Inside The Recording Booth With Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed

By Spencer . May 9, 2014 . 10:01am

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Starting with Wild ARMs 4, Xseed has localized dozens of Japanese games and Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed takes the prize for the most voiceover lines. The action game set in Akihabara has almost 10,000 recorded English lines and took 16 days of voiceover sessions. As a comparison, Ys: The Oath in Felghana only took four days.

 

“This is the biggest voiceover project ever at Xseed. Part of the reason we’re doing it is we feel this game can appeal to more of a mainstream audience and just not otakus,” said Executive Vice President Ken Berry. “This project would be very easy to just put in English subtitles, but we all feel this game is a lot of fun to play and we want to make it as accessible as possible.”

 

“We figured putting in English voiceovers was the best way to do that. We consider it a long term investment. Hopefully, it will pay off with more sales in the long term.”

 

akiba_compare_003_jpn akiba_compare_003_en

Nana (Japanese on the left, English on the right)

 

I visited Cup of Tea Productions on the last day where Cindy Robinson was recording for Nana, the protagonist—or should I say “brotagonist’s”—little sister. If you’ve ever wondered how the process works, the voice actor or actress sits in a soundproof booth with a window facing everyone else in the session. Through an intercom, the director says what line they are recording and the actor plays it, like, “Cheer up brotag!” (The game has a lot of “bro” puns including calling the protagonist “brotector” and “brozen one.”)

 

If necessary, the director paints a picture of the emotion that goes along with the line or adds context from the game to explain what’s going on.

 

Meanwhile, a sound engineer copies the English line and matches it to the Japanese counterpart. For battle sounds, the two waveforms have to be around the same length to fit the animations. Xseed’s team was there, too, just in case a line needed to be changed on the fly. “According to keikaku,” an Internet meme from Death Note, was supposed to be one of the lines in Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, but the recording was too long. Everyone in the room started throwing out suggestions like “Just as keikaku” and after around five options “According to plan” with a jokingly serious tone was chosen.

 

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed plays on the older brother/younger sister anime trope and I sat in on one scene where the older brother may have gotten too close to Nana. There were a lot of laughs during this section. Robinson also recorded voiceovers for generic characters like a police officer since players can earn the ability to swap different character’s voices.

 

If you prefer exploring Akihabara in Japanese, Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed has an option for Japanese voiceovers. The English version will ship with dual audio including on Vita since the game is stored on an 4 GB cart. (*Correction: The cart is 4 GB and not 8 GB as written earlier.)

 

akiba_compare_004_en akiba_compare_004_jpn

From the opening of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed

 

From the parts I’ve seen so far, Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed reminded me of Excel Saga, since it pokes fun at anime culture. The protagonist starts the game strapped down and captured by Synthisters, vampire-like creatures that lure you in with the promise of collectable figures. While you can plead for your life, you can also demand that the Synthisters give you the figures you came for in the first place.

 

“We found so many Gundam references [Hatsune] Miku references, everything you can think of that Acquire themselves put in,” said Tom Lipschultz, Localization Specialist. “The whole game itself is making fun of Internet culture, Akihabara culture, Japanese pop culture, and basically nerd culture altogether. It seemed like thematically it was appropriate to basically localize it in the same manner. We kept pretty much all of the original references in the game and snuck in a few of our own.”

 

Xseed’s script includes a Star Trek joke where one of the nerd characters in the game yells “Shaka, when the walls fell.”

 

akiba_compare_005_en akiba_compare_005_jpn

From the opening of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed

 

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed has crossovers like advertisements for Disgaea 4 on Vita, Conception II, and Square Enix’s Asia-only Million Arthur series as one of the loading screens. All of the loading screens are intact in the English version with the Japanese text. “The only thing we couldn’t do is when you’re viewing flyers in the game they are accompanied by their [store] hours and address and stuff like that. We weren’t allowed to actually feature that and had to remove the text, but the flyers themselves are still there,” Lipschultz explained.

 

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Xseed was able to keep all of the actual landmarks and buildings in Akihabara, since Acquire got the rights to them. Players will be able to walk by retro game haven Super Potato and Sega’s Akihabara arcade. There are some differences like Mister Donut is Sister Donut and for some reason Acquire’s office is a shrine, but otherwise Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is a detailed recreation of Akihabara. Well, with vampire like creatures you fight. The battle system is easy to pick up and plays like a beat ‘em up. The main difference is you need to use strip actions to finish off an enemy by whittling different articles of clothing down to 0 HP.

 

Speaking of strip action, Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed has some brand new content for the West. The game has unlockable strip portraits which you can use as wallpaper for the game’s menu, which is designed like a cell phone. The Japanese version only had female strip portraits, but Xseed’s release includes brand new strip portraits for male characters.

 

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is slated for release this summer on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.


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  • Manny Being Manny

    “”This is the biggest voiceover project ever at Xseed. Part of the reason we’re doing it is we feel this game can appeal to more of a mainstream audience and just not otakus,” said Executive Vice President Ken Berry.”

    Yeah, good luck getting mainstream people to play a game where you go around stripping underage looking girls and fight with anime girl pillows.

    • wyrdwad

      Two words: South Park.

      People are ready for this kind of craziness. ;)

      • DyLaN

        The “Princess Kenny” part?

        • Tarkovsky

          Mahou Shoujo Kenny Chan

        • Androu1

          Haaaaiiii

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Not really the same thing, though, considering that South Park has the advantage of being a cultural phenomenon, and one that is partly recognized for spoofing other things. Kind of like The Simpsons.

