Game Review – Akiba’s Trip 2 (PS3/PS Vita)

2013-11-22-103213This is a game where you strip otaku-vampires to kill them with sunlight. This sound so stupid that it might work, and it does! It’s extremely funny!

Versions

ƒAƒLƒn?2_ps3ƒV?ƒƒƒPFƒAƒLƒn?2_vitaƒV?ƒƒƒPFWhile it’s prequel was a PSP-only game, Akiba’S Trip 2 was released for both PS3 and PS Vita. The two versions are virtually the same and save files can be used across both platforms, but since there is not enough love for cross-buy in Japan, you have to buy the two separately.

Story

In the past, the super humans from the ancient Yagami clan were worshiped as gods, but people have long forgotten about them with the coming of the modern age. This brought great tragedy for the Yagamis as they needed worshipers to obtain energy to reproduce. To fix this problem, the head of the clan traveled to Akihabara to drain the energy from people who are very pure and inoffensive: Otakus!pedobear toradoraTo help him with collecting the energy, he decided to share his powers with a few selected humans he captured through fake propaganda. The protagonist was one of those chosen ones, a normal Otaku boy named “Nanashi”, which actually means “nameless”…namelessNo! Not This one! This guy sucks! This is just the protagonist’s default name! You can change it! Anyway. Nanashi is saved by the mysterious Shizuku, but not before being transformed into a Magaimono (living-corpse demon), he uses his powers to assist his savior, but ends up being fatally wounded to protect her.

2013-11-18-0136252013-11-18-013844With no other options to save the protagonist’s life, she decides to reveal her identity as a “True Ancestor” and use her powers to make a contract with Nanashi, turning him into her “Apostle”. Being very grateful to Shizuku, Nanashi promises to help his new master in her fight to stop the head of the Yagami and protect Akihabara. To assist them, they recruit Nanashi’s friends, the “Akihabara’s Vigilantes” (Akiba Jikeidan).

Characters

2013-11-18-013735Tokikaze Shizuku is the main heroine and member of the Yagami clan. She feels responsible for everything that’s going wrong in Akihabara and is very serious about her duty. She starts almost emotionless, but quickly starts to be “infected” by Akiba’s air and becomes a super Otaku, to the point where she makes cosplay in-character and is easily manipulated by people offering anime-goods to her. This Otaku element makes her very different from the regular “serious girl” type and it’s very amusing!2013-11-19-141223Sagisaka Touko is Nanashi’s childhood friend. In On-line articles and magazines, she was introduced as a violent girl who loves sports and is always testing her new moves on the protagonist. However, she is nothing like that in the actual game. While she does love sports and is the only Vigilante who is not an Otaku, she treats Nanashi with respect and care. She isn’t that much of a tomboy either, and uses feminine gestures and words regularly. She has a strong partnership with Nanashi and believes that there is nothing impossible when the two work together.2013-11-18-232708Kasugai Shion is the young president of a powerful corporate group. She is a genius who excels in many different areas and is always looking for new material to research and create new products from it. She now has her sight set on the Magaimono’s inhuman abilities. Therefore, she makes an alliance with Akiba’s Vigilantes in exchange to study the monsters. She seems to always be in high spirit and rarely loses her cool.2013-11-19-233740Tokikaze Rin is Shizuku’s little sister. She left home to investigate Akihabara’s case early, but not before leaving a note full of insults for her sister just to make her angry and not willing to follow after her. However, this proved to be too much effective, as Shizuku became traumatized, which leads her to avoid any contact with Rin at first. This makes everyone misunderstand her reaction as a sign that Rin is evil, but she later reveals to be an ally and tries to reconciliate with her big sister (even though it seems she is never fully forgiven). She became a pop idol working for Shion’s company in many campaigns. She adopts a “cruel queen” type of personality during her job, but is actually pretty polite, except when dealing with Nanashi, because of how jealous she feels about him stealing her sister.2013-11-20-130916Nana is Nanashi’s little sister. She became a hikkikomori because of a fight with her classmates. Since she is an Otaku-master who loves her onii-chan dearly, she made a room in the Vigilantes’ base, just to be closer to her “Niini”. She is very different from the imouto in the previous game, because she participate in the main events (even though she has few screen-time and only has a big role in a series of side-quests). She is also not selfish and is not greedy for your money (Man! The sister from the first game was awful!). Actually, she is probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! You have to see her in action to understand! Everything about her, from her voice to her gestures, are absurdly cute!

Themes, Styles and Others

2013-11-20-1256192013-11-20-160923Other than the main cast, the game is full of minor characters, many of them are very similar to other characters from the previous game, but the heroines are all very different (except Rin, who is a Pop Idol, just like two of the previous heroines).

2013-11-19-0903402013-11-22-004438The game keeps the Magaimono monsters to justify all the strip and nudity, but there is a very odd element added to it, now it is said that the Magaimonos who get exposed to the sunlight turn back to be normal humans later, even though they completely disintegrate when they get naked. This doesn’t make any sense, but I feel like I am losing something by trying to find logic in this plot, since they clearly are not trying to be serious here (different from other weird titles). After all, before being bothered by this, I should be asking why they don’t need to cover their heads, or why they are safe as long as they have at least a hat.

2013-11-20-1411322013-11-20-162202In the end, this plot is here for one thing only: To be an excuse to have cute girls with lots of fan-service action! And they do it shamelessly. The plot is never the game focus and the events are very short, quickly sending the player to the next strip battle or dating-scene. Talking about dating scenes, every heroine has distinct personalities, but they are just too much likeable, even the ones who were to be tsunderes. Which means there isn’t much to be enjoyed for those who like “Do-M” content on their games.

