Take it off! – Akiba’s Trip review

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It is hard to pitch a game with a strange premise such as Akiba’s Trip, convincing people that it is a fun game outside of its main gameplay mechanic is something that is even harder.

For example, if I said ” Hey you should totally try Akiba’s Trip, it’s a fun brawler where you have to run around fighting vampires in Japan.” You would probably be fine with that description, however adding ” You beat them until you can strip them and have them die from sunlight” would leave you thinking 2 things. One being what kind of pervert am I dealing with? The other being that it sounds completely stupid.

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That being said, Akiba’s Trip is exactly what I described it to be, a fun, light-hearted brawler in which you beat the clothes off of vampires in Akihabara.

In Akiba’s Trip you play Nanashi (or whatever name you want to give him,) an Otaku who gets a job at a pharmaceutical company who pays in priceless figurines. Unfortunately he didn’t read the fine print and becomes a Synthister, a Vampire like creature who sucks the spiritual energy of it’s victims. After being rescued, he finds that the Synthisters are hidden in plain sight attacking the people of Akihabara.

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He also learns that they can be defeated by being fully exposed to direct sunlight, which means that they will have to be stripped down to the underwear to stop them. Joining his his neighbourhood watch group called the Akiba Freedom Fighters, they go on a mission to restore peace to Akiba and fight off the Synthisters.

There is nothing really amazing for the story, as it just serves for a catalyst for the reasoning why you’re stripping down the people you fight. Most of the characters are similar to what you would see in a Role-playing chat, there is the old man who manages the bar, the ditzy maid, the mysterious girl, the tomboy who likes to fight, the weird kid who lives in behind the bar, the pop idol, the sultry business lady and the twin brothers where one is smart and the other is lazy. As much crap as I would like to give the characters I have found myself liking them over time as each had their own quirks that were fun for this kind of game.

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What really helps the game is the actual gameplay. The game uses the real life location of the Akihabara district in Tokyo Japan, which is the city’s Otaku centre and shopping district for most nerd related things (Video Games, Anime, Manga and Computers). Players take on the task of keeping the peace by following side-missions to help stop brawls, prevent stalkers, or help people find what they’re looking for.

While you’re in the town, you can also shop at the 130 real life shops that have been added into the game to customize your character including new clothes, weapons and various stat increasing item. These items can be upgraded by one of the Akiba Freedom Fighters to increase their potential, higher defensive capabilities which results into more health and higher attack power for weapons.

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The big part of the game is the combat. Combat is done with three buttons resulting in a high, middle and low strikes, these strikes allows you to weaken the clothes of your opponents. By holding these strike buttons, you commence a strip attempt, the weaker you opponent’s clothes are the easier they come off. Strip attempts can be chained if multiple clothes are in a weaken state, allowing players to take down multiple Synthisters at once. Defeating multiple opponents also allows for a final move causes the underwear of the opponent to fly off in a comedic way.

There is actually a good amount of replay value in the game with multiple endings, characters and items. The PS4 version of the game includes a Toybox mode giving you all the items in the game at the expense of not having a New Game Plus mode or Trophies , as well as the ability for viewers to change the game up by adding conversations, sending characters to help, turning police/civilians on you or just make underwear fly around your head when broadcasting the game.

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Akiba’s Trip isn’t a game that demands a lot of attention, it is a fun little romp with the soul of a light-hearted anime, allowing the stripping mechanics to be easily overlooked as a bad or perverted thing. While it’s not the big must play of the year, it is definitely a blast to play.

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