        Still, Ken is well-informed of the market in general (you would have to be, being Xseed’s EVP), so I have faith that his actual expectations in terms of sales are realistic.

      • Strid

        I can’t help but think this is probably one of the more unwise things you guys have come out and said or done lately. Not equating this to South Park, though that’s extremely terrible too, but what Ken said.

        Kudos on the dual audio though. That’s the thing keeping this from being a total shitfest, I’d imagine.

        • wyrdwad

          Hey, just because we’re trying to appeal to more people doesn’t mean we absolutely have to sell like gangbusters or the game is doomed. We spent a lot to dub this, but no more than we would’ve spent for an LE. As long as the game does reasonably well, we’ll be pleased — and we’ll stand behind the decision to put all this extra effort into it, to the bitter end! ;)

          • Strid

            Given the option I’d rather sell a young boy a BB gun instead of a doll, just makes more sense to me. Instead of trying to spruce up my dolls to be more boy appropriate, I’d take the extra money and make them even better dolls. Point being, make the LE instead and your fans would have paid you more in the long run for that than trying to entice CoD Joe to toss aside a stigma and buy a girly dress.

            Some games I could see what you guys are doing as being a good business decision, albeit an alienating one for your fans, but with this game, good luck with that.

          • wyrdwad

            Wait… how does this alienate fans? I’m really confused by that statement. We’re offering the choice of original Japanese voice track OR dub track, AND we’re adding content, AND we’re leaving all existing content intact. How can any of that alienate anyone?!

            I think you might be misinterpreting Ken’s comment — he’s not saying we’re Americanizing the game or anything, just that he intends to market this game toward EVERYONE. Not just otaku, but absolutely everyone, because this is a game that has enough variety in it and enough charm that there’s bound to be a little something for absolutely anyone.

            We didn’t make any changes to the dialogue to accommodate “CoD Joe” or anything — the dialogue is about as otaku as it gets, just like in the Japanese.

            All we’re doing is giving players more options, and really giving this game a little extra push because we believe it has the potential to go far. And while I’m sure there are those who will say “no LE, no buy”… I know for a fact that they’re greatly outnumbered by those who would say “no dub, no buy.” As well as those who would say “no sub, no buy.”

            And we’ve got those last two crowds covered.

          • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

            I might be late (and stupid to ask this), but you actually work at XSeed?

          • wyrdwad

            Yes. I’m actually the Tom Lipschultz quoted in this article, in fact. I mostly do translation and editing, but I also run the Twitter (most days) and annoy Ishaan here with my highly opinionated comments and general stubbornness. ;)

          • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

            That’s awesome. Nice to hear your inputs on some stuff here, Mr. Lipshultz.

          • Strid

            I’m just saying the idea of taking something as niche as this and pushing it to the mainstream alienates the actual fans of the game. At best, it’s a waste of potential for the final product. Even if you just market it broader, you could have instead saved on the wasted advertising and put out a LE, kept the Japanese audio, and still hired your stock of the normal, terrible North American voice actors.

            I just don’t see how this game, which I thoroughly enjoyed, has any mainstream pull at all. Regardless of how varied the gameplay is, it’s still a “perverted anime game” this time with a hint of “uncomfortable” brother and sister interaction. This is exactly the type of game that strengthens the Japanese game stigma here in the West.

            All that said, I hope it sells a million billion copies over here. We definitely need a better slice of the Japanese pie here as well as more of you localization guys gettin’ your act together and spending the money to license the original voice tracks.

          • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

            when the company dun do sub and dub ppl get mad, and when a company do both sub and dub ppl still get mad. I’m so confused lol

          • wyrdwad

            “Even if you just market it broader, you could have instead saved on the
            wasted advertising and put out a LE, kept the Japanese audio, and still
            hired your stock of the normal, terrible North American voice actors.”

            Er… are you implying that the money went to better voice-actors than what we usually use? Because while we did make a concerted effort to use different actors from our usual pool this time around, it’s not like they cost more or anything. What cost more was dubbing the game AT ALL — it has nearly 10,000 lines of spoken dialogue, when most of the games we publish have less than 2,000 at absolute maximum.

            And our version of “advertising” is almost always grass-roots, which is what we’ll be doing with this game as well. So when we say we’re aiming for a bit more mainstream appeal, we don’t mean through TV commercials or anything of the like — we mean, we’re trying to make the game more appealing to a wider audience on its own merits, by offering more options to players.

            So if we’d put out an LE, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have dubbed the game at all — it would’ve been Japanese audio only. And that DEFINITELY would’ve cut out a huge chunk of our audience — while the “Japanese audio or no buy” crowd is more vocal, the “English audio or no buy” crowd is equally huge.

            Again, I think you’re misinterpreting what Ken meant when he used the word “mainstream.” A better word would’ve been “wide.” This release is designed to have wide appeal amongst the JRPG fanbase — it covers those who refuse to buy digital, who refuse to buy physical (it really is a thing!), who refuse to buy games with only Japanese audio, who refuse to buy games with only English audio, who refuse to buy censored games, and (hopefully) who refuse to buy games that are sexist. Heck, we’re even looking into the possibility of offering dual text — play with the original Japanese text if you want! Can’t say for sure we’ll be able to pull it off, but we figure, if we CAN offer it as an option, why not try?

            The key word here is “option.” We’re giving people options on how they want to play, in hopes that by doing so, people will choose to buy this game on its own merits, without letting any personal agendas get in the way of that.

