Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed Review

Stripped bare.

The fact that a game called Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed isn’t completely tasteless might be its greatest accomplishment. This is a beat 'em up in which the ultimate goal is to strip all enemies of their clothing--a premise that proves a difficult hurdle to leap. The camera draws attention to the skimpy underwear and bouncy breasts of your bloodthirsty foes as you methodically expose their bodies, but--believe it or not--it goes beyond simple eye candy. The goofy story does its best to justify the sheer volume of bare skin, and the equal spread of male and female characters means you'll see just as many lacy undergarments as you do tighty whities. Unfortunately, Akiba's Trip just isn't any fun to play, and that makes the incessant panty shots and uninspired humor even more difficult to stomach.

Bear with me as I explain the convoluted narrative. You enter Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics district, during an outbreak of vampiric foes called Synthisters. These powerful enemies were once human, but now roam the streets hoping to suck the life energy from the city's unsuspecting residents. Your customizable protagonist, along with a medley of colorful freedom fighters, commit themselves to cleaning up their home the only way they know how--by stripping the opposition down to their undergarments. Like actual vampires, Synthisters are sensitive to the sunlight, so revealing their skin causes them to burn and return to human form.

The yarn unravels to expose seedy corporate involvement and a series of unlikely villains, but it isn't enough to mask the disquieting nature of Akiba's Trip. You spend the bulk of your time ripping off as much clothing as possible to expose nearly naked anime bodies to the world, which is intended to be the real draw here. Stripping bosses will often lead to more detailed views of their often unrealistic, hand-drawn figures, so if it's scantily-clad anime bodies you're looking for, you'll find them here in spades. The unremitting innuendos within the dialogue only weaken the already thin narrative justifications for the partial nudity, and while the focus on bare skin isn't the only attraction, I still felt uncomfortable with what was being asked of me.

You can party up with both male and female freedom fighters when patrolling the streets, but most of your time will be spent impressing your buxom allies. How you choose to respond during conversations determines whose affection you garner, and there's even a set cast member who can provide updates on which woman in your life has become the most smitten with you. It's a mostly shallow mechanic that leads to extraneous exchanges during otherwise heated scenarios. Talk of how you're going to save your city or discover the source of the Synthister menace is often followed by awkward complimentary phrases aimed at your busty childhood friend.

Even if you manage to overcome the fact that Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is about stripping enemies down to their skivvies, you won't be rewarded with much more than a mindless brawler.

The carnal themes and prosaic dialogue would be a bit more palpable if the game played well, but repetitive combat and a painfully inconsistent framerate muddy the action. In battle, you're often surrounded by five or more enemies at once, swinging a weapon at each foe's head, body, and legs in order to score a knockout. A combination of high, mid, and low attacks damage the different pieces of clothing to their breaking point, making it easier to strip them right off of someone's body.

You can combo these strips together if multiple articles of clothing are weak enough to remove, but this strategy isn't enough to spice up an otherwise tedious process. Breaking down the pants, shirts, and hats of a swarm of foes as you protect the durability of your own wardrobe is a chore, and your ability to restore your clothes to full strength during battle by holding down a single button removes any semblance of tension. The systems aren't broken, and less populated arenas tend to produce smoother, more enjoyable action, but I had less and less fun with the mechanics as additional enemies flooded the screen.

The combat's lone saving grace comes in the form of upgradeable weapons, each of which has its own set of unique combinations. Heavier objects like arcade monitors deal serious damage, but your character lumbers with each swing. Boxing gloves, on the other hand, allow for more nimble striking--though you'll often focus on a single enemy at a time instead of the full group. It's enjoyable to find, buy, and upgrade different objects with varying attributes, and the same can be said for your clothing. Whether you prefer to go into battle sporting a three-piece suit or nothing more than a tattered pair of brown slacks, you’ve got options.

There's little to do outside of the nonsensical story and lackluster battles. The main quests often take you from the home base to a different segment of Akihabara that's been invaded by Synthisters, while the side missions drag you through dull fetch quests and additional combat scenarios to earn extra spending money. There's a New Game Plus feature that opens up fresh character customization options, but I had more than my fill of Akiba's Trip well before the story’s resolution.

Even if you manage to overcome the fact that Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is about stripping enemies down to their skivvies, you won't be rewarded with much more than a mindless brawler. The monotonous combat only grows more tiresome as you progress, and it's almost too easy to predict the twists and turns of the formulaic plot. Akiba's Trip has a bizarre concept that might turn a few heads, but once you strip away the promiscuity, there's little left to keep your attention.

