Thursday, August 14, 2014

Game Diary - Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed.

Well shit, I like it.

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed begins as you wake on the fiendish operating table of the evil corporation you foolishly signed a contract with, in return for limited-edition figurines and collectibles.  They've transformed you into something less, and more, than human - a synthister!  A synthetic vampire, so to speak, you feed not on blood - but on the empassioned desire of the freaks and geeks that populate Akihabara.

You are then rescued by a mysterious supergirl who cures you of your synthister need to feed on life energy, and together - along with your rag-tag band of misfit friends - you set out to rid your beloved town of the sinister synthister menace.  Much like real vampires, synthisters have a crucial weakness - sunlight - which has an immediate and profound effect on their physiology when enough of their skin is exposed to sunlight.

So, naturally, you run around the neighbourhood identifying evil-doers and stripping them naked. Or at least down to their undies.

The game is, I'll be honest, a lot less pander-y than I expected.  You strip men and women with equal abandon, and while the main character has the capacity to be entirely pervy,

he can also be an eminently sweet fellow, doting on his strange, monotone, shut-in little sister, Nana.  She has an immense vocabulary, but only refers to you in variations on the word "bro."  She calls you Brosiedon, Broadwarrior, Broccoli, Brotagonist. She's a never-ending font of bro-based puns, and between her kooky, antisocial, shut-in mentality (on the walls of her room are anime posters, tools of cosplay design and a frying pan), defensively raised hoodie, capacity to upgrade my gear and occasional requests for me to stick around until she falls asleep,

I kind of adore her.  The localization from Xseed, here, is excellent, with solid voice work, humor and so much of the distinctive flavor of this deeply Japanese game coming through loud and clear.  As you wander the streets, you may happen upon sales associates from the many real-life stores that licensed their likenesses to the game, who'll offer you flyers.  You get images of the real fliers these stores have, and can check them out in an image viewer.

The first time you get one, the game explains it, and says, y'know, it'd be cool of you went to the store if you were ever in Akihabara, and to let them know you heard of it from the game.

There's something really sweet about that.

There's something really sweet about the whole exercise, despite its initially off-putting premise. It's cheerful and brightly-drawn, and now that Nana's upgraded my boxing gloves (the better to get higher combos and thus, higher damage with), I'm taking a lot of pleasure in just wandering Akiba, doing the weird side-quests and helping out strangers...

Hey, it's what I do. beating the shit out of their enemies and leaving them with nothing but their undies and the seeds of what will surely manifest, five years hence, as a latent exhibition fetish.

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