            That’s the “mainstream” appeal we’re going for here. Nothing more.

            And personally, I think giving players lots of options is VERY unlikely to alienate them. But if you’re part of the “no LE, no buy” crowd, I am sorry.

          • Strid

            Oh, I see. Granted, I didn’t misinterpret Ken so much as he picked a terrible batch of words to explain what you guys are doing here. Using words like “assessable” and “mainstream” is rather dangerous anymore when those terms usually mean to dumb something down and take substance away from a game to sell it to a larger audience. Both of which you guys have done so please forgive my quick assumption that you were about to take a perfectly fine game and screw it up.

            Moving forward though, I hope more of your games have this many options. I’d spend more on your stuff than importing if I didn’t have to endure such terrible voice acting or worry about digital only releases.

          • wyrdwad

            “Both of which you guys have done”

            Wait, what? When have we ever taken something away from a game or dumbed something down? We’ve never cut content from any title we’ve ever released, to my knowledge. If anything, we’re kind of known for ADDING content — Brave Story received voice acting and new quests, Valhalla Knights 3 got multiplayer, the Ys games on PC got widescreen support and achievements, etc.

            If you’re referring to the removal of Japanese voice-acting, that’s never done by choice but by necessity due to licensing or policy issues with either the original developer or the platform-holder (or both). And we’ve never removed voice-acting without replacing it — we don’t do the whole “partial dub” thing that a lot of other companies do.

            The only things that come to mind as far as removed content go are the ages of the characters from the Senran Kagura Burst and Shinovi Versus profile screens (which I fought with all my might, but alas, I was unsuccessful!), and the removal of the opening vocal theme from Unchained Blades (which was because we couldn’t get the license for it, so again, we had no choice).

          • Strid

            “When have we ever taken something away from a game or dumbed something down?”

            As recent as making the your version of Valhalla Knights 3 an easier game than the original version.

          • wyrdwad

            Ah, yes, that.

            I still maintain that we actually added to VK3 rather than taking away — we did not decrease the actual challenge of the game at all, we simply broke down the barrier to entry by fixing issues that Japanese fans unanimously hated. I believe the later Gold release in Japan featured these same changes, in fact.

            We indeed should’ve included a toggle, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. And that’s not a mistake we’ll ever be making again.

            One slight oversight does not establish a pattern, either. Especially when compared to the vast amount of content we’ve added to games throughout our history as a company.

        • wyrdwad

          Oh! Brittany brought up that you guys are probably thinking that when we say “appeal to more of a mainstream audience,” you probably think we mean “change/Americanize the dialogue.” That is definitely NOT what we mean, however — when we say “appeal to more of a mainstream audience,” we specifically mean through MARKETING. We’re going to try to market this game not just to the niche crowd, but to everybody.

          The game translation itself, though, absolutely has the appropriate level of “Japanophile” to it, and is very accurate not just to the dialogue of the original game, but the tone as well. No worries there whatsoever. ;)

    • Renaldi Saputra

      I guess he meant “general animanga fans”
      bcos otaku means something like “hardcore”

  • Herok♞

    That is actually pretty impressive, I am glad Xseed went above and beyond with this game, they will definitely have my support.

    • Ric Vazquez

      Same here

  • mojack411

    Funny, I’m actually going to Japan to study abroad this semester so I’ll be seeing Akihabara first hand haha. I don’t have a Vita, and I don’t plan on bringing my PS3, so I won’t be able to compare it to the game, though.

    • Tarkovsky

      Be prepared. You’re either going to be underwhelmed or overwhelmed depending on your preconceptions of the place. I know you’ll probably think I’m crazy because I’m just a stranger babbling but I’d advice you go there with an open mind and forget whatever image you had of Akihabara to fully enjoy it.

      • waku waku

        Tarkovsky speaks the truth. Having preconceptions would hurt your experience, because Japan really isn’t like what foreigners would typically think of it as.

        • Slickyslacker

          MatsuRikka is too adorable.

          …sorry, had to say something.

      • mojack411

        I’ve actually already been there before, but only for a brief while so I didn’t really get the full experience. Plus it was just a vacation. I made sure I didn’t have any preconceptions when I went there and was actually pleasantly surprised when I still found it an amazing place. I loved traveling Japan in general too as all the locales were amazing and all the people so nice. I probably should’ve mentioned that in my comment.

        I meant more on the fact that since I’ll actually be living there this time around that it’s going to be a completely new experience. That and I’ll have time to explore Akihabara more fully.

        • Tarkovsky

          Ahh i see! Alright then just ignore everything I said haha. Now I really sound like a crazy babbling stranger. Hope you have fun living in Tokyo! :) Though it’s going to get reeally hot and humid soon :/

          • mojack411

            No worries, its always nice seeing people look out for each other. And I’m from Texas so I’m pretty used to hot and humid, although I’ll know it’ll be even more so in Japan.

  • Firion Hope

    Really crazy that they’re doing dual voices and putting so much effort into it. I really hope it pays off for them!

    Also I had heard of 8gb Vita carts but didn’t know for sure if they were a thing, that’s awesome! Why couldn’t they use it for FFX/X2 HD :/

    Also I still laugh that this was announced for localization only a couple weeks after some Destructoiders (one of which is also named spencer) did an import stream of it courtesy of play asia

  • Andar

    I’m amazed that this is going to have voice overs at all, but certainly not disappointed. This looks to be an incredibly thorough localization mixed with commitment to the original content, which I think many will appreciate.

