Asahi, protagonist of Akiba’s Beat , is self-defined several times, especially during the early hours of play, a NEET, an English term that designates people who do not study, do not work and they are not even apprenticeships.
A cute and modern way of defining the odds, if it was not that, unlike the other player’s ego, many young people today find themselves in this situation not by their own choice: by ignoring speeches on the highest systems, by the memory we do not remember a videogame hero equally overwhelming and lazy, whose only interests appear to be video games, manga and sleep until the afternoon.
Beyond this peculiar approach to Asahi’s life, however, the plot and the characters that compete to form the narrative substrate of the latest Acquire effort are very original, like a blend obtained by mixing ideas, stereotypes and narrative mice trapped here and there: the main source of inspiration, if we want to call it, is surely the Person’s saga, specifically the recent fifth chapter, but there are also hints about the cyclical repetition of the same time segment (Edge of Tomorrow and Groundhog Day) as well as between the real dimension and the dream dimension.
In short, taking advantage of the tremendous success of critics and audience of Phantom Thieves’ adventures, the development team has been trying to stage a contemporary Tokyo that has been folded on itself, where disturbances and distorted desires of citizens are likely to damage the ” the very essence of the space-temporal continuum, which a mysterious individual in cape and hat seems to be shaking hands …
If the youngest (and those who chew a good English …) will find a tide of references to otaku culture, to video games, to everything that is nowadays called “nerd”, with a very generic definition, the more navigated players will yawn because of the excessive verbosity of the protagonists, overexposing the story and the repetition of many dialogues, which strike as a hammer on points already abundantly clear even to less careful players.
The list of stereotypes also includes a familiar, tender-looking but prolonged-looking teenage couple, a couple of insecure pre-teenagers but hidden assets and a student just moved to Akihabara: Asahi and his team are therefore not shining originality and uniqueness of their characters, but, up to the fifty of the few hours needed to see one of the finals, the empathic bond that will be created with these characters will be discretionary, without sympathies and personal dislikes.
As with other aspects of production, in fact, the story behind Akiba’s Beat has not blemished but at the same time it is not even signaled for loud stortures, also supported by a discreet English dubbing and the ability to enjoy the original audio track as well.
Copy and paste
We do not think we’re wrong to get it in saying that Akiba’s Beat’s playing mechanics are a focus of two of the most beloved and sequelist games of the video game history, namely the Tales of Namco and the Atlus Person.
As we have repeatedly said on these pages, there is no shame in resuming concepts and dynamics from the best exponents of the genre: the problem, rather, is to do so badly, transforming the tribute into monstrosity.
The gambling stages outside the dungeons, here called Delusionscapes, clearly recall the last three episodes of the spin off of the Shin Megami Tensei saga , especially the last one, which we (rightly) glorified on these pages just over a month ago: it moves through the streets of Akihabara, never been so anonymous, empty and full of invisible walls, interacting with the few NPCs present to continue the plot, obtaining, from time to time, secondary missions often linked to members of the recruiting party.
In these phases, there is no brio, the impression of moving in a pulsating city, alive, with dozens of things to do: it is true that coming from Persona 5, the direct comparison would be penalizing for any product, but beyond that of it, Akiba’s Beatnever succeeds in amazement, involvement, dragging between the dungeons and the other at the pace of prolonged and sophisticated dialogues.
Once inside the combat areas, things do not improve: here the main inspiration is the frantic battle system that has contributed to the success of the Tales of, with real-time attacks, a button used for the parade and one at the dodge, with the possibility, while holding L1 in the PS4 version, to move freely in three dimensions.