What Makes Akihabara A Fascinating Setting For A Video Game

By Spencer . February 17, 2011 . 6:45pm


Akiba’s Trip is set in Tokyo’s video game and anime haven. No, not Nakano Broadway. (Although a dungeon crawler set in the labyrinthine mall would be interesting…) We’re talking about Akihabara, but Acquire’s upcoming PSP game wasn’t always set there.  "The decision to set it [Akiba’s Trip] in Akihabara came quite a while afterward," Luke Rideout, Assistant Producer, told Siliconera in an interview.


Other Acquire titles are set in fantasy worlds, feudal Japan, and ancient Rome. Comparatively, Akiba’s Trip has a contemporary setting. I asked Rideout what makes the chosen locale interesting.


"Akihabara is unlike most other towns that you can experience in Japan. It’s its own modern, self-contained ecosystem with its own culture and people, but also has a fascinating and deep history," Rideout explained. "It’s as much like a contemporary ‘fantasy’ world as places come, so we felt it was a natural choice."


While Akihabara has a whimsical feel with maids handing fliers on the street, it is a real place. Acquire is taking care to preserve the feel of Akihabara by recreating the district. When you explore the streets populated with people and vampire-like Kageyashi on your PSP you will see shops real life shops like AsoBit City, Messe Sanoh, and DosPara.


"The hardest part of it is simply capturing the essence of Akiba’s streets, with its unique storefronts and buildings, which means translating everything into unique and easily recognizable textures, while being unable to reuse a lot of resources," Rideout replied when I asked about bringing Akihabara to PSP. "The other difficult part is overcoming the limits of the PSP’s hardware to create a lively, populated Akihabara which, in real life, is overflowing with people."


Check back next week for more comments from Rideout and news about Akiba’s Trip.

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  • I’d love to see dungeon crawler based on Nakano Broadway. Anyway, I’m interested in seeing how this game will turn out, because Akiba makes for a really interesting setting.

    • I LOVE NAKANO BROADWAY TOO! Man I was blown away first time I set foot there.

      But Akiba is more of a landmark and a perfect setting for a game.

  • Yeah. We need more modern jrpgs. Tokyo has always been a great setting because it’s like a metropolis, and there’s always so much going on. It almost feels like anything can happen.. I don’t know how to explain it… but.. Just go watch Durarara. (Even though that’s Ikekeburo.)

  • Apollonis

    Ohoho, you just decided to sit down with them for a chat, eh? It does indeed look like an interesting and colorful place, reminds me of TWEWY’s take on Shinjuku. When I think about it, almost no game devs seem to want to place games in real cities in modern times, even GTA can only do it by creating fake versions “based on” real places, probably because most games of the sort involve lots of killing and people wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    Luke Rideout cannot be a real name.

    • If he exists, then so does Travis Touchdown. <3 Honestly though, I wouldn't be too surprised if that surname really existed. I've seen some reaaal funky ones.

      Back to the topic, I remember hearing that the actual village of Higurashi being outraged from the events of the game. Quite frankly, I don't blame them.

      • It’s his real name. How I found out is the method which I’ll dub with the codename GtFbW(ImnaS). (In other words, don’t ask.)

    • Guest

      Parasite Eve says hi

  • PrinceHeir

    we definitely need more games that takes place in japan :)

  • Kai2591

    Making it for the ps3 would overcome those limits teehee~

    btw…..Mr ‘office chairs’ below is suspicious….
    (UPDATE: Thank God its gone..)

  • doomspeller10

    English localization REQUIRED!! We barbarians want to play as well!

    • Guest

      “Akihabara” will then be changed to “Jersey Shore”

    • *Imagines Conan playing PSP and Akiba’s Trip(a game about some cosplay nerd in Akihabara) at that*.

  • holyPaladin

    Akihabara = heaven on earth :D

    • doomspeller10

      Not for long if Ishihara’s ban succeds XD

  • Really interested in this gaaaame T_T

  • MisterDandylion

    ME WANT LOCALIZATION! UGA BUGGA! An original setting? Check! A good theme song? Check!

    It would seem the pushed the limits of the PSP a little :) And the whimsical feeling of Akihabara sure sounds good!

  • can it still has the same population after ishihara anime/manga ban?

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