  • Tyler Beale

    “…since the game is stored on an 8GB cart.”

    I really hope that doesn’t mean we have to pay $60 for a Vita game…(like with RE Revelaitons on the 3DS). Also, there goes 5 hours of download time….God, I really need that 64GB card. And Sony needs to bring it to the States. (*sigh*…Ok, EU too…..)

    since the game is stored on an 8 GB cart.
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2014/05/09/inside-recording-booth-akibas-trip-undead-undressed/#dpDA6FrDY1PStfkf.99
    since the game is stored on an 8 GB cart.
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2014/05/09/inside-recording-booth-akibas-trip-undead-undressed/#dpDA6FrDY1PStfkf.99

  • Anime10121

    Must…wait…on….PS4 port :/

    Failure to resist urge for PS3 version rising…

    GAWDS Y U LUK SO GUD AKIBA TRIP?!

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      Yes, I am in the same boat. They putting so much work into this version though! I still might wait for the PS4 version down the line (hopefully) or just grab the Vita version.

    • Theob Vious Choice

      Yeah, I know the feeling, well, here’s some incentive, the PS4 isn’t getting a price drop until 2015 if you haven’t bought one yet, and it’s just now getting the start of announcements from the lower-tier (and arguably better) JRPG companies. By then we should have a fairly solid lineup of decent Japanese games, so I’m holding out for that…. or at least I will try to…. so hard.

      • Anime10121

        Too late ;) I’ve had a PS4 since last year :P

        • Theob Vious Choice

          Yeah, perhaps that will be a good move regardless down the line, usually the later models are inferior. I thankfully bought the first gen PS3 so that’s fully backwards compatible and has 4 controller ports. What do you bet the next PS4 model will downgrade it, lol.

          • Anime10121

            Not much to downgrade considering it doesnt do much besides playing games/movies anyway ;p

            I mean, its technically already a downgrade from the PS3 as far as capabilities outside gaming go (just with the added ability to stream from the console itself)xD

          • Theob Vious Choice

            Meh, I’m cool with that personally; I hate the notion that a game system has to do things other than play games. I mean, it’s excellent that it can; but I don’t think it should be given all too much thought.
            I’d take the less emphasis on things outside of gaming as an upgrade on my end, lol. To each his/her own I suppose, whatever is most fun for the respective party. :P

  • chibidw

    “Nana (Japanese on the left, English on the right)”

    Damn good thing you guys pointed that out, I almost wasn’t sure.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Honestly going to buy it just because of this. Excellent job not half assing it, guys.

  • http://hanzoadam.tumblr.com/ Hanzoadam

    I’m putting off the English version till the PS4 version is a 100% no go in the west

    • MaximDualBlade

      doing that could make the ps4 version a 100% no go

  • Eslende

    Attempting to make a push for mainstream with Akiba’s Trip of all things seems like an awfully odd move. That said, I can’t complain about a job well done. Hope there’s not too many of those bro puns though.

    • wyrdwad

      Nah, the little sister’s role is pretty minor overall.

      And I honestly feel this game has a lot of mainstream appeal. I mean, it’s kooky satire with a lot of irreverent humor and giant street brawls, AND it’s like virtual tourism for people who’ve always wanted to go to Japan but never had the chance — what’s not to love? ;)

      • Tarkovsky

        I really love games that that have environments modeled after Tokyo. Binary Domain, the Yakuza and SMT games come to mind. It really brings a tear to my eye when I’m able to recognize the actual locations in those games.

        • Odin

          We all had dreams that this was going to be THE AKIBA simulator…

          Sadly, it didn’t turn out as good as imagined. It’s still not a bad representation, but having played the PSP original, it just seems like more of the same with added stores.

          If it was open world then maybe the reception would have been more interesting.

      • Crazy_O

        Love the effort you guys put into the game!

        I usually don’t care about english dubs (I live in a non-english speaking country), but I will try them in a second play-through because I’m curious to hear how you guys do dubs. It also adds more value to the purchase, so what is not to like here.

    • specs10

      I think it makes sense to try for mainstream recognition regardless of how likely it is to get it. Xseed is filling a niche right now that only a very small number of publishers are attempting to fill. If they can make that niche bigger, then everybody wins–they make more money, and we probably get more unusual games. Right?

  • Alex Sargeant

    I really need someone to sound out ‘Synthisters’. None of that word falls out of my mouth with any semblance of comfort.

    I do think the statement about ‘mainstream appeal’ is weird, but since they were actively trying to get ‘According to Keikaku’ in there I’m not at all worried. JP Voiceover is great too. REALLY great.

  • British_Otaku

    The localisation direction taken seems to be awesome and the ability to play with Japanese voices is pretty cool too… I wouldn’t mind buying this if I happened to have a Vita (any moment with the library building up this year, not that Persona 4 Golden isn’t a big incentive to begin with).

    • Tarkovsky

      I’m in the same boat as you. In fact, I’ve already ordered Nippon Ichi’s Hotaru no Nikki from Japan and I don’t even have a Vita LOL. Definitely picking up P4G as well.

      • DesmaX

        The limited edition will come with a download code, so you’ll need a japanese account in order to play it

        • Tarkovsky

          I’m pretty sure it was stated in one of Nippon Ichi’s Japanese twitter posts that the box edition comes with a card.

      • Slickyslacker

        ;A; Seriously? I thought I was the only one. I’ve ordered the FF X model Vita just recently, but it still hasn’t arrived. Needless to say, I’ll have it by June 19th, when htoL#NiQ releases…which I have on pre order, of course.

