At the Tokyo Game Show in Japan, Acquire got a chance to talk about their upcoming RPG Akiba's Beat, the next entry into their Akiba series on the Tokyo Otaku Mode's panel. This part of the show discussed some of the game and showcased 30 minutes of gameplay.
The title is built to focus more on Akibahara, with the producer calling the city of Akibahara the main protagonist on the panel, and and he said the game is built to be something different than past games in the series and more of a standalone title—less of a traditional sequel. A greater focus was put on immersion with this game, and many elements are based on things you would do in Akibahara, such as collecting Idol trading cards and music, with the trading cards being actual battle items. The trading cards will unlock new special moves in combat that your characters will be able to perform.
On the panel, as originally reported by Dualshockers, it was revealed that the game was being delayed to Q1 2017 in the West. The delay happened as a result of the delay to the Japanese version to the December from a previous fall set date. Acquire says XSeed is handling the localization work.
The panel also had a lot of other details about the game, some of which we recount below.
To build Akiba's Beat, they decided that since Akibahara changes so often that, with it being 3 years since they built the map in the first Akiba's Trip, they needed to rebuild the map from the ground up. Thus the map in Akiba's Beat is not using the same map in Akiba's Trip or its direct sequel; instead, they sent the camera crews out to get all new photos and images to build it.
The gameplay shows two dungeons and it begins around the 5th hour and 46-minute mark of the stream, although discussion with the producer begins about 10 minutes before that. One thing in the game is that unlike Akiba's Trip, there are different times of day in Akiba's Beat. As you are playing you can see the time pass from noon to mid-afternoon, to evening, to midnight when everything goes dark and the stores all close down. There is no morning time available in the game; however, as your character is a neet and is sleeping during that time of day. Depending on the time of day, there are different activities you can do, as some places open or close depending on the time of day.
Characters in Akiba's Beat have affinities for certain weapons, which they are better at using than other ones. The main character favors long swords, while the first ally you meet favors dual short swords. Combat functions somewhat like the Star Ocean or Tales series in that it's real time in a separate map based on your location with creature icons being on the main map that you can avoid or attack directly. Unlike that though, you have only so many actions you can perform before you need to take a short break. In the screenshot below, you can see the number in the top right of the character's health bar area with 2, and that goes down with each attack or action until you stop to let it recharge.
Dungeons in the game appear to be based on the imagination of a person. The first one pictured above has a beat theme and is from the imagination of the primary antagonist of the game. The second one they showed is based on the imagination of an idol and is much more colorful and distinctly different feel. The set up of dungeons being based on individual's minds brings to mind the Persona series. This second one was closer to the end of the game, while the first was the opening dungeon.
Again, if you want to learn more, I suggest listening to the stream, which has a lot of cool information about the game. Akiba's Beat will be releasing this December in Japan, and in Q1 2017 in the West for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.