The Good
Equipment upgrades greatly vary combat
The Bad
Action often grows tedious
Stripping mechanic is just uncomfortable
Story beats are easy to predict
Poor framerate kills flow of battles
4
Poor
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Josiah Renaudin spent most of his childhood maxing out any JRPG that he could get his hands on. He still enjoys exploring some of the most obscure Japanese titles that hit PlayStation consoles, and played Akiba's Trip to completion for the purposes of this review.

Discussion

106 comments
Fhiend
Fhiend

Thanks for reviewing this. IGN decided not to review this because "google analytics says no one is searching for it".

Then they blocked me from the comments when I told them I thought that was a stupid reason and should have kept it to themselves.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@vault2049 @expeditopaz2008 @THE_DRUGGIE @SillySkeleton 

I have read the review on Digitally Downloaded, but I don't agree that it is "good".

I have the impression that the reviewer is rather forgiving of a few aspects about the game. It's either that, or the reviewer did not clarify on a few details. Perhaps the reviewer did not even play the game thoroughly either.

For one, the reviewer said that the voice acting is "excellent", but did not refer to either the Japanese or the English voice-overs. I have listened to the Japanese ones before (mainly through YouTube), and they typically match the theme of the game. However, I have listened to the English ones too, and I find these bland. (Do watch Giant Bomb's Quick Look of the game.) 

From this, I believe that the reviewer hasn't completely evaluated the game's sound designs (or to be more specific, its localization).

The only thing that I think this reviewer does "better" than Renaudin here is that "Nick H." (whatever his/her full name is) is that he/she is a lot more open-minded than Renaudin is.

Also, do take note that "Nick H." criticizes the gameplay a lot. He or she is not being kind to the game in this regard.

tempura13
tempura13

When I played this game on Gamer difficulty, it demanded me of my full attention during heavy brawls and you can't just button-mash every fight. In fact, you're just asking to get stripped. The core mechanic may be simple, but it works and it's pretty tight too.

Enemies dodge, counterattack, and force strip when the opportunity presents itself. If you turtle too much, they'll perform unblockable moves to send you flying. There are even situations where you can only watch as your character is being juggled into the air while his clothes get torn. If they hit very hard, they'll just maul you until your clothes turn to shreds. You can grind for levels and upgrade equipment, but the outcome of every fight still depends on how you control your character.

Calling this a 'mindless' brawler is just stretching it. You'll have to use every trick given to you or you'll have a hard time. While it can be repetitive, you have lots of customization options at your disposal to make things fresh every now and then.

And how is it that the story is nonsensical? I thought it was pretty straightforward and enjoyable. Also, what about the multiple paths and character endings? What about the characters themselves?

The reviewer did mention that he's not comfortable with the game's premise (that is, stripping people), so I guess the low score is already expected. I can understand that.

Lastly, this game does little in terms of sexual fanservice. It’s more of a fanservice for people in the know of the otaku culture. You won’t be missing too much when you’re not familiar with it, but it surely helps to appreciate the game more. 


That said, XSeed really did a fine job with its localization. Kudos to you guys!

Insomniak1
Insomniak1

I think a lot of these reviewers thread on the side of political correctness. Since he claims to have finished it, I bet he enjoyed it to some degree. I also think a lot of these reviewers want to show how eloquent they can write. I wonder how many times he edited the same sentences over and over, thesaurus on hand?

Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

This is the kind of s$%t  that gives japanese games and anime a bad name. seriously how can a professional team on a game studio would give green light  to this, in top of making it a mediocre game. i mean, there's absolutely nothing wrong with erotism on games or other media, but they could at last do it intelligently and with good taste.    

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

This game looks awesome! ...Is what I'd say if I was 14 year old.

packtop
packtop

Wow, so it's fine to have game with senseless killing and bloods flying around, but a little stripping and it's uncomfortable ???


And worse it isn't even realistic in the less...


God grow up a bit, we would think you are a 10 years old kids, that get disgusted just from seeing a kiss...

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

I thought the game had a pretty whimsical sense of humor; in fact, it felt like the original devs just gave the translation team free reign to put in whatever they wanted. Also, the narrative isn't really convoluted - just silly and dumb like the rest of the game. You're a bunch of nerds trying to fight vampires to save a geeky area of Japan, and anything beyond that is just subtle (and blatant) parodies of Japanese nerd culture, as well as some Western meme stuff I bet the translation team shoved in there for good measure.


Also, most of my time wasn't really spent impressing anyone - funny thing is, the game gives you a great way out of that by peppering in a bunch of wonderfully ridiculous (and utterly antisocial) dialog choices.


I do have to say the gameplay needs polish, though, especially the targeting system; that is to say, the outright lack of one. I've taken tons of blind swings because there isn't a button to lock on to an enemy and it gets pretty troublesome late in the game. Another problem would be the lack of switching up the gendered words when you play as a female character model.


Still, I have the Vita version and it's pretty fun to have a quirky brawler that works out pretty great in bite-sized chunks of gameplay sessions.