        Hotaru no Nikki was definitely the breaking point in my finally caving in to get a Vita.

        • Tarkovsky

          High five! Yup, I caved in just like you did. :D I just couldn’t resist that adorable chibi Mion. She officially tops my list of cutest game characters haha. On a side note, I still haven’t decided on what color Vita to get. :(

      • British_Otaku

        Almost forgot about Hotaru no Nikki… I enjoyed the demo on their website and should make that and Shinovi Versus’ Nyuu Nyuu DX Pack part of my library whether or not I have a Vita this year or not. >_>

    • wyrdwad

      It’s on PS3 as well, remember!

      • British_Otaku

        A fair point, somehow discussion about the game seems driven around the idea of it being a Vita exclusive (chatter about the far off PS4 release aside). I guess I’ll get it for that platform and maybe a portable copy if I end up loving the game enough.

  • Max Eisenhardt

    Kinda wish the same amount of work was put in towards localizing Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus…..

    • nonscpo

      What do you mean? Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus IS getting localized!

      • Max Eisenhardt

        I know that.

        I meant the fact that Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus is NOT getting a English voice over at all and yet this does….

        XSEED is betting the farm on Akiba’s Trip, a franchise that is pretty much new to NA and basically an unknown quantity while Senran Kagura already has one game under its belt and a very dedicated and loyal fanbase yet its getting the quick, and dirty localization job.

        Yet SK is getting a limited physical release while AT2 will be readily available at retail. AT2 had the extras/LE portion of its budget go to voice acting, yet SK has to settle for a limited physical release with assorted goodies that most will toss aside later.

        I do not see how a game about a Japanese teenager running around Akihabara fighting and then stripping Vampires with references to other obscure anime related things is anymore mainstream than well endowed Ninja fighting one another.

        The only real reason I see is that SK:SV is stuck on a dead console (Vita) in the west while Akiba has the benefit on being on the PS3, I firmly believe the PS4 version of Akiba will stay in Japan.

        • nonscpo

          I see what you mean there both Japanese game set in Japanese settings. However id argue that most Senran Kagura fans are purist and would preffer the game subbed; weras with Akiba’s Trip is more like an open world sandnox game. So my thoughts are Xseed is trying to fill a in a niche in a genre.

  • Kayseur

    This sounds good, and I didn’t even know they already had 8Gb cart for the Vita, that’s nice. Hopefully more games will be able to use it, like the Sly trilogy or FF X HD.

    Though… do we have any word about a EU version yet? I wouldn’t mind importing it but if we’re getting physical in EU down the line, it’d be a bit salty.

  • Kornelious

    Wow, it sounds like they really put a lot of work into this game. I thought that this would end up being subbed or something for being such a…..well…Japanese game, but instead they’re imbracing that and even taking it further for fans of that kind of stuff. If only some other companies could follow their example because this is pretty cool (And it souds like they had fun while doing it)

    I didn’t know much about the game’s story to begin with but it seems a lot funnier than I expected, and the fact that they were able to keep all the Japanese svertisements AND jokey references is awesome.

    The only thing I ask of XSeed now is to also localize the PS4 version….(I don’t want to have to buy the game THREE times now!) And maybe a Limited Edition. But still they deserve all the gratitude they’re given :)

  • Renaldi Saputra

    “This is the biggest voiceover project ever at Xseed. Part of the reason we’re doing it is we feel this game can appeal to more of a mainstream audience and just not otakus.”

    huh? I don’t think so… this is clearly game aimed for otaku, even in japan.

    • RedSuisei

      I certainly think a publisher where most of the staff has played the game will know more about that than someone who likely haven’t even touched the game at all.

      • Renaldi Saputra

        I expect the “mainstream audience” here means general animanga fans. From seeing the contents back then, more or less I had expected what this game is intended for…

        still, I can only expect, not being smartass

  • Schiller

    I didn’t even knew that this gets localized :O I hope they’ll keep the awesome cover art!

    • surakian

      They are!

      • Schiller

        Great!

  • KuroNathan

    I’ll admit, this wasn’t on my radar originally but now I’m actually interested. This and the fact that they added the male strip scenes back in

  • Yan Zhao

    Now the question is, Vita or PS3?

    • Slickyslacker

      Vita, if you have one. It’s originally a mobile game, and the PS3 version is a port with slightly lessened aesthetics.

      Of course, the PS3 version is still entirely fine. Myself, I’ll be getting the Vita version at launch…and if they bring it over, the PS4 version as well.

      • Yan Zhao

        As long as the visuals of the Vita version is on par with the PS3′s then Vita it is, I was just worried the VIta was a downgraded version since PS3 is obviously more powerful.

        • wyrdwad

          Nope, the two versions look almost identical. No worries there!

        • Slickyslacker

          Actually, just the opposite. Like wyrdwad said, they’re essentially identical, but the game doesn’t function at a higher performance rate, even on a more powerful console. Allegedly, stretching it to fit any TV screen causes for some unsightly visual issues.

          They’re correcting this particularly for the PS4 version, upgrading the draw distance and monitor based graphics.

        • British_Otaku

          It always comes down to what is the lead platform and how well optimised the game is. The 3DS has shared feature identical versions of Monster Hunter, E.X Troopers and One Piece Unlimited games with the Wii, PS3, Vita and Wii U which run perfectly fine.

          Here, the Vita is the lead platform and probably the ideal platform to play it on if the touchscreen (and touch pad) are well used.

