the longest time. And by the longest time, I mean a week. When it first came out, I thought AT was a game similar to the plot of Highschool of the Dead – that is, tits, ass, and zombies. Technically, I was right.
I would like to warn viewers of this review that this game contains partial nudity, scenes of graphic clothes ripping, and completely crude humor relating to otaku culture. You have been warned. Now on with the show!
Game Review: AKIBA’STRIP (or Akiba’s Trip)
Platform: PSN (Initial release for PS3 and Vita, later release for PS4)
Price:$49.99 (New, US)*
Genre: Open World 3rd Person JRPG with Character Customization
The good thing about a good number of XSEED and Acquire (And in this case, Marvelous USA) is that they know when to take their game seriously – or for Akiba’s Trip, when to not. I have to admit, while I didn’t originally intend on enjoying this game, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount I gleaned from it.
Akiba’s Trip takes place in (you guessed it) Akihabara, Japan, where you wake up in a secret hideout, where you’ve apparently been experimented on. From there, you escape with a girl named Shizuku, and are brought to the realization that you are a vampire, in the most basic senses – and if your body becomes completely exposed to the sunlight, you will die. Immediately, the game becomes a choice-driven game, with some options favoring you towards some girls (yes, it is a dating sim), and others, towards you’re death – you can even die during the prologue!
The game features many different landmarks in Japan’s otaku wonderland, from the bustling streets to the anime-heavy boardwalks. Many of the advertisements in-game are actual reference to other XSEED, Marvelous, and Acquire games, as well as a special NISA game that is well-known by Prinny fans.
(From this point, the post has been edited on 1/3/2017.)
Since there’s not much else to say about this game (it’s better experienced than talked about), I’ll try my hardest to give this game a fair and unbiased review.
The story is new, but it is definitely lacking in substance. Some of the characters seem forced, although there is a clear distinction of when the characters want to move the plot forward, and when there’s nothing going on (other than you being a vampire-thing). Sometimes it’s bothering, sometimes it’s funny; but the amount of times it happens may annoy a player to never come back.
Art/ Acting: 4/5
Like i said earlier, some characters seem forced, while others have no purpose whatsoever. The art style is reminiscent of Musashi: Samurai Legend (which was a great game with an awesome art style), but it’s definitely not the same thing.
As for the acting, I will admit that I didn’t use Japanese voices, which is usually a TERRIBLY BAD DECISION for translated games. However, I was pleasantly surprised to not only hear voice actors that I both knew and didn’t know, but that their acting matched the image of the characters that they played for.
It’s not rare for a game with dating sim elements to have good character growth – in fact, I think it would be preferred. While the minor characters have their fitting problems, the main romances (and the main villains) do a good job of fitting their roles: Shizuku is generally mysterious and quiet, Kasugai has the “slutty teacher” vibe down pat, and even the final boss doesn’t seem totally forced. If I had one complaint, it’s that Kati is useless in battle and doesn’t have her own route.
2/5 (PC Version)
As you’ve probably noticed, this category has a separate Playability for the PC version, which came out as I was writing this review (this may also have impacted my view of the Vita version in the long run). This is mainly because the Steam / PC version of Akiba’s Trip is fairly glitchy. Some side missions don’t load properly, a good number of graphical and continuity glitches happen often, and every now and then, the game crashes altogether. In addition, the game tends to lag greatly on higher settings (this including the fact that my PC is made for high-process gaming, and runs fine with 152-mod Skyrim.)
In contrast, the Vita version had very few of these (the continuity glitch would appear every now and then, but it wasn’t EVERY MISSION). After completing the game, which can net you around 20-50 hours if you do every Side and Sister Mission, you can restart the game with a new “body”; that is, as a girl, rather than a guy, if you so choose. But even then, there’s still plenty to do: there’s hidden events everywhere, clothes to collect, and (with the New Game +) a Route Tracker, which tells you what Partner Route each choice will put you on, if any. There’s also an arena where you can get better clothes and more money, but I recommend doing that during regular play.
Overall Rating: 72/100 C-
60/100 D- (PC)
As you could probably guess, this game is very interesting. I would have liked to see more to it (such as more than two villain characters, or a few more romantic choices for the ladies), but where it is seems good for now. My biggest problems would be the continuity glitch – for those asking, there are times when certain quest targets won’t appear in the designated area; or when you’re told to “enter an area alone”, but have no one else in your party. Obviously, I give the PC version a much lower score, both from experience and malice, but overall, it’s nice to have it on a bigger screen.
I recommend the Vita version for anyone looking for an Anime-style game for handhelds, or if you just like stripping people forcibly (not judging, just saying).
It appears that an anime series is being released starting on the 4th that is a departure from the game(s), so check it out if you end up liking this.
*Based on GameStop Online prices on March 5th, 2015. As far as I’m aware, the price is the same for all consoles.