After releasing on the Playstation 3 and Vita last August, Akiba’s Trip Undead & Undressed has now stripped its way to the PlayStation 4. Offering a sharp visual upgrade and a handful of new features, how does this risque vampire-busting beat-’em-up fare on Sony’s newest shiny black box? Read on and find out.
Undead & Undressed begins with our hero, Nanashi (who you’re free to name to your liking), waking up strapped to a rather uncomfortable looking operating table. Our drowsy hero was under the impression he was being interviewed to start a new job that paid in rare collectible figures, only now to find himself under the knife as a shadowy group of ‘Synthisters’ -artificial vampires with superhuman traits that feed off of the life essence of Otaku and have a serious weakness to sunlight- leering over him. Nanashi soon discovers the organization has turned him into one of these man-made monstrosities, and a chance encounter with a mysterious girl leads him on a mission to unmask the shadowy group responsible for the rash of vampire attacks that threaten Akihabara, and ultimately the fate of the world itself.
The PlayStation 4 port of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed (you can read our original review here) has been given a noticeable visual overhaul since it released on the PlayStation 3 and Vita. The most notable improvement of this version, when compared to the last-gen edition, comes in the form of its enhanced 1080p resolution. The updated resolution really brings the bustling streets of Akihabara to life as you navigate the busy networking streets of Tokyo’s geek mecca, battling vampires and tearing their clothes asunder in the name of justice. In addition to the added boost in visual fidelity, the game also sports many more pedestrians on-screen at once, and the game’s somewhat spastic frame-rate from the earlier releases has been vastly improved, with the polyester blend-punishing action flowing at a silky smooth 60fps this time around, which makes the battles, which can become especially frantic later in the game, much more easy to manage and enhances the overall flow of the game’s combat and exploration segments.
In addition to the graphical enhancements and improved performance, developer Acquire has tucked a few more bonuses into the PlayStation 4 release of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed. One of the most exciting additions is the addition of a new “Toybox Mode”, which allows players to begin his adventure with one of every weapon and clothing item in the game. However, this enhancement comes with a price, as those who begin the delving into the toybox are precluded from earning any trophies or post-game unlocks. Even still, with the wacky assortment of weapons, including a giant, radioactive leek, it can be fun just to use this mode just to tinker around with the game’s off-the-wall arsenal and the wide array of clothing and accessories packed into this raunchy and ridiculously addicting package.
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed for the PlayStation 4 also offers a new visual editor, which allows you tweak an absolutely absurd amount of visual filters- think Instagram on steroids-laced ramen- for you to tweak the visuals of Akiba and its otaku denizens to your liking. My personal favorite filter was the Manga one, which gave the look of the city and its inhabitants a hugely stylized look with bright, vibrant colors and exaggerated shading that looked straight out of the pages of your favorite manga rag.
Unfortunately, while the added features are a plus, it’s a shame nothing has been done to remedy the game’s absolutely staggering number of loading screens. Traveling through the streets of Tokyo’s hub of game and nerd culture is constantly interrupted with these nagging interruptions, as each street is separated into its own zone. Unfortunately, with some zones literally two steps from one another via adjoining crosswalks, you can sometimes hit five or more loading screens on your way to completing a quest. Thankfully, these stops and starts are admittedly brief, but they do affect the overall pacing of the game a great deal, and it would’ve been nice to see them all but excised in the current-gen version of the game.
Having said that, Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed still offers the same fun and racy beat-’em-up gameplay that made its original release such a blast last Summer. Akihabara’s streets are filled with things to do, from store fliers to collect, Freedom Fighter quests to undertake, and grueling arena battles to participate in, it’s hard to grow bored with all the content Acquire has crammed into this tongue-in-cheek adventure.
While it may not offer enough new features to warrant a second purchase, if you’ve yet to get your hands dirty cleaning up the streets of Japan’s gamer’s paradise of vampires, the PlayStation 4 edition is absolutely the best way to do so. While the load times are a drag, and the lack of enemy variety is still as much of a downer as it was in our original review, this is still a lighthearted and refreshing romp through some racy anime tropes that is well worth the time of role-playing and visual novel devotees who aren’t offended by gratuitous fan service and those who enjoy the white-knuckle thrill of beat-’em-ups alike.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PS4 (Reviewed), previously released on PS3, Vita ; Publisher: XSEED; Developer: Acquire; Players: 1; Released: November 25, 2014; ESRB: M; MSRP: $39.99
This review was based on Playstation 4 review code provided by Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed’s publisher, XSEED