Akiba’s Trip 2: Undead & Undressed, by the same team responsible for the Way of the Samurai series, takes players into the famous Japanese electronic district Akihabara (Akiba for short), with over 130 real life Akiba shops that the player is able to visit. While the game is an action-adventure, it’s quite a different experience compared to any other game out there in the market.
The story revolves around a conspiracy behind the Magaimono organization and the hero’s ends up fighting against bloodsucking demon creatures that have taken over the area. To save Akiba from these demons, the player is required to defeat them by stripping off their clothes and exposing them to sunlight.
The game starts off with Nanashi, who was trapped in an unknown facility due to a job agreement he signed. Little did he know, the contract stated the organization was authorized to experiment on his body, which transformed him into a Synthisther, a being who exceeds ordinary humans in terms of motor reflexes and raw strength.
While the main cast is likeable, and behaves almost as if they came straight from an anime, the game lacks interactivity with all characters except the heroines of the game, in which you will have dialogue options which leads to different endings with each one, inciting the players to give the game another spin multiple times.
Akiba’s Trip 2 is full of references and stereotypes within the Otaku culture. Throughout the game, whether you’re completing the main story missions or the side-missions, you will stumble across different types of individuals such as anime fans, hardcore cosplayers or obsessive photographers chasing after girls in maid outfits.
The core gameplay is very simplistic, offering three buttons to attack. Each button is assigned to attack a specific part of the opponent’s body, and the key of the game is to inflict enough damage to all three clothing pieces to strip them off the opponent and expose them to the sunlight.
Even with the simple mechanics, the arsenal of selectable weapons adds another layer to the game’s combat. Depending on the type of weapons the player chooses, their fighting style will differ. Players will be able to equip weapons ranging from baseball bats to arcade motherboards to monitors. Sadly, when facing a crowd of enemies and especially in smaller areas, the game tends to lag a lot.
Similar to RPGs, players have the ability to change the apparel of their character, thus improving their performance. The type of clothing piece you use is very important as it will determine the character’s health, or in this case, the durability of the clothing piece, thus making it harder for enemies to strip off your clothing. But even if your clothing piece gets stripped, you will always obtained it back at the end of the battle. However if your clothing piece gets ripped off by the enemy, unfortunately you will not acquire it back.
With the help of the protagonist’s little sister, for the price of 1,000 yen, you’re allowed to fuse your clothes or weapons with the “Synthesis” feature. To begin you must choose a base item in which you wish to enhance, and after that you’re prompted to select other items to use for the synthesis. Once you’re done, your weapon or clothing piece will be better than ever. It is recommended that you mix the same type of clothing piece or same type of weapon for an added bonus.
Players can also take on some side-missions to earn some extra cash and boost experience points. The side missions you take are side jobs offered by the inhabitants of the district. While the given job description varies for each mission essentially they involve fighting an enemy or horde of enemies, which can get very repetitive. Some missions, however, require you to acquire items and take pictures of maids.
You can explore through the world of Akiba’s Trip 2 as if you were wandering around the real Akiba. The game does well to represent the city by replicating the locales and faculties, even including buildings for other game companies. Players will also stumble upon advertisements for other established franchises.
Sadly, you can’t fully explore the district since only certain sections of an area are assessable. Even shops are only limited to a menu with a clerk offering their service. Unfortunately, the loading times involved when traveling through different areas are too long, almost deteriorating the experience. After the long wait to travel to the next area, sometimes NPCs themselves take a while to load. This can get annoying if you’re trying to complete side-missions.
As a game that caters to anime enthusiasts, the developers did a good job at delivering at the graphical department. The city and character designs, including the main protagonists of the game and NPCs, work well with the JRPG/anime aesthetic.
Players have the option to choose between both English and Japanese audio. While the original Japanese audio track is exceptionally great, the English audio track is also enjoyable for players with an English dub preference. Sadly, the soundtrack in this game is almost forgettable but is very well used in the right circumstances.
Akiba’s Trip 2: Undead & Undressed had a lot of wasted potential but overall is a fun title. Be warned, though, that it’s the type of experience mostly aimed at enthusiasts of Japanese nerd culture so it may not appeal to everyone. It does get credit for managing to offer solid gameplay and enough story routes to incite a nice replay value.