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Once your eyes and brain have stopped spinning in your skull from the word jumble that ithat title, you can start playing Under Night In-Birth. Once you begin (and battle through more abuse of the English language) you’ll end up finding a supremely satisfying and delightfully stylish fighting game.


First things first, I am not typing out that mess of words every time, so from this point out I’ll be referring to this as simply Under Night. Under Night is a game from the guys over at Arc System Works, known for producing games with a similar over the top flair (think Guilty Gear), but this title was developed as a joint venture between French Bread and Ecole Software, best know for Metly Blood. I’m going to be completely honest and tell you flat out my experience with “anime fighters” as they’re known, is pretty much nil, actually it is completely nil. I’ve played plenty of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat and a little bit of Soul Calibur as well. I must say, I’m surprised at how different this game feels from other 2D fighting games, the eb and flow of combat is completely different. For one performing combos is much easier in this game with its easy inputs and huge attack windows. Getting a 10 hit combo in Street Fighter takes a lot of hard work, but in this game all it took me was continuous mashing of the A button with an X thrown in near the end of good measure. Of course in Street Fighter a combo of that size would have netted you a sizable damage output, but in the game daming is nice and low. The effect of this is a fighter that focuses on style above all else in the way you fight. All in all it’s a very satisfying game to play for short bursts, but there is also a decent amount of depth here for the more discerning fighting game enthusiast to delve in to. Each character is suitably differentiated from one another and everyone seems to have their own subsystem unique to them. It takes a monumental effort to learn just one character in any fighting game, but some of these characters almost feel like they’re coming from another game entirely. Perhaps that was hyprbolic, but I think you get the idea.


The game comes with a rather robust feature list and will require a reasonable time investment to make it through all the single player content. There are plenty of fighting games that cannot boast to have much in the way of fun for the solo fighter, and while I don’t think this stands up to Mortal Kombat X for single player content, you won’t be left waiting. The main draw here would be the rather indept story offerings for each character. The only downside is the fact that the story is more or less tripe, generic anime nonesense. And when I say nonsense, I do mean nonsense. Yes the dictionary abuse contines on past the games title and goes deep into its core. Unlike most of its contemporaries Under Night has decided that simply saying round 1 or round 2 is far too padestriant. Each bout is instead dubbed a “clause” which is opened by a ceremounis cry of “DIVIDE!” (Never before have I seen rudementary mathematics conflated with physical atercations). Its very silly, and provided me with a lot of giggles.


Visuals are a mixed bag really. The sprite animation is absolutely superb. Characters move fludly through so many frames of animation that its hard to even tell these models are sprites. I was particularly impressed by the shading work during my time with the game. It’s hard to describe the art work more thoroghly than this, it is simply very high quality and the game does a lot of characterisation through the way the sprites move during combat. The back grounds are rendered in 3D and while the scrolling effect does great sense of depth to the scenery the quality here is not on the same level as the 2D work. I don’t really mean this as a slight against the game at all, but its just clear that the budget was not really put into backdrops, and with sprite animation this excellent, I don’t blame them at all.


Under Night is a very enjoyable fighter that will provide a lot of bang for your buck. The slick presentation makes this a treat for the eyes and the smooth and intuitve fighting makes it a treat for your thumbs aswell. So to close out this review I will sum up the game the same way they chose a title. By entering a bunch of words into a randomiser!

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late is lick racket; agreeable reptile/pneumatic collision#


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i there! The name is Barge, but you can call me Adam. I come from the New Forest, which means I was pretty cut off from civilisation as a child, so the options were go outside or stay in the dark and play video games all day… no points for guessing which one I opted for. My love for games grew from Nintendo classics like Pokemon, Zelda and Mario and grew much deeper when I was a teenager and I fell in love with games like Beyond Good & Evil and Knight of the Old Republic. These days I play all variety of games but I do have a particular love of stealth games. I tend to look at a game as a whole piece of media, I like to think about how the pieces interlink and how the experience is developed by singular elements of a game building on top of each other. This mise en scène approach to reviewing comes from by background in theatre which also affords me a strong sense of good acting and dramatization in video games.

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