(also, I like Genshiken and the free Sue Hopkins DLC made the game infinitely more hilarious to me)

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

Hmm, a weak Kenka Bancho ripoff with Shojo fan service. 

futureops
futureops

Japanese devs are a bunch of pedos.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

That guy in the PlayStation ad before this is an asshole.

"Hey baby, ready for our game night?  I got two controllers out so you can pretend to be doing something while you watch me play BIOSHOCK INFINITE BY MYSELF."

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Thought the game was kind of fun. 


This review was not very inciteful. Its one note and whiny. 


Gamespot is already suffering from its new direction. Much less daily content, and weaker reviews. 


Better just let Kevin review everything.



Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Just when I thought that GS is finally free from Carolyn Petit's self-righteous crusade, they bring in more prudes like this writer. Why the heck is you being uncomfortable with people in their underwear is a detractor? It's like having my pacifist uncle reviewing CoD, he'd grade it like 2/10 because you kill people with guns.

SillySkeleton
SillySkeleton

I love me some quirky Japanese games, but technical issues like bad framerates are far too common in these kinds of games. I could understand a little more if they were pushing the hardware to its limits, but the graphical fidelity of these titles are consistantly below the bar that others have set while maintaining a stable 30 or even 60fps.

chillock117
chillock117

Spot on with the review I couldn't agree more

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Also, having looked at Digital Trends' review for the game, I don't agree with those of you citing it as "balanced'. Having read it, I get the impression that the reviewer had a good first impression of the game and then made a U-turn by criticizing it for doing what it does.

Furthermore, that reviewer is cutting the game a lot of slack by calling the game a "satire". There are other games out there with far more skilful handling of not-safe-for-work themes, like No More Heroes.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Also, I do wonder if those of you complaining here could get rid of freelancers like you could salaried reviewers. They are quite immune to lay-offs, obviously.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I do wonder why those of you who like Japanese games like these even bother to come over to GameSpot.

I suppose that the likes of you expect people who are biased in favor of such games like these to write reviews for them while  overlooking their other problems - problems which are often typical of such games, i.e. when their themes are already so goofily shallow, their gameplay is shallow as well - usually to the point of being lackadaisical.

(Really, there are very, very few games which have shallow themes yet splendid gameplay and presentation, e.g. Bayonetta.)

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I agree with @BrunoBRS. Most of you complaining here only have "you-don't-get-it" arguments.

Really, you should just look for another review that tells you what you want to hear, like Digital Trends'.

Gyrbot
Gyrbot

And this is why we can't have nice things like Yakuza 5 and Ishin. Because of creepy kusoge like these games continued to localized only makes companies like Capcom and Sega nervous to invest in a hostile market

ArcticNinjaXXI
ArcticNinjaXXI

"Stripping mechanic is just uncomfortable" - Look at the title of the game, dumb***!  You play a game about stripping clothes and then feel uncomfortable about its very existence in the game!?


How the f do these dumb GameSpot reviewers keep their jobs being this f'n stupid during their reviews!? It's like they don't use their brains at all!


While I'm not too crazy about this game myself, I think it deserves higher than a 4. Also, his "about the author" on here is clearly a lie. Rated M for Mature? Well, I guess this reviewer shouldn't have played this game, cause he's clearly not mature from what I see.

Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque

When you start your review with tasteless in the first sentence, I think you are off for a complete unbiased™ review, or so you may think.


Was there not any female reviewers available? And I mean real females not ones that pretend to be, I bet they could have given a better review than this white knight.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

Yet again GS has proven to me that their reviews are a complete waste of my time.  I've already stopped reading the "promoted" content masquerading as real stories...  now I'll stop reading the reviews as well.

BTW...  Vita 6.9 user score on metacritic.  PS3 has a 63 metacritic score / 8.1 user score

Sounds more realistic 

siritokakyou
siritokakyou

How can this get 4? But trash like Risen 3 got 7???? Screw this review! You clearly don't understand Japanese games.  

Gyrbot
Gyrbot

@Dragerdeifrit


Yeah, at least give us actual nudity or softcore sex. I mean isn't the guy who drew the character designs a porn artist?

Jasurim
Jasurim

@Gelugon_baat I don't want bias one way or the other, but this review has a negative tone from the start so it can be hard to get a fair idea of the game from.  Also he is obviously uncomfortable with the basic premise/theme of the game so that affects how he rates and discusses the story and everything pertaining to it.  If someone else who was perhaps more comfortable or indifferent to the themes of the game were to review it might give those who are also not bothered by it a better idea of the game as a whole.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Gyrbot 

I get the impression that you are using a translator to convert your comment from a different language into English.

ArcticNinjaXXI
ArcticNinjaXXI

@Gyrbot I'm sorry, but that makes no sense what so ever.

