How time flies! The Akiba’s Trip series has been going for 10 years and to celebrate Acquire has remastered the first game in the series, which was previously only released on PSP in Japan. The game takes place in Akihabara, an area in Tokyo that is famous for its maid cafés and abundance of stores filled with manga, anime, and videogame collectibles. It’s pretty fun to be able to walk around and explore some of the sights, but of course you are not here just to shop.
The game’s protagonist, with the help of his friends and a shady government organisation, must fight back against a supernatural foe called Shadow Souls who are drinking the blood of the local populace turning them into depressed shut-ins. While Shadow Souls may look just like regular people, if you strip them of their clothes they disintegrate into dust. The story is silly enough to raise a smile and while many of the characters are clichéd it’s easy to forgive due to how endearing they all are.
Unfortunately, the beat-'em-up style combat is pretty disappointing. Most of the time you’ll just end up button mashing and it can be really frustrating to get correctly lined up with your enemy so you’re not just whacking thin air. Fighting against multiple baddies just feels clumsy and awkward and it never really feels satisfying to rip everyone’s clothes off.
This was originally a PSP game and, in some aspects, it still looks like one. The 2D character portraits and the handful of anime style cut scenes are a visual treat but the 3D models look quite blocky and stiff.
There's a fair amount of side-quest stuff to do such as playing mini-games in the maid café or helping out locals with their problems, although none of it is particularly innovative or memorable. There are also loads of different quirky weapons and hundreds of different clothing options to collect. Roaming around Akihabara while wielding a keyboard and wearing a Gundam cosplay made out of cardboard boxes is kinda fun, despite how average the game is overall.