2013-11-21-1342262013-11-22-103144While the story isn’t, by any means, good, it isn’t bad either. This is because they never take themselves too seriously, as most actions and dialogues are very over-the-top and comic.

Gameplay

2013-11-19-0938312013-11-22-103052The gameplay feels like a weird combination of GTA and Way of the Samurai, which makes sense, since the team behind WotS is involved in this. Just like with the “Way of the” series, the protagonist doesn’t speak often, but every time he does, you choose what he will talk, this doesn’t always leads to a new route, but nearly every time results in different reactions from the other characters (even tough, sometimes, it doesn’t make any difference in the subsequent dialog, similar to the first Mass Effect). Something very cool about this system is that, if the characters are being too annoying with the protagonist, this time, it’s totally your fault! Don’t like to be treated as a repulsive pest for no reason? Just say something cleaver to make those cheeky girls shut-up! It feels great!

2013-11-21-1049132013-11-21-104901The combat is very simple: You have a high, middle, and lower attack assigned in the triangle, square and circle button respectively. You only need to hit the parts where your target has clothes. You hit your opponents until the clothes receive enough damage (the texture changes a bit and the clothes starts to flash red). By holding the button corresponding to a clothe piece, you execute a command to pull it off, but if it is not enough damaged, a mini-game starts, where you have to press the button repetitively to cause more damage to the clothes. If other parts are weakened as well, you can make a “strip combo”, pulling them off one-after-another by doing a quicky-time event.

2013-11-23-1107592013-11-22-000357Now, the partnership between the hero and a heroine became an established system and one of the main mechanics. You can always partner with one of the girls and it’s possible to give orders and to execute a special team attack that inflicts damage on every enemy on the screen.

2013-11-20-1239222013-11-21-183750There is just too much to do in this game, and it’s nearly impossible to even find everything without the help of guides and such. There are many secret locations, mini-games, characters, items, side-quests and easter-eggs. Collectors will sure be pleased!2013-11-22-003058There are multiple endings, but aside from Shion’s route, the plot stays nearly the same, only changing some bits involving the heroine who is fighting alongside the hero and the ending sequence. There is a hidden epilogue (or secret ending) for Nana, to get it you must complete all of her side-quests.

2013-11-19-102148By the way, Nana is very talented with creating cosplay costumes, so she naturally can create magic weapons and indestructible armors for her brother! It’s never too pricy and the results are very decent. It also helps you keep  items for their designs and not for their strength, since you can combine two clothes or weapons and keep the visual you like most.2013-11-20-000054You can also play a mini-game where you talk with your little sister. Depending of the topics you get, she will make many “lovely” things with the protagonist. There’s practically no prize in doing this, other than to see some ULTRA MOE scenes.2013-11-21-233920

Graphics

Once again, there are countless stores, brands and costumes that form the rich culture of Akihabara. There is just too many stuff to see in this game.2013-11-18-0203482013-11-19-145633While the 3D models are nothing spectacular, the level of details on the environment is incredible.There is movement everywhere, which really makes it feel like a real Japanese city. There is over 100 stores that really exist at the exact same place in the real Akihabara, which makes you feel like you’re really there! But realism was not what they were going for because, while sometimes you find store clerks who look like normal people, you can also run into this!2013-11-21-235604The advertisements are all so interesting and makes people like me feel like a true Otaku, since I know most of the stuff they are showing. Like: Mind=0, Conception 2, Sen no Kiseki and many others!2013-11-18-231941b2013-11-19-1012072013-11-19-112521The character designer is Watanabe Akio (also known by his nickname “Poyoyon Rock”) he became famous with the main stream public thanks to his work in the Bakemonogatari anime series, but his career dates from way back, and he has nothing to do with the designs from the original Bakemonogatari novels. Therefore, don’t expect to see many similarities between that light novel series and this game (the designs here reminds me more of Popotan). Even though Touko’s resemblance with Araragi Karen is almost a crime! araragi-touko

Sounds

I like this opening movie quite a lot! It’s full of mindless action with the heroines fighting each other for no apparent reason, which already prepares you for all the nonsense in the actual game. The song “True Story” is pretty good as well! It’s by by Haruna Runa, who became famous for singing some…Bakemonogatari themes (God! This is everywhere!).2013-11-23-110352 The in-game music is somehow average and awesome at the same time. While most of the original BGMs are good, the game is infested with advertisement, so there are music and videos of other games, some are PVs and others are full opening videos. Those musics are, at least, stupidly catchy!

Conclusion

2013-11-22-103317This is definitely a title to be played by those who just want to have lots of fun. It’s not very hard or long. If you’re not aiming at collecting everything, it’s possible to see all the endings in less than 3 days. But the most important factor that makes this game worth playing through is, of course, the Trip to one of the most magical places on Earth. I wish I can visit the real Akiba someday. I just hope it’s not full of striping-vampires!2013-11-21-125332

6 responses to “Game Review – Akiba’s Trip 2 (PS3/PS Vita)

  1. Hmm, I might have to import this

  2. Simon Aldersley

    Is it possible to play the Japanese version without knowledge of Japanese, or would this hinder my experience?

    • The story and gameplay are nothing complex, unique or unpredictable, but I find it to be REALLY hilarious, and while you would understand most of the funny situations, you would miss some funny dialogs. I also heard that the guys working on the translation are adapting some dialogs to make it even funnier on the localization! So, as long as the dub doesn’t suck, the U.S. version is a good choice.

  3. No problem, it will be dual audio, think i will buy both versions.

  4. i bought the PS3 finished shizuku then thats that… D: only

  5. Pingback: Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed Coming to PS4 Later this Month | The Sun Rising Blog

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