Jasurim
Jasurim

@hogcmaurice Seriously, thank you.

I was looking to a better opinion of the game and this review...I don't want to say biased...but its obvious they weren't going to be into this sort of game from the get-go.

AsukaZ
AsukaZ

@hogcmaurice That is correct, I played the game and everything in that review is 100% true, unlike this one. I'm going to use that website from now on instead of Gamespot. Thank you for the link.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

@Gelugon_baat @Ultramarinus You could have edited that..

Why should I be content with a reviewer that's out of his league?

Better then, we cause a ruckus and they won't employ him again.

b1ank
b1ank

@Gelugon_baat @Ultramarinus I tend to believe that when you review, you shouldn't really put too much personal opinion into the mix. You should look at it at face value, True it's abit hard to do that if you say, don't agree with the story. But it shouldn't be the focus of the review (meaning bringing down the score because you think its wrong or bad). 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Jasurim 

You can say that, but I doubt that the other person would be more forgiving of the game's other problems.

You can look at GiantBomb's Quick Look for this game, and Gerstmann's regard for the game; he's one of the most balanced and open-minded reviewers out there, and he is not amused by the gameplay and presentation of the game.

Gyrbot
Gyrbot

@ArcticNinjaXXI


Ok, I will tell to you straight, it is because of you creepers why we don't get good games from Japan anymore. While Yakuza 5 and Ishin remains not localized, crap like this game does. I want to see good games come over from Japan instead of this trite. Akiba's trip is the latest in the cancer that is leaving Japanese gaming crippled and unable to recover it's good graces in the West.


And your avatar says a lot about your choice of games.

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

@Gelugon_baat @ArcticNinjaXXI @siritokakyou @woodyfr @PodXCOM @Angry_Mushroom Yeah, it does have issues (see my comment I made yesterday for more info on that), but I think a 4 is going a little bit harsh on the game as a whole. The stripping mechanic was not as uncomfortable as the author lets on; in fact, it's a pretty neat armor-based system with a nice array of comedic move sets to fit the goofy tone of the game. I guess one improvement would be to randomize attacks instead of being constricted to equipping a single move set, but that's honestly nitpicking on my part.


Honestly, if they have an update to fix the frame rate in the future (doubt it, but hey I'm hoping), then maybe more people could get into this game and realize it's an okay 3D brawler with personality - of course, how one would judge its personality is certainly on an individual basis because sexual themes presented in this manner always tend to have a bit of a 'weirdo Japanese stuff' vibe that you'll either have to overlook or get into. Trust me, I know that Gamespot is aiming for what they think is the mild, average gamer with their reviews since they're a common review site and a fairly niche game will have its quirks judged quite a bit in this setting...but dang, I could think of way worse games that I would give a 4.


On that note, I think there should be a different review scale:


Buy it

Rent it

Watch it

Skip it


It would make things a lot clearer and get rid of the reviewer's perception of a numbered system (some are more harsh than others because they're human beings). Anywho, that was a tangent (sorry).


Abridged version: I agree with it having issues, but the reviewer did ride its quirkiness a bit too hard, wasting words on what could have been used to highlight more technical/gameplay issues.

Gyrbot
Gyrbot

@Greyfeld 


He just needs better taste in Japanese games period. Instead of playing trash like Akiba's trip and Neptunia.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Ultramarinus 

Well, go ahead and cause a ruckus then - this is not the first time that Josiah Renaudin has submitted a freelance review like this one by the way.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@b1ank @Ultramarinus

I agree, but I would say that I would practice that myself, and not ask that of others too.

After all, a review is supposed to be an article personally written by an individual.

Jasurim
Jasurim

@Gelugon_baat @Jasurim Right and that's fine, but this review is hard to get a read on as someone trying to see if this is a fun game for me or not.  The other review that you mentioned in another comment (digitaltrends) seems to go into greater depths of the game, for better or worse.  I can then judge the points for myself to see if they'd interest/bother me without having to worry if they're being influenced by some initial aversion to the games themes.


I don't have time for the Giantbomb thing at the moment, but that seems to be different thing as you pretty much get to see the game yourself.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Jasurim 

Well, if you would say that, then I would say that personally I have no issues with pre-existing aversions on the part of the reviewer. Even if I spot these - and I certainly can spot these - I continue to read the review anyway.

Otherwise, I would be guilty of having pre-existing issues of opinion of my own.

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed More Info

  • First Released
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is an open-world action RPG in which players undertake numerous missions in a virtual recreation of Akihabara, Tokyo’s popular ”Electric Town” district.
    5.4
    Average User RatingOut of 8 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
    Developed by:
    Acquire
    Published by:
    Acquire, NIS America, Xseed Games
    Genres:
    Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence