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.