We Played Akiba’s Beat, But Did it Free us of our Otaku Delusions?

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

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Akiba's Beat

Akiba’s Beat was recently announced as the spiritual successor of Akiba’s Trip II: Undead and Undressed. Operation Rainfall had a special opportunity to play the game behind closed doors at E3 2016. Guiding us through the lively streets of a fictional vision of  Akihabara, was Director Kohta Takano. However, the setting and the “Akiba” title are pretty much where the similarities between the two games ended.

Akiba's Beat

Akiba’s Beat hosts a much larger range of game mechanics compared to its previous installment. The most notable is the action-RPG battle system. Akiba’s Beat seems to borrow cues from other titles. Such as, the fast paced battle system found in the Tales series. As the player approaches enemies in a dungeon, they’ll go to a battle screen where they’ll control one member of their four character party. With a combination of button presses, the player is able to land attacks freely on enemies. However, this does decrease the character’s stamina. Additionally, the player will get the opportunity to land special attacks to the tune of each character’s individual music track. These tracks are discovered for each character throughout the main story.

Akiba's Beat

In Akiba’s Beat, the Akihabara district has been affected by delusions. After playing through the build, I felt like we needed to have a better explanation about what these delusions are and how they affect the world around them. Otakus in the game can attach themselves to whatever is popular. During our playthrough, it was the maid cafe. What this means is the “maid” delusion infects the district. You’ll notice the NPC’s happiness increase, as well as, more and more maids appearing around town. However, these are only distractions. It’s up to the team to put a stop to this and fight the delusions. Could it be that Director Takano is trying to tell us something? I feel like there’s a deeper story to the game than just Otaku culture and fighting delusions. At least, I want there to be.

Akiba's Beat

You see, after speaking with Takano and playing the build, I wasn’t left with that excitement I had walking into the room. I want there to be more than just RPG battles and Otaku puns. Akiba’s Beat is begging to be something more. If Takano is attempting to tell a story of Otaku culture,  I feel like this could be an amazing story and experience. Especially, if he’s underlining the fact that we could all be stuck in our delusions. However, as of right now, we will be left speculating untill Acquire is ready to announce more information about the game.

Akiba’s Beat is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in Winter 2016.