Review: Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] (PlayStation 4)
- Release Date (NA): February 9, 2018
- Release Date (EU): February 9, 2018
- Release Date (JP): July 20, 2017
- Publisher: Aksys
- Developer: Arc System Works, French Bread
- Genres: Fighting, Visual Novel
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
- Also For: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Smash the Competition!
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] (whatever the heck that means!) is an immediately accessible game that will appeal to most fans of the fighting game genre. If a player has even a minimal knowledge of holding away to block and basic Street Fighter combos they will instantly be able to look like a pro thanks to the intuitive and flashy combat system.
Light/Fast/Short, Medium, and Heavy/Slow/Far attacks comprise your 3 main buttons, followed by a 4th that does a combination of things including grabs, special gauge charging, and ultimate moves. Each fighter has their own unique style and flourish that looks great in the classic 2D spirit of smoothly animated sprites. Combos are easy to pull off by chaining the 3 attack buttons and pressing them in any order but not repeating the same direction+input twice. It's very easy to pull off impressively long air juggles and combos, even on accident, making it a great title to play locally with friends as a loser hot-seat game that is sure to get your friends shouting and smack-talking.
The game, for better or worse, also has an equalizer that can shift the power of your attacks in your favor depending on how the match plays out, and a super-ultimate move that can be unleashed on any character when you are critically low on health with a full special bar. Since the input for every fighter to do this consists of pressing all 4 buttons at once, it again can turn into a devastating come-back move even to the flailing newbie masses.
Should you ever wish to become a true master of this game, there is also huge assortment of training mode settings and input/combo challenges for each of the characters to learn from, but I feel that a vast majority of players will be plenty happy to just play with the combos and characters they discover and learn on their own from simply playing the game.
Additionally, players can spend points they accumulate during play to unlock art galleries, fighter costumes, nameplate accessories that can be used in online play for ranked or casual mode, and a few other goodies. Points can be earned for just about everything you do and there is a ton of items available for purchase from the in-game store.
Learning to Read
The main arcade mode has classic mini cut-scenes that set up each of the characters and their reason for conflict, but the game is also packed with a full-length visual novel if you wish to dive deeper into the title's lore and universe.
Let me preface this next part by saying we received our copy way ahead of release, and the publisher has stated that they intend to fix the many localization errors.
With that said, it is now 2 days from launch and I checked for any game patches or updates, but none were pushed so far, and the visual novel is a horrible mess of typos, grammatical errors, and words that simply seem to be missing-- In fact, halfway through chapter 2, I honestly got tired of taking screenshots of all the mistakes and just accepted my fate.
The plot is a fairly generic story of all female school girls with dark pasts fighting supernatural bad guys. Nothing special here, but it is a very nice and lengthy addition to go along with the purchase of a solid fighting game. The throw-away story still offers plenty of backstory into all the fighters and is at least worth checking out, even if you got the game solely for the fighting modes.
Hopefully, given more time for QA and reviewer feedback, they can polish the script and have it ready for launch so it isn't such a large distraction for people overly-sensitive to grammar and spelling mistakes. (inb4 user corrections in the comment section.)
+ Tight Input Controls
+ Tons of Extra Challenge Modes
+ Lengthy (Optional) Visual Novel
- Localization\Translation (Pre-Release Copy)
A few points lost for the mountain of missing words and spelling errors in the localization, which will most likely (read: hopefully) be fixed with a launch-day or later patch. Sprites and animations are super clean and fun to watch in the fighting sections.
A great button smasher that promises a deeper combo/cancel system that frankly falls second to the pick-up-and-play style it delivers for amateurs and first-timers.
A huge visual novel and tons of game modes and challenges to conquer, with a large roster of unique fighters to do it with, means there is plenty to do to mix it up and keep things interesting.
out of 10
(not an average)
The generic and fairly uninteresting plot doesn't do much to drive the player to read the entire visual novel section, but the button smashing frenzy of the fighting portions and various game modes will keep you coming back for more.