Over the past decade, we have been getting more and more titles that otherwise would have been a Japan exclusive. One of these series that I’m surprised ever came over to the West is the Akiba’s Trip series. While we didn’t get the series from the start, American gamers got the second game in the series first. Now, 10 years later, we are getting the first game as an HD remake titled Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC! It’s a little hard to believe that the series has been around for so long. At this point, minus the smartphone games, we’ve now received every entry of this series. I enjoyed the other games in the series so I was excited to get a chance to try to see where the series began. How does this game stack up as a franchise starter? Let’s get into it and find out.
This game starts with the protagonist attempting to look for his friend that has gone missing due to some nasty rumored monsters appearing in Akihabara. Upon finding him you are jumped and beaten up by one of these monsters and only to be saved by that monster’s sister. You are then turned into one of these vampire creatures and recruited by an organization to hunt down and protect Akihabara.
To defend Akihabara against these vampires the player will need to learn how to strip the vampires of their clothing to expose them to sunlight, knocking them out. This is easier said than done. If the players’ clothes get stripped it is game over and they will die. Without going into too much detail, it’s a pretty crazy but enjoyable story as fans of the other two games will learn. Gameplaywise Akiba’s Trip handles like its sequel as it is a beat ‘em up game that takes place all over a 2011 styled Akihabara, the Mecca for everything anime and video games.
Each area is broken off into sections that you choose from an overworld map. In each section you go to stores, get into battles with the locals and vampires, and progress the story. Battles are pretty simple in the beginning; there are three attack buttons all coordinating between low, medium, and high that attack different parts of the body. After the player does enough damage to a certain piece of clothing, you hold down that specific attack button and you either pull off or tear that piece of clothing. Once the clothing has been ripped off the battle has been won and the enemy is defeated; however, that goes both ways. If you get all of your clothes ripped off then it’s game over. You can learn new techniques by training or reading manga that will help you with the battles to come.
I did enjoy my time with this game, but it did not age well at all. This is more of an HD remaster than an HD remake. It’s pretty plain to see that this was a PSP game that just got upscaled for this re-release. I was under the impression that this was going to be a kind of remake to make it look a little bit closer to Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed. I believe that that game, even if it did come out in 2013, looks much better than this HD remake. Apart from making this game run past 120 frames per second on PC, there’s nothing really that makes us feel like this is a remake other than it having English voices for the first time.
I wish that they had gone with a style that was closer to other games in the series and that the game had a more open-world concept instead of forcing you to navigate a menu the whole time. It felt like I was playing a handheld game. During my time with this game I enjoyed the art as well as the voice acting. All in all, it pulled the game all together into a pretty enjoyable package. Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is set to be released on July 20th on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC!
Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed Review
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed Review
I did enjoy my time with this game, but it did not age well at all. This is more of an HD remaster than it feels like an HD remake.