Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed, published by XSEED Games and developed by ACQUIRE, is a beat ‘em up in which you strip the clothes off of your enemies while trying not to get stripped yourself. The reason for this method of combat (besides the fan service), is that you have recently become a Shadow Soul, a demon that dies when fully exposed to sunlight, and have been recruited by the mysterious organization NIRO to protect Akihabara from other Shadow Souls. Your reaction to that premise will be a huge factor in whether or not you enjoy this game because putting that aside, Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is a pretty simple and sometimes frustrating ride.
Outside of the gameplay, I found a mixture of enjoyment and annoyance. I thought the 2D character portraits and animations were well done, but the 3D graphics left a lot to be desired. The voice acting was great, but they’re delivering so much exposition and filler that I found myself skipping cutscenes by the end, despite enjoying them at the start. Finally, I can tell the developers love Akihabara and otaku culture. I appreciated the genuine passion that comes across in this game, but the lewdness that is often associated with otakus comes across as well.
Each fight’s difficulty was almost entirely determined by how many opponents I had to fight. In 1v1 combat, it’s pretty easy to hit your opponent nonstop, but once there are three or more, it’s easy for them to hit you nonstop. I spent most of these fights trying to do what I could before getting surrounded, taking a ton of damage, and running away. The only thing that makes these battles winnable is that you can fully heal, but once again, the animation takes so long that it will often be interrupted. All of this means that battles are either incredibly simple or a test of patience.
- Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed Review for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4
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