AKIBA’S TRIP: Hellbound & Debriefed – Review

Our Rating: 7/10

Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is essentially a remastered HD version of Akiba’s Trip Plus, a 2012 PSP title. Ten years later, the studio ACQUIRE Corp. remasters the game. Adding some graphical enhancements and releasing it for the first time in Europe.

The Akiba’s Trip saga has established itself as a cult franchise among gamers with a passion for okatu culture. This Japanese pop movement is closely linked to Akihabara, a commercial district in Tokyo’s well-known bright neighborhood where we can commune with more geeky Japanese customs like anime, manga, pop figures, and endless arcades.

The latest game in the series, Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed, is out today on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. And, once again, delves deeply into the material and spiritual aspects of this branch of Japanese culture that has spread to every corner of the globe.

A mysterious vampire

The action takes place in Akihabara. The protagonist, while attempting to assist a friend in need, finds himself in the middle of a plot involving supernatural forces; particularly vampires. The tragic result is that both are on the verge of death, and a mysterious and beautiful vampire decides to save the protagonist for unknown reasons by giving him her blood to drink and then disappearing.

Our hero’s newfound abilities are immediately put to work for the NIRO, a government agency (National Intelligence and Research Organization). And, in reality, we don’t have much of a choice. Either we accept to be a part of this government institution, or we will be exposed to the light of day. Ultimately, this will result in our total annihilation.

All of these early scenes are told through dialogues, and we get to choose what to say at different points. However, the vast majority of the time, we can only read and move on to the next line of dialogue. It’s a lengthy and time-consuming process that takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

Following that, we finally get an introduction to Akihabara, which is where the gameplay truly begins. Our first mission will be to locate and get to know the group of Freedom Fighters and friends who assisted us. A NIRO agent will accompany us on this journey. He will be coordinating operations and guiding us through the complex and dangerous circle of the Shadow Souls – the secret order of vampires.


The city tries to capture the essence of Akihabara, such as the vibrant lighting and bustling streets. Streets are mainly for navigation of the city. When we reach their ends, we will be transported to the map. Here, we can choose which one to visit next and save the game.

We have a smartphone that acts as a hub and allows us to access information about the missions, objectives, characters, and messages we receive. It will be of some assistance because there is no clear explanation of where we must go. So we need to carefully interpret the messages and investigate the locations and NPCs around us.

We have the option of visiting several stores and interacting with them. Everything from electronics to clothing to magazines to consumables and much more is available for purchase and sale. To pass the time, we can play mini-games that help us get a sense of being in Akihabara.

Combat and Weapons

Combats are the most unusual and distinct aspect of Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed because the goal is to strip the opponent of their clothes. There’s a reason for this! Since we’re talking about vampires, stripping them of their clothing exposes their skin to the sun, allowing us to triumph. The pieces of clothing represent the available energy that must be get rid of until we win the fight. This sets the game apart from anything we’ve seen before.

The combat action is mediocre at best and necessitates some quick reflexes. Attacking the head, torso, and legs (where each button corresponds to a specific area) allows us to target the enemies’ clothing and accessories. We can then remove it at a later time. It’s more difficult than it appears. Especially when there are multiple opponents, but we quickly pick up on the knack and logic.

We can also use weapons, and almost anything we collect, including violas, newspapers, keyboards, baseball bats, and almost anything else you can think of, can be used to hit opponents. When we get a strip to an enemy, we have the option of picking up the items they dropped as well as any clothing that isn’t destroyed.

Final Thoughts

Graphically, there isn’t much of a difference between this and the PSP version. There are some improvements, but nothing to call a significant step forward. It has an out-of-date appearance, both in terms of textures and animations, which is only surpassed by the sound quality. It is acceptable and has the usual substance of Japanese production.

Although it is not one of the fully justified remasters, it remains the only option for those who have always wanted to play but have never had the chance. Now that everything has an English translation, anyone can enjoy this popular saga.

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