Anime games are becoming more and more popular in the West thanks to a few good games from DragonBall and Naruto, yet it is not always the most well known names that are coming over that you should look out for. A developer by the name of Arc System Works has proven time and time again that they can create well established fighting games with lesser or completely unknown characters. Now after being released several times already, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late has also arrived for the Switch.
In a 21st century city with a modern twist, the phenomenon of so-called hollow nights happens every month. In these places, creatures called Void appear, who seek a power called Existence, or EXS for short. Usually people cannot see them, but every now and then it happens that someone does notice the Voids. The protagonist Hyde is of course attacked by a creature and has been a so-called in-birth since then. Now he finds himself in the middle of a war between several organizations trying to use Hollow Night for their purposes either positively or negatively for humanity. If you already have some question marks on your face after the short plot description, you might get some of them answered this time.
Because in addition to the arcade mode, this time there is also a fully-fledged visual novel experience in which you can watch or read through almost ten hours of still images and texts. So if you want to know more about the characters and the story of “Under Night In-Birth”, you will get your money’s worth here. Otherwise, the title offers the typical modes such as Time Attack, Survival, Versus and Training and is therefore fully packed up to the top with content, which means that you can easily spend several two-digit hours in these. In addition, four new fighters join the team, which means that even as a master of the predecessor you get enough to grab it again.
It gets a lot more interesting with the combat system, at least if someone has never played a 2D fighter. Because here, too, it typically continues: the special attacks are carried out by typical movements and quickly become flesh and blood in both veterans and novices. In addition, these differ only minimally in the characters, which means that everyone can understand most characters at least in their basic techniques in a short time. As a result, the title is particularly suitable for beginners or players who only want to jump in between.
But veterans also get a lot of depth through special systems. Because of course “Under Night In-Birth” also wants to stand out from other games. It starts with the Grind Grid, which charges when you play on attack and are not hit. If you play defensively or get hit, it decreases. In addition, a clock expires, which, once it has run through, gives those with more filled blocks on the Grind Grid a small advantage. As a result, the game rewards the players who attack more, punishing so-called turtles, i.e. bridging the time through a defensive style of play. Otherwise there are a few more techniques that we do not want to list all here but all together offer enough depth to inspire professionals.
When it comes to visuals, “Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late” offers the usual, which is not to be misunderstood. Because the action is perfectly captured by hand-drawn 2D sprites and accompanied by suitable, rocking music. The optically weak 3D backgrounds are also very crisp both inhandheld and docked mode and are now much sharper than the predecessor.
“Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late” is a consequent expansion and a good port of the original, which, however, does everything well but does not stand out. The new story will only appeal to hardcore fans. But if you are looking for an anime brawler, then you will not go wrong here.
Under Night In Birth Exe:Late is a great anime brawlers for those who love 2D fighters, but for newcomers the story might seem a bit complicated in the beginning.