Good – Akihabara
Akihabara, the mecca for all things “otaku,” has shown up in some form or fashion in many different games. But when it comes to creating a realistic Akihabara, no game (not even the original Akiba’s Trip) comes close to Akiba’s Trip 2. The game features around 130 real world shops from Akihabara, and the architecture and city layout is nearly identical to the real district. As someone who visits the real Akihabara regularly, let me tell you, the resemblance is uncanny. (Well, except for the lack of crowds.) Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it.
Good – Setting the Stage
But it’s not just the buildings and stores of Akihabara that are authentic. As the game is built around stripping off clothes (we’ll get more into that in the next section), it’s no surprise that clothing is a big element of the game. The people that populate this virtual Akihabara are all dressed appropriately and do a good job of showing off the various kinds of “Akihabara fashion”—if it can even be called that. Moreover, as your character gains money for completing various missions, he can expand his wardrobe and thus become better protected against getting stripped himself.
And just as clothing acts as armor in Akiba’s Trip 2, various items common to Akihabara count as weapons—be that posters and gashapon machines or computer monitors and microphones. All in all, it manages to turn the real Akihabara into a clever fantasy world.
Mixed – Equal Opportunity Stripping
Let’s not kid ourselves. Seeing animated characters in their underwear is one of this game’s main draws—that and stripping them out of the clothes they were wearing to begin with. If liberal helpings of fanservice turn you off from a game, this is clearly not the game for you.
However, what’s surprising when compared to most other fanservice-driven games is the fact that in this game you strip as many male enemies as female ones. In other words, while it is heavy on the fanservice, it at least has large swaths of fanservice regardless of the team you bat for—which is a nice change.
Bad – Counterproductive Combat
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the combat in Akiba’s Trip 2 broken, it is rather counterproductive. The game plays like many 3D brawlers and in battle, it is best to simply wade into the enemies and mash the low, medium, or high attack button to weaken the item of clothing of your choice (which you can then strip off). While there is a blocking and counterattacking system, utilizing it is often counterproductive due to the game’s combo system.
When your combo meter gets above 30 hits, all your attacks become critical hits and do far more damage. If, however, you wait and block (something that is far from instantaneous), you will likely lose said combo. Thus, it is far better to break the enemies’ attacks with one of your own rather than ever stop to block. This means the game’s combat is little more than button mashing; and simply overpowering your enemy by having the best gear is far more important than learning to block and counter.
It doesn’t take too long before the battles become more than a little boring.
In the end Akiba’s Trip 2 is a mixed bag. The recreation of Akihabara is fantastic and there is enough fanservice here to keep anyone happy. But if neither wandering through Akihabara nor fanservice appeal to you, the lackluster 3D brawler gameplay will not be enough to keep you interested.
Akiba’s Trip 2 was released on November 7, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in Japan. There is currently no word on a Western release.
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