          • wyrdwad

            They’re barely used at all, actually. This is a game developed with buttons in mind, and Acquire did well not shoehorning any unnecessary touchscreen stuff into the experience. (Though the Vita version does have an AR mode!)

          • British_Otaku

            Interesting, so there isn’t much missed regardless of whatever platform I choose to get the game on, though an AR Mode is novel enough to make me consider a second copy on the Vita more highly. It is still a bit of a missed opportunity if they didn’t really use the touchscreen at all, I’m not expecting gimmicks but anything to make up for lacking a second shoulder button on both sides or navigate things quicker is good.

            E.X. Troopers benefits quite a bit from the touchscreen interface on 3DS (just happen to be playing it now), even if it is minor things which make things more organic like seeing the character on a phone as you fiddle through mail on the bottom screen, having a decently sized map in your face or getting through menus more effectively but I still liked the AR mode from the game enough to print out AR Cards on photo paper… They look real nice.

          • wyrdwad

            “It is still a bit of a missed opportunity if they didn’t really use the
            touchscreen at all, I’m not expecting gimmicks but anything to make up
            for lacking a second shoulder button on both sides or navigate things
            quicker is good.”

            Honestly, the shoulder buttons are barely used in either version. The controls in this game are kept simple and accessible — easy to learn, hard to master, just the way they should be!

    • vault2049

      I already have the Vita Japanese game (runs very smooth and looks good, recommended if you don’t have it) so I’ll get the PS3 version in August

  • surakian

    I had been on the fence before. “A brawler with a bunch of stripping? No way!” but then they added dual audio & the male strip portraits in and I said “This is true equality! I must support a game like this!” And so I moved Akiba’s Trip from “save for later” to my cart on Amazon. Thank you XSeed.

  • klkAlexar

    Unless FS adds it to their website before E3, I’m going digital so it’s a good thing that I splurged on the 64GB card. Although the game is actually less than 4GB.

  • TheExile285

    Dual audio? I might need to do do two playthroughs. Really looking forward to this. :D

    • KazukiNanbu

      you play games multiple times if they have dual audio?

      • TheExile285

        Not all the time but some times.

      • British_Otaku

        At least with anime, I watch a show a second time if both voiceovers approach competent or I don’t know what is good.

        Dual audio often “doubles” the value of a game if the second performance is strong, has a cast resonates with you and the overall experience is good.
        The Wonderful 101 is a case of a game that I will play a ton of times before I even consider adjusting the voices as the mechanics are darn good… While Bravely Default is a case where the game offers the option to watch cutscenes in any language with any subtitle option immediately after the first encounter… While it makes more sense to replay the game so the scenes have context, the game makes it less of a reason to replay it.

  • Repede91

    I`s cool Xseed is going out of their way to add content targeted toward female players, and tha Acquire seems to have been open to doing so as well.

  • DesmaX

    “This is the biggest voiceover project ever at Xseed. Part of the reason
    we’re doing it is we feel this game can appeal to more of a mainstream
    audience and just not otakus,”

    So… Is the gameplay getting any changes? Looked at a video of it, and dear lord, battles took forever.

    If it’s still like that I doubt it will have bigger appeal

    • Renaldi Saputra

      I guess what he meant is “general animanga fans” or “general Japanese games fans” since many of aforementioned general fans don’t play games aimed for otaku which are usually being on PS Vita (maybe VN is included). But, still, this game takes place in akihabara, a city that animanga fans usually call “otaku city”. The anime cultures are still very dense, also jokes from anime.

      There’s no way ppl who only play COD or any military games will like this game I think

      • DesmaX

        But, if the gameplay is a bore, it’s not going to appeal to anyone

        • Renaldi Saputra

          nah it depends on the ppl who play it. If they’re a big fan of anime, they can enjoy it even though some flaws. If they’re normal gamers who don’t usually play japanese games except pokemon or mario, then I can’t say they will enjoy, not even a bit I think

          • DesmaX

            Sure, if you’re selling it for your regular niche audience.

            But going all this way to appeal to a bigger audience (Who knows, maybe this has the chance to get fans of Namco Anime games interested, for example), you really need to offer a good game.
            But Wyrdwad there answered my question already, so that’s cool

          • Renaldi Saputra

            he’s right, but seeing how normal gamers behave now, they are usually stubborn, they just look and say “man that’s boring” and then it’s the end for them, without even touching it first. Also some of them really care of the story, if the story is shallow, then they won’t appreciate. Well, that’s what I experienced from observing many games forum in general

          • Tarkovsky

            Sad fact. :(

          • Renaldi Saputra

            It’s true after all.
            For proof, just show it to your normal gamer friends, all they’ll usually say is just “what’s that game? hentai games? you’re such a pervert lol.” and then bashing or mocking you, before touching the game first, then leave.

          • DesmaX

            Well, games are supposed to be fun and help you pass time.

            If someone looks at a game and don’t think it looks interessing, they’ll automatically ignore it (I mean, time playing that is time that could be used playing something they like).

            At least that’s how I see it

          • Renaldi Saputra

            people had different preferences. But from seeing many ppl comments and what they like, then we can expect what those gamers like or don’t like in general.

            there are many games that don’t look interesting, boring or repetitive by the look, but when someone try play it for real, those expectations are usually gone, and start to enjoy it.

            note that what Wyrdwad said was only intended for a person, but for another person? We still don’t know.
            Depends on what type of game they like and don’t like

    • wyrdwad

      That might be the difference between watching a general let’s play or first impressions video from someone who’s either not very good at the game or can’t read the Japanese tutorial messages and thus doesn’t know HOW to play it, and watching a video from someone who knows what he/she is doing.

