Just incase you havn’t had enough fun running through the streets of Tokyo’s Akihabara, striping random civilians and getting chased by the cops, NIS America have decided that it’s time for the game you played on both the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation 3 to be released on the console with greater capabilities; the PlayStation 4.
It was only last year that the West got its chance to taste the incredibly Japanese style of “Akiba’s Strip: Undead and Undressed” and even though it met with pretty average scores the world over, it has still somehow remained such a lovable and well-enjoyed game. At least, people like it enough for the developers over at Acquire to organise for the game to receive an updated port for a “next gen” console.
In fact, there’s already word that the same game will, once again, be ported onto another console! This time the Nintendo 3DS. What gameplay mechanics will be added to that version I have no idea, but I’m not here to talk about the game that hasn’t been released…I’m here to talk about the PlayStation 4 version of “Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed”.
Before moving on with the rest of this review I do suggest you go back and read my very own review of the PlayStation Vita version because, this time around, I will be making a great deal of comparison between the two and it’ll be more beneficial for you if you’re entirely informed. Check out the PlayStation Vita review by Clicking Here.
Starting off strong is the game’s story which hasn’t changed a single bit from one version to the other. Everything is still in placer and everything is still just as enjoyable this time as it was the last, which is saying quite a great deal. Seeing as it is a simple story about vampire-type beings taking over a highly-populated part of the world and seeing as I’m not the type to every replay games you’ll understand that it means quite a lot when I say that this game, even during a second playthrough, never felt boring or monotonous.
The story still seems as fresh as it did when the game was originally released last year and it’s tongue-in-cheek enough that you’re essentially forced into taking everything as a joke rather than getting overly serious about a not-so-serious plot. The characters are all very much likeable and that includes the ones that are MEANT to be annoying to you. Why’s that? Because that’s the way they’re meant to be, and the game makes that very much clear.
The great thing about playing a game like “Undead and Undressed” twice is that you can follow different story paths by partnering up with different characters which, while a majority of the game stays the same, changes the ending. I caught myself laughing at jokes I’d already heard and being excited for parts of the game I’d already played which is such a foreign feeling for me but one that somehow also felt right at home.
“Undead and Undressed” for the PlayStation 4 felt, overall, a whole bunch smoother when it came to actual gameplay. It wasn’t only using the DualShock 4 that made it seem a lot easier to play but most bugs and glitches that were present in the PlayStation Vita version were fixed so issues I had with certain missions the first time around weren’t around to bother me this time. For the most part all of the gameplay is the same apart from small things like new weaponry and clothing.
The biggest upgrade to the way “Undead and Undressed” is played isn’t so much something that you as the player can control…it’s those watching you play that have the power in their hands. With the PlayStation 4 release comes the ability to stream your gameplay through Twitch or Ustream which never real tantalised me in the past but with “Undead and Undressed”…it’s on a whole other level. Unlike most of the other PlayStation 4 games I’ve played, none seem to support the interactions of a streaming audience as much as “Undead and Undressed”.
Alongside a whole bunch of interaction options for people to spam while watching, the game also offers you, the player, certain bonuses for simply having people enjoy the playthrough. For example; racking up one hundred comments will earn you a +3 bonus when upgrading a weapon or piece of clothing. These upgrades differ depending on how many people are watching and commenting. The interactions also change the game a great deal: If you have a nice audience who actually listen to your requests, you can have them somewhat join you when it’s time to go into a big battle. Commenters who click “Join” will have their usernames attached to a random NPC who will then fight for you anytime you get into a scuffle.
Watchers can call the cops, they can boost your “Unison” gauge, they can even force random citizen to attack you, but the most startling and funniest of all is the “Panty Drop” option which has a random lady walking close to you literally drop to the floor to strip her panties off. Having people join in and drastically changing your experience is a real game changer and one that I’m so glad the developers decided to code into the game.
Visually “Undead and Undressed” is, more or less, the same as it was on the PlayStation Vita. Small things have been adjusted but they mostly come in the form of proper shading and smooth transitions between scenes or areas. Like I mentioned above, the combat is a great deal smoother but not just the way it plays but also the way it looks. Although the characters look like they’ve just come out of a Dreamcast game, they move like they were meant to feature in the latest AAA title.
The environments themselves are incredibly good looking, it’s just unfortunate that character models are, for lack of a better term; rough around the edges. They alone leave much to be desired but the game as a whole is actually quite pleasing. There are times when the literal visuals do screw you around, like when the dynamic camera gets locked. While it doesn’t happen too often and when it does you can easily work your way out of it, it still puts a dampen on your experience, especially when you lose because of it.
The PlayStation 4 version has added on odd but ultimately enjoyable feature called, funnily enough, the “Visual Editor” which allows you to literally edit any and all of the games visuals. From the characters to the world around them, everything can be changed using an RBG slider system. Using it was daunting for me because, to be brutally honest, I may be a little too dull to work out proper colouring but to some of the more computer deign savvy players, the visual editor can be a fun way to change up your personal experience of the game.
Auditorally, everything has stayed the same. While a lot of the other aspects of the game have had slight adjustments…the soundtrack and voice work have not. Everything is still as good as it was on the PlayStation Vita version and thanks to an overall upgraded title it becomes that much more enjoyable.
Like last time you can choose to have the characters speak in English or Japanese and either way you’re going to enjoy what they say because the entire dub cast work brilliantly. The English performers have perfect comedic timing which almost always results in at least a bit of a chuckle if not full blown cackling. Still forcing me to turn the volume way up is the soundtrack and the environmental sound effects which are simple fantastic. What more can be said? You cannot improve upon perfection.
After playing the PlayStation Vita version and hearing about the PlayStation 4 version which, at the time, was on its way, I though to myself; “is this really necessary? What could possibly change? Why would anyone buy it?”, eating my own words never tasted so bitter. The PlayStation 4 version of the game is a necessity for anyone who played the original release to have.
If you enjoyed the PlayStation Vita or PlayStation 3 versions of “Undead and Undressed”, chances are you’re going to like this one. That’s at its very base. Then add a whole bunch of new features, one which makes a huge difference to the gameplay experience and what you’ve got is another home run. Yes, there’s plenty to scoff at.
The graphics aren’t that great and it does sometimes feel like a game that barely made it though production for the PlayStation 2, but those types of thoughts quickly disperse I can assure you of that. What you’re left with is pure joy that can only be produced by a game like this. The key to enjoying “Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed” is to throw away the over-inflated sense of judgement a lot of people from our generation seem to have and enjoy it for exactly what it is: A silly but fun video game.