The 2014 GOTY is (not) Akiba’s Trip

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I downloaded a copy of Akiba’s Trip yesterday. I still don’t really know why. It was on sale, I guess, and the idea of an offbeat game where you stripped your opponents down to their underwear sounded so stupid I couldn’t not play it

It’s…I don’t know. It’s not good, in any traditional sense. It’s ugly (it looks like was hastily converted from the PS Vita version, low-res textures and all). It has really bad framerate problems. The music randomly cuts out during cutscenes. The difficulty curve is ridiculous, with a lot of grinding to get anywhere. The characters are all really annoying Otaku stereotypes, with terrible voice acting. And then at a certain point, a message board thread pops up on your smartphone and you get an eyeful of transphobic bullshit completely out of left field:

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It has fuck-all to do with the plot of Akiba’s Trip, which is some nonsensical deal about vampires and Japanese nerd culture. The character in question is a fighting instructor you’ve met maybe ten minutes before. You barely have time to even say hello to her and then bam, SHE’S ACTUALLY A MAN WHAT A FREAK. I said this on Twitter, and I’ll repeat it here: I’m not expecting a game about ripping people’s clothes off to be the most socially conscious, but this is pretty ridiculous. It’s completely unnecessary, and doesn’t do much other than alienate a good portion of the audience (there are no Pitter users that defend her).

But despite all of this, I have not been able to stop playing Akiba’s Trip since I got it. Amidst all of it’s problems, there’s still that core; like a next-gen version of River City Ransom, beating people up, then buying food and anime body pillows at the nearest store, that’s kept me playing. It is surprisingly a lot of fun. I mean, it’s shit, but it’s fun shit. I guess I just like to play in toilets.

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Akiba’s Trip is a complicated bit of kuso-ge. It’s badly made and really offensive. But it also taps into this part of my brain that’s made me want to keep playing. I don’t know if I could really recommend it. Maybe not to normal people.

It’s also one of the only games of 2014 that I actually played. It was this, Dark Souls II, and Super Smash Brothers 3DS (also Ground Zeroes if you want to count unfinished games). And when the time came to sit down and decide what I liked the most, well…it was Smash Brothers, obviously, because fuck those other two (it hurts a lot to know that Dark Souls II was not very good). I mean, what the fuck? I’m not that weird!

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