Although UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late cl-r is a title that is incredibly difficult to say, I was fortunate enough to play this anime-style brawler at length.
First let us take a look at, well, the design of the game. I have to say that the art style and the animations during the fights are brilliant and fun to watch. Every move looks and feels like you are watching an anime. The feedback of each hit is well shown. Each character has a unique and distinct design. So, you probably will not have seen anything similar out there. Which is great, because it makes this fighter look unique and helps it stand out from the crowd.
What’s going on?
What I wasn’t a fan of is, that each characters specific story is told in a visual novel style in the chronicle mode. Unlike games like 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors, you just sit through text after text. No option to choose a dialogue path. There is a feature to make the text go by faster, but that makes it so fast that you can’t read it. So it is more of a “skip through everything” option.
The chronicle mode takes roughly 30 hours to get through. The overall story is set during an event called the “hollow night”. This is an event where all over Japan rifts open to another dimension inhabited by beings called voids. Some humans receive “superpowers” and are from there on in know as “In-Births”. That leads to various “In-Births” section fighting each other for their own reasons.
For those unaware, this is the fourth iteration of the game. Unlike previous versions, only one character is added and no new chronicle mode stories. This is somewhat disappointing, as all previous versions added various characters and/or modes. Otherwise, the game is what it was before. The combat is based on 3 buttons and directional input. This gives new players the option to button mash their way through, while skilled players can really get deep into it. To unleash the super attacks, by filling the respective gauge, the player either needs to get the guard mechanic down. The other option is to wait and save it for rounds 2 or 3. Who doesn’t love to finish a match with a nicely animated super attack?
So fans who have played the previous version UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late cl-r probably don’t need this one. All other fans of 2-D brawls and anime should check this game out. Please be aware that, similar to most fighting games, the learning curve skyrockets in online battles. Prepare to lose and not being able to blame it on a bad connection, because the online code has been nothing short of flawless in my time. I have had a great time battling in this Arc System Works fighting game.
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