Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed Reviews
Most of the time, though, it’s like playing a stripped-down version of Yakuza. You wander a Japanese neighborhood, shop, do side-quests, build up your character, much like in that venerated series. But then the combat sucks and the story is poorly paced. On the other hand, I can’t deny it grew on me. It feels like one of those janky, Japanese, early PS2 titles like Mr. Mosquito or Robot Alchemic Drive. It might not be the most fun to play, but it’s unique enough to captivate.
Hellbound & Undressed has elements fans will enjoy, and if you dig, you can find quirky and interesting things here, but if it catches you having too much fun, be prepared to have that stripped from you like a finely quaffed set of Shadow Soul clothes. This game is a constant chore to enjoy and should be reserved for the folks that really want to see where the series began.
Between lackluster combat, outdated graphics and the horrendous stripping mechanic, it's very hard to think of a reason to recommend Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed.
I can’t imagine anyone so desperate for content that they would find value in this only marginally improved ten-year-old game. Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is and has always been, awful and no HD remaster will fix its terrible story, lackluster combat, primitive graphics, and creepy tone. Some games are broken or bad in a kind of fun way, but Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed isn’t broken, it’s just bad and decidedly, aggressively not fun at all.
There's a fair amount of side-quest stuff to do such as playing mini-games in the maid café or helping out locals with their problems, although none of it is particularly innovative or memorable. There are also loads of different quirky weapons and hundreds of different clothing options to collect. Roaming around Akihabara while wielding a keyboard and wearing a Gundam cosplay made out of cardboard boxes is kinda fun, despite how average the game is overall.
The idea behind AKIBA'S TRIP is delicious and fun, but if in 2011 the product could work despite all its shortcomings and the limitations imposed by the PSP hardware, the same cannot be said for its reissue. The one made by Acquire is in fact a remastered only in name, it is no coincidence that the product has preserved all its historical technical problems, such as the mismanagement of the camera, the inaccurate pointing system, the very slow response times of the commands, the cumbersome animations, and so on.
Review in Italian | Read full review
I appreciate Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed for spawning a sequel that I fondly remember. I just have an extremely hard time overlooking so many glaring problems that were glossed over to repackage and sell it in this state. Unless you really loved Undead & Undressed or just don't want a hole in your collection, this is one to pick up on sale.
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed is a rudimentary port that certainly shows its age, but the stripping-based combat and crazy story/quests are unique enough to provide a refreshing experience for action gamers who are open to its mature content.
Before beginning to play Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed, plans to write a screed defending the game while poking fun at the pure stupidity of the gameplay were already in motion.
I can already tell that this is going to be a cult game in the west. Something that may be too frustrating and outdated for some, but just the thing for those who are looking for that specific comfy feel. That memory of youth, hanging out with friends on a weekend in your local downtown area, a place you know better than the back of your hand.
An intriguing plot coupled with a focus on questioning morality and who is truly an enemy, Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed brings the original story to a new generation of gamers. Bugs, the lack of autosave which does seem a little odd for a remaster and some clunky game mechanics aside, there are easily over twenty hours of game time in the fairly realistic portrayal of Tokyo's Akihabara region. Replay value for those who played the original will vary depending on nostalgia feel, but a second playthrough is highly appealing for completionists and those who want to make different choices in their gameplay since supporting a faction does influence in the end story.
It’s hard to really see who Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is aimed at. People that were put off by some of the issues in Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed aren’t going to play its even jankier predecessor, and £34.99 is a steep asking price even for someone that might be interested in trying this out. If you’re desperate to see the series’ origins, then this might be worthwhile — just go in with appropriately low expectations!
As confusing as it is that this game happened at all, I loved having the chance to play it. Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed might look like a game that should have stayed on the PSP, but the satire and humour is there, the grainy rendition of Akihabara is still enough to make this homesick otaku miss Japan, and the action remains on the right side of simple and entertaining that you can enjoy it while it lasts. Akiba's Trip isn't going to win GOTY awards, but I sure enjoyed collecting a big pile of skirts.
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is a fun and even impressive title considering its origins, but one that needed more of a remake than a remaster.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
The mechanics have not aged well, the story rarely gets passed 'eye rolling,' and combat is frustratingly repetitive. From my understanding, there are many quality of life improvements that have occurred in later entries into the series but this remastered version keeps it faithful to the original, warts and all. Strip away the Akihabara charm, and there's not much left to enjoy.
Ultimately, it’s hard to recommend Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed to anyone but the most ardent of action RPG fans with a taste for Otaku culture. While its premise is genuinely interesting, as are the storylines that stem from it, the dated visuals and archaic combat will be big hurdles to overcome for most. For those who can see and work past them, however, there’s some fun to be had, albeit littered with some frustration. It’s just a shame that more hasn’t been done to bring this game up to today’s standards.
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is a remaster of the original Akiba's Trip. However, its Western debut leaves a lot to be desired.
Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed isn’t the best brawler around and has limited fan service but a solid storyline and witty dialogue make it an addicting one nonetheless.
I did enjoy my time with this game, but it did not age well at all. This is more of an HD remaster than it feels like an HD remake.
AKIBA’S TRIP: Hellbound & Debriefed is more than your run-of-the-mill anime game. If you really look into it, you’ll find a challenging, yet flawed combat system. An entire series born from an urban legend with ties to the Hikikomori phenomenon in Japan. And an anime story complete with misunderstandings and pure intentions. The first one, I tolerate. The 2 after are reasons why you should be buying this game.