Fight for your life
There’s an overabundance of fighting games for the PS3, with many of them being sequels to pre-existing franchises each with their own mechanics. It’s why it’s so refreshing to find a fighting game that takes what we know and love from the genre and adds its own unique spin to it.
The game features a small but varied cast of highly complex and diverse characters. You have your charge characters, air jugglers, ground decimators, tank characters that do way too much damage, etc. Each with their own wide range of move sets that follow conventional button prompts (Knowing your Hadouken can carry you through most special moves) but also combo into each other and allow players to do some serious damage to their opponents.
It’s surprising how doing something so simple such as adding special combos could help keep things so energetic.
Being a revamped version of an arcade fighter, Under Night takes the approach of “easy to learn but downright impossible to master” with its seemingly easy to grasp mechanics, going for what many fighters are doing as of late and including an auto combo button. But at the same time it does something completely original, gambling.
The game features health and skill bars like many other fighters, but also a wager bar at the bottom of the screen that rises and lowers depending on who is doing more damage at the time. If the player is in a smooth combo the bar will fill mostly on their side, and if they choose they can cash in the bar to fill up their skill bar.
This makes every fight a gamble with greed. You can choose to cash in your power early to fill up a small amount of skill points, or risk it all to try and get a more. Now reading your opponent isn’t just figuring out when they’re going to pull off a certain move, but is not about seeing if they’ll want to cash in their points, making fights even more tense and engaging.
If there’s one thing to complain about, it’s the balancing issues with some of the characters. There’s one big dude called Waldstein who is near impossible to land a hit on. His hands cover half the screen and his hit box doesn’t seem to register with his hands, meaning only body hits count. He isn’t fun to battle against and is just frustrating. If ever you want to have a fighting game night with some friends, make sure to ban him from play.
I had a surprisingly great time with Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late. The story is cheesy fighting game fodder that gives an excuse for characters to fight, but thankfully the fighting they do is highly engaging and interesting. While I can’t see it being the next big tournament fighter, It’s a great time to sit with a bunch of mates and joyfully cry out as you decimate your opponent with a smooth and flashy combo.
Should you play Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late?
Thanks to NIS America for supplying a review code