      If you know what you’re doing, battles in this game are really quick (barring the enormous 1-on-30 brawls, anyway). And incredibly fun. And satisfying. And dynamic.

      If you don’t… they can take forever, and be really repetitive.

      This is also a game that’s just in general much, MUCH better to play than to watch. I tried showing it to a friend of mine, and was having a ball… but she didn’t think it looked very good.

      Until she actually had the controller in her hands.

      • DesmaX

        Well, if you say so. I was planning to pick on release, anyway; so I’ll see for myself.

        Good luck with marketing. It can be hard to do so if the game plays better than it looks

  • Theob Vious Choice

    Man, it’s really nice that they’re actually putting thought into it. I bought this game in Japanese for Vita and I really wish I bought it for PS3. It’s definitely a game to be played on a console, on a large screen. Don’t make the same mistake I did and decide “The stripping thing would be a bit too awkward to be walked in on.” it’s really more goofy than suggestive imo. Unless you happen to only have a Vita, then I can understand buying it portable.
    All in all, definitely glad they’re giving me an excuse to buy the game over again, and it’s excellent that they’re actually putting some modicum of thought into it. Most dubbing companies just get people who seem semi-competent, put them in a room and make them imitate the Japanese seiyuu to incredibly awkward effect. It’s great that it’s dual audio too, excellent.

  • vault2049

    Well, I already cleared the Japanese version of the game. I’m not very fond of dubs, but will play it on English once I get the game in August to get the feel of it and see if they they did a, at least, decent job.

    • michel

      Is the gameplay any good?

      • wyrdwad

        I actually just summed up my own personal thoughts on the game in the NeoGAF forums, so I’ll copy/paste here. I am biased, of course, being an XSEED employee — but anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I speak my mind, and would never hype something just to sell if it I didn’t think it deserved the attention.

        Basically, Akiba’s Trip a brawler/beat-em-up. You’re a nerd in Akihabara who applied for a really shady-sounding part-time job, and… sure enough, it was a fake job listing: instead of being interviewed, you were strapped to a table and transformed into a manmade energy vampire called a “Synthister.”

        Fortunately, you were saved from your fate by a mysterious
        Synthister-hunter girl who showed up and partially reversed the effects of your transformation. You’re still weak to sunlight, but you’re no longer prone to fits of violent rage — and you even get to keep your superhuman strength!

        So you and your nerdy friends (as well as the mysterious girl) are now on a mission to uncover the source of the Synthister plague in Akihabara (which you accomplish with the help of an experimental Synthister-identifying app for your in-game smartphone). Once you’ve found Synthisters, the only way to defeat them is to strip off all of their clothes, exposing their skin to sunlight and causing them to dissolve.

        Combat involves using makeshift everyday objects (books of manga, motherboards, baseball bats, glowsticks, sticks of churrascaria meat, etc.) as weapons and beating the crap out of your opponents with high, mid and low attacks. These attacks deplete the enemy’s three HP bars, which represent their headgear, shirt and pants, respectively. Once one of their HP bars is at or near 0, you can press and hold the corresponding attack button to attempt to strip that article of clothing — and if there are multiple weakened articles of clothing nearby, you can perform strip combos to strip them all in a row (and possibly strip their underwear as well!).

        There are also “unison strips” where you and your NPC partner can team up to absolutely wreck an enemy, as well as different “strip styles” you can take on (tickle strip, telekinetic strip, kame-hame-strip, etc.) to keep things interesting. ;)

        Stripped clothing is torn at first, but by reading various guidebooks you can purchase from the many real-life Akihabara shops included in the game, you can learn to remove various types of clothing articles WITHOUT tearing them, thus essentially stealing them to add to your own personal wardrobe.

        As you might expect, the story is all very tongue-in-cheek, but also surprisingly well-written with very clever dialogue and lots of social satire about otaku culture in Japan (as well as internet culture in general).

        And the combat is pretty chaotic and fun, sometimes pitting you against dozens of enemies at once.

        It’s good stuff, and a LOT more fun than I ever thought it could be going into it. It’s weirdly addictive and absolutely hilarious.

  • SerendipityX

    I am disappoint, no comments on Xseed’s majestic efforts in manservice?! Consider the vita version of this game preordered from someone who had no interest in the game previously.

    • Anime10121

      Lol, oh Seren, never change xD

  • greg_67

    Surprised the question wasn’t brought up if any plans to bring over the PS4 especially since they added stream interaction for that version.

    • Anime10121

      They’ve already previously addressed that by saying that their deal is only for the PS3/Vita versions, though they will look into it.

  • Judge Magister

    Thank you Xseed! Dual audio is always appreciated and cool idea on adding the male portraits!

    I hope this will meet expectation for Xseed since they are putting this much effort in this localization…and for Acquire too. I love their style! Their games always have this wacky and hilarious atmosphere.

    By the way there’s an Acquire shrine in-game?! When I get the game I’ll go there everyday praying for Shinobido 3 to happen! ;__; lol.

  • Tincho Kudos

    We need to support this! Xseed is doing an excellent job here

  • http://www.play-asia.com/?affiliate_id=1573221 Ultrapieguy

    Ah, I cannot wait for this game. I am pre-ordering it for the VIta as soon as I can.

  • Shady Shariest

    Yupo! :< They have ads for Disgaea 4: Return?

