UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[cl-r] Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fast Facts

UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[cl-r]

Developer: Aksys Games
Publisher: Arc System Works
Website: http://www.aksysgames.com/undernight/
Genre: Fighting, Action, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Price: ​ £34.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Apart from Smash, fighting games are the genre I have the least experience of playing. So when I got an opportunity to review a fighting game from a series I had never played before, I got excited. UnderNight Re-birth is the game I will be reviewing today, and I have no idea what this series is about.

Although, thanks to BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, I learned of this series’ existence and honestly, it drew my biggest attention within that cross-over other than RWBY.

So was this a great new stepping stone into more of the fighting game genre, or was the game, not my style? Let’s find out.

The story is very interesting in Under Night, but it isn’t to its full potential. Most of your story comes from the chronicles section of the game where it goes over most of the characters, most of the time, individually. These sections are very interesting, although you have to unlock them all by going through them all. Unfortunately, they unlock out of order and honestly, that ruins the flow of the story for me. It blocked me from enjoying it thoroughly. I wish I didn’t have to unlock the story and go through them in order.

Even then not every chronicle is great, some are flat out boring and repetitive, for example, the first chronicle you read is from Orie, and she mentions that “someone is spying on her” THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CHRONICLE UNTIL SHE ENCOUNTERS THAT PERSON! It isn’t once or twice, it was like 10+ times, and it started to annoy me by the 4th time. Although other than the first five chronicles, the first four of them are honestly pretty boring and repetitive. The story doesn’t truly get exciting and fun until the 11th chronicle. For that reason, I am not going to go over most of the story, because I would much rather have you, the readers, experience the story for yourself.

Although, there are a few more things I want to touch on. First up, there is no balance in the chapters of these chronicles. Some chapters can take over half an hour to read, and another one will take about 4 minutes, and in my opinion, that is pretty bad. Honestly, I believe that the chapters shouldn’t be that long or short. Whoever did the translation did well, but they messed some things up, like punctuation, grammar, and spelling. I didn’t notice these mistakes until later on, but they are very easy to catch. This game should have had English voice acting as well; this could have fixed the mistakes made by the translator, and I would have found the story more entertaining.

While I am not going to go over the story as a whole, I may at least explain how the world is. There are these things called “voids”. They mainly come out at night, and they try to get humans near them: they trap them with fear, and then they bite their prey. Some humans die, some go into a deep coma, but the rest unlock their EXS, and they turn into In-births. In-births are those with powers, but they can only be used fully during the night. If the body gets damaged, then they will lose their abilities.

Now finally, I want to discuss the massive let down that the game does with the story, and I want you guys to picture my experience. I finished reading the chronicles, and I was ready for the finale of the story, the arcade mode. I beat every scenario and want to know how I felt afterwards? NOTHING! I felt nothing but disappointment, all that build-up, all that time reading the story and it was for nothing. 90% of the story, you either kill Hilda (the big bad) or you beat her up, and the rest of it you beat someone else up. Nothing is resolved that the main story started and it just drives me insane.

The visuals are amazing in Under Night. It looks so good with the 3D backgrounds and the animations from the sprites. Everything pops, and I like the renders that are used for the story sections of the game that showcases characters different emotions. I also think characters having 40 different alts are great as well, but not all the characters have good alts, but there will be at least one alt you will like for each character. To note 20 alts of each character are unlockable; you need to buy them with the currency you earn from fighting. Speaking about the currency, you can get artworks of characters with it as well, and they are pretty impressive. The soundtrack is also very good, there are not many songs in the game, but they are all great and enjoyable.

Now we approach the gameplay, and it is entirely simple to go over. Each character has their way of playing and their ways of doing combos. Here is an example, Linne, a character I play with the most, has her speed to make combo attacks and can send out sword beams by doing a particular combination. Then there is Orie that I am not that good with, but to use her you need to use good spacing between you and your opponent. Chaos will be the last character I will go over, with him you can summon a beast and attack your opponents with a fireball or swipe at them. He is all about timing and knowing when to use the beast to attack opponents. Like I mentioned earlier, each character has their way of fighting, and you need to acknowledge this and find your main.

Then there are making a few moves stronger: you can have some moves be stronger by hitting the strong attack button, and if you have a full bar of EXS charged, you can unleash a stronger version of an attack.

Then there are moves that can only be used if you have a full bar of EXS. By going in a half-circle you can unleash a strong, quick attack but another move you can use is a finisher, but it can only be used if you are low in health but to use it you must hit all the face buttons at the same time.

The animations for these are amazing and cool looking. Although not all of them are very strong, so if you pull one off still be prepared just in case your opponent survives. Know this: not every character you will like to play as, and believe me I have a few characters I’m bad with, so if you do not like a character you can switch to another one.

Before we finish this review, I might as well go over some other of the modes. In Arcade mode, you play through a story, and there are only a couple of characters that are set, the rest are random. Time attack and score modes are modes with a set of characters you have to fight, but you can choose who to fight against first. Survival is a mode where you face off characters without a break, and it keeps your damage throughout. The online mode is very good as well, and I didn’t encounter any lag during the fight but during the intro, which is fine if there has to be a compromise.

Under Night In-birth is a game that I honestly very much enjoyed. The visuals are pretty nice to look at, the soundtrack is amazing, and the gameplay is great as well! My biggest complaint goes towards the story and how repetitive it can be, and the disappointing way nothing gets resolved. However, there were some excellent beats in it. Although you can tell the game wasn’t proof-read. Fortunately, the story didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the rest of the game.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[cl-r] from the Nintendo eShop.

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

About Stephen Warcop

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