Welcome back to the land of the undead and undressed, where you are a modern day vampire roaming the streets of Akihabara, stripping others of their finest threads. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed has been doing the rounds on Sony’s systems for a while now, finally arriving on the PlayStation 4 following a successful launch on the PlayStation 3 and Vita. This odd yet satisfying action role-playing game does a decent job of moving to the next-gen format without changing much of the experience, which may be a good or a bad thing depending on who you ask.
Indeed, there are absolutely no plot changes here; you start your journey as a 17-year-old boy living in Tokyo’s busy technology district. With a lust for collecting nerdy items, you do what any sensible teenager in search of money does: head to a sketchy job interview located in an undisclosed underground area. With only yourself to blame, you get turned into a modern day vampire named a ‘Synthister’. Making your grand escape, you join forces with your friends in order to figure out exactly what is going on in this re-imagined version of the extravagant city.
Like the last-gen edition, this suburb is filled with life, from shops, buildings, and random people – and to see it realised on the PS4 is exciting in and of itself. The general flow of the city is a lot smoother, with a sturdier framerate and enhanced animations boosting the presentation above its PS3 and Vita peers. This actually helps the gameplay, too, as you’ll no longer find the framerate plunging during a battle, which was not only immersion breaking in the previous releases – but also a right pain in the neck.
The combat’s identical to its little brother, of course, still focusing on a couple of buttons that can be strung together to create combos that strip your foes of their garments. At its core, this is a brawler, but because you’re up against vampiric antagonists, you’ll need to relieve your enemies of their attire in order to expose them to direct sunlight. It’s a silly premise that’s pretty entertaining, and it’s enhanced by some decent voice acting and dialogue choices, which are carried forward from the previous release as well.
Fortunately, the horrendous loading times of the Vita version in particular have been covered up here, resulting in a much slicker experience – even if there’s still room for improvement. There are also some new additions to encourage you to double dip, which span both the obvious right through to the interesting. For example, you can now use the touchpad to operate the map, which is not especially exciting, but totally useful.
Much more noteworthy is the Toy Box mode, which unlocks every item in the game from the off, but disables Trophies. This is a welcome addition if you’re not interested in Sony’s addictive trinkets, and just want to see everything that the title has to offer without investing dozens of hours into earning it. Meanwhile, the Visual Editor allows you to adapt the look of the game. You can choose to darken the outlines of objects, for instance, so that it has more of an anime feel – or even adapt the colour scheme of the world. This is a fun option to mess around with, even if, again, it’s not going to set the world on fire.
Finally, the more experimental options come from the live streaming features. Pushing the share button allows you to stream your game on Twitch and Ustream, but certain chat commands can then be used by viewers to directly interact with you. Typing out ‘PantyDrop’ for example will force any nearby female characters to lose their undergarments – an inappropriate addition perhaps, but it’s there “because Japan”. It’s not going to do much for you if you’re not into broadcasting your games, but it can lead to some enjoyable back and forths between the player and the viewer if you are.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed on PS4 is not a huge leap forward from its previous generation predecessors, but it is better looking and smoother as a consequence of Sony’s enhanced hardware. This is the same silly game that we reviewed earlier in the year, and while it lacks cross-save, it makes up for the absence with a handful of new features, such as the Visual Editor and online streaming options. This is not necessarily an experience for everyone, but the light-hearted stripping mechanic makes it an enjoyable romp all the same, and a worthy addition to your PS4 library if you haven’t played it already.