    • Anime10121

      Yep, they already said none of the ad content is getting cut :D

      • Shady Shariest

        Yupo. It even reads there… Ah! And a lucky event someone who might have a better memory than me replied…

        Can’t for the death of me remember if D4′s Vita-release was this summer of fall…You know?

  • Neppygear

    I was already way sold on this, but added manservice makes me even solder.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Is it bad..that I do this by moonlight and shop buy daylight? The vamps never gave a good fight, because I’m the one named Stripper Moon

  • Kotori Itsuka

    I wonder, should I get this for ps3, or vita? If there’s cross save, then maybe both

    • wyrdwad

      It does indeed have cross save functionality!

      • Kotori Itsuka

        Really!? Omg, I love you!

  • leingod

    Guess I’m avoiding the guys in this game, then :P … cool for the added diversity, though!

    Now we just need a release date :O

  • TheCynicalReaper

    I pre-ordered mine in March for Vita.
    This article and Tom being Tom made me pre-order another copy for PS3
    Wish I could support it more. This kind of effort completely blows other anime game publishing companies out of the water.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Something a bit… off about the font choice. It seems a bit unsuited for dialog (looks normal for non-dialog stuff though).

    Oh well, that’s a very minor problem.

    • RedSuisei

      I find the font look… weird. In the screenshot with choices, the word ‘willing’ looks bad, and the ‘s’ in ‘please’ looks too narrow compared to the other letters.

      It’s minor, but I do hope they can do something about that since there’s still a long time before release.

    • Senka

      Overall, it looked fine at first, but…
      The more I look at it, the bigger and more obvious of a problem it becomes. This random thickness and spacing for each letter is not a good choice.

      Maybe it’s trying to look silly, but to me it just looks unprofessional and awful. The word “willing” just showcases it at its worst.

      But it’s not the end of the world. It’s tolerable, and it shouldn’t make the game less fun or anything.

      Besides, it may not be 100% intentional. I’ve followed fan translations of games before. Sometimes they have to go with a certain font style or spacing because of how the game was created, and they have to go with the choice that sucks less.

    • wyrdwad

      The font’s not finalized at all. Remember, this game isn’t coming out for months yet. What you see is from the absolute earliest English build of the game.

      We’re aware of the issues with the font, and are working with Acquire to improve it before release, so no worries!

      • Audie Bakerson

        Thanks.

        Just to make sure, the male images are the “we’re actually hoping to make up for it by actually adding something
        — but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself there, and I don’t want to get
        anyone’s hopes up if it turns out not to be possible.” you mentioned right?

        • wyrdwad

          Yep! At the time, we had a tentative “sure, we’ll do it” from Acquire, but nothing more. We had no idea what to expect, and were uncertain when we’d be getting images from them, and what to expect from those images.

          We’ve since seen the finalized images, though, and… yeah, they totally went above and beyond the call of duty with them. They are exactly as good as the female strip portraits. It’s amazing. ;)

          • Audie Bakerson

            Thanks again.

  • DoSHachiko

    It’s pretty understandable that they have to go to such lengths to get it localized. ; A ; I really loved playing the PSP version, and it was so much fun, despite the fact I kept getting lost because of the damn missions. :<

    Can't wait for it to come out, though. c: Already preordered the PS3 version.

  • AlphaSixNine

    Any game with dual audio puts a smile on my face. Thanks based XSeed.

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    Xseed = My Hero

  • Hexodious

    Ah, I love you dual audio. I hate playing games with some Japanese brats mumbling shit while i’m concentrated on the game.

  • Kai2591

    Glad to know they’re working very seriously on this localizing this game. Loving Xseed more and more now :)

    Btw, the choices of dialogue and all those references seems a lot of fun XD

  • Zoozbuh

    I am so, so excited that this will have an English dub! I love XSeed for doing this and I hope it pays off for them. I wouldn’t mind sub only, but this actually makes it an insta-buy for me. English voiced visual novel (well, near enough) = Very rare epic win + Take all my money

  • Belenger

    Is there any reason for the translated screens have to look quite blurry compared to the source?, are these representative to the final product or it was just a mishap with photoshop?

    • wyrdwad

      Are you referring to the text? If so, we’re aware of the issues with it and have already spoken with Acquire about addressing them.

      • Belenger

        Yes, but it’s also noticeable on the outline on the characters, not easily discernable on natural resolution but zooming in, the outline of the characters compared side to side looks blurred, that’s why I was asking if there was a problem when taking the screenshots or just really bad photoshop.

        Glad it’s being looked into it, can’t wait for the release.

        • wyrdwad

          Ah. Not sure what would be causing that, but it’s definitely not from the game itself. Probably just compression on the screenshot itself — might have taken it with different settings or something.

          • Audie Bakerson

            If they were taken with the Vita’s screenshot function, blame that. The compression there sucks.

      • MaximDualBlade

        Tom, will the game use the touchscreen at all on the Vita?

        • wyrdwad

          Not really. It does allow you to activate Unison Strip by tapping an icon on the screen if you want, but you can also just press a button to do the same thing. And beyond that, I don’t think the touchscreen is used at all! This is definitely a game designed with buttons in mind.

          • MaximDualBlade

            Ohhhh thanks for the info. You might have gotten yourself another buyer then ;)

  • Maria Francisca Mena

    I didn’t know that you can strip males too, before I wasn’t interested in this game, because I clearly wasn’t the target, but now I want it.

  • http://www.HealyHQ.com/ HealyHQ

    Mouth-to-mouth? Aww, HELL yeah!

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