Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Gaming Reviews: Akiba's Trip and Costume Quest 2

Akiba's Trip (PS Vita)

This game didn't suck, though it is about stylish vampire hipsters, "Synthisters"; and any game with the concept of ripping off people's clothes to defeat enemies wins just a bit for stepping outside the normal box of shoot to kill. The game idea comes from Japan and it has that insider-you-better-get-Japanese-culture feel. You play as Nanashi, you're typical Otaku high school student that gets turned into a Synthister, but with the help of Shizuku Tokikaze, the typical non-talkative girl and a Synthister herself you escape and try and uncover the plot of the ghoulish hipster race.

Your adventure has you doing the typical- and I could write typical a million times-  goal of working with a group of friends who each has a certain skill set working out of a semi-maid cafe.

The game is part dating sim, you can choose which girls to work with to take down the hipster vampire, one of which is as maid, typical. For fans of anime and manga the plot is not that far different from any that have come out before: normal high school student gets powers, life no longer normal, gets harem.

The background is Akihabra, your moves are to get people naked. Setting it apart from many titles that are out in the US is its location and combat system. Akibara is a nerd haven, where maid cafes and anime stores stretch as far as the eye can see. We don't have such a place anywhere in the US or just SoCal.

Combat, which makes the game something to pick up, involves you stripping your opponents to their panties or underwear. The game takes off everyone's clothes, not just ladies clothes. Sufficed to say combat is a bit miffed, it's not that enjoyable and tears at you, controls are very clunky when trying to take off people's pants. Weapons, including just about everything from a home office or garage sale can be used to attack enemies. Synthisters can get you to via weapons and taking your pants down.

For the RPG buff there's a good story, many side-quests and extras. For anyone wanting to try a strange title on their Vita or PS3 you have this game to laugh at. There's some typical writing, with better than average, voice work.

Praised, the game still falls at being a perfect RPG. Graphics remain undercut, finding where to go on missions can be a real hassle. Gameplay may be different, a typical story with elements seen time and again over anime after anime knocks it down. Let's just put in a pop idol here, they've been doing that since Macross.

A typical game, yes. A typical game with some really funny ideas of combat, yes. Get naked or get them naked, your choice and your battle.

Costume Quest 2

I thought an enhanced version had been rolled out at IndieCade, no it was the sequel. I'll get it right out there that the game is an old-school RPG, it's easy and can get repetitive. Graphics, the game still looks good though they are trapped in the past on par with a PS2 game. The game still was more tastier than Akiba's Trip in just being fun.

You're little kids tasked with saving Halloween from a dentist, Orel White DDS, he likes the DDS part. The game takes place after the first game and it's DLC, even explaining how it is Halloween still, the DLC took place around Christmas. As a brother and sister, Reynold and Wren and a third child added as the game goes on, must take on the forces of a mad dentist, Orel White DDS. Over the game you'll discover his nefarious scheme to destroy Halloween through time travel and go to a future ruled by him.

On the same Halloween night as the last game, your dentist brokers a deal with a time lord, no, a time warlock or wizard, he doesn't have a Tardis or a companion. The deal let's the Grubbins from the last game back to take away all the precious candy. You travel around your street and through time to stop them from coming back. You'll be in the French Quarter and a Bayou, then be thrust into a horrible version of a perfect grin future with so much teeth sculpture and teeth themed furniture that you could conceivably get ideas for your office if you are a dentist. You made the world white, without any cracks, but the smiles are all fake. Darn you, Orel White DDS! Darn you!

All new costumes are up for your cos-play this long Halloween night. Your costumes are your powers when it comes to combat and some minor problems to solve. You take on the abilities of the costume you wear and some of them are far-reaching, so far-reaching their funny. The interpertation of the Wolf-Man is none other than Micheal J Fox's. The upgrade to the  Wolf-Man costume has it donning sunglasses and a letterman jacket. When you win a fight as the Wolf-man he'll dance Thriller. His special attack, which all costumes have, though Candy Corn doesn't, is a fast paced stalking scene with a sudden , "Hello" wave from the Wolf-Man before it slashes his prey.

Costumes that make so much fun can also be used to solve minor problems like going in the dark or getting past some leaves with special abilities that they only have.

All fights make you feel like a Kaju battle is going on. You feel bigger than life as you and the battlefield change to where you tower over the city and houses are just something to step on.

The jokingly mad specials for each costume include Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Destruction. Where most enemies must take out their glasses and take their time to read it before exploding. You have a ghost barfing up other ghosts and a three-headed hot dog being more than just it's bark. It throws up condiments too. Costumes are clever and like a child on Halloween I wanted more of them like I want more candy.

Combat is a simple timed button pressing exercise. Time them to do the most damage, block and counter. You do have cards, fun to collect and look at, to help with the fight. Like other RPGs the cards grant special abilities like causing fire damage or making enemies lose an attack turn. The collectible cards would have been a great extra for those who bought a special edition of the game.

A story involving time travel and a dentist's obsession (candy) getting the best of him are kind of deep, the dentist and his former childhood self interacting our strongly emotional moments. There are many moments to laugh at too, that dentist's secret obsession was all together strange to see as a robotic fake Halloween street.

Costumes, not just for the kids made some iconic looks. You don't forget about a battle with a dentist in mecha armor with a shiny teeth ray. A security guard covered in a toothy armor sticks to the back of the mind.

It was hard to believe to see a Mel Brook's Blazing Saddles joke put in. And out of nowhere Bee and Puppycat are hidden in the background? This is a game with references to Thelonious Monk, with it's own Mr. Mink. Whose going to get that but me and people into Jazz? That game works like a cartoon for adults and kids, something you could play again and get the jokes you missed as a kid.
Orel White DDS, will go down in gaming history as one of the more strange boss fights ever too take place. It's the perfect not-so-scary game for Halloween this year or to be played for fun and give you ideas for your own Halloween party.

Reviewer was given copies by publishers for review purposes