UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] Review
Overall 8

A fighting game lives and dies by its mechanics. Arc System Works and PQube’s UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] certainly hits all the right notes for a popular fighter, but does it do enough to stand out?

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UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] Review

A fighting game lives and dies by its mechanics. Arc System Works and PQube’s UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] certainly hits all the right notes for a popular fighter, but does it do enough to stand out?

UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] Review

Fans of “anime fighters” like BlazBlue or Melty Blood will feel right at home with Exe:Late[st]. Speed and flash take precedence, with dashes, ukemi recoveries, and multi-hit combos all being commonplace. Quarter-circle moves are the norm, though some more complex moves are available depending on the character.

The game takes a page from BlazBlue’s handbook with its control scheme – players are given three attack buttons of varying strength and a fourth button that does a special action. This button can be used as a shield, or can also be used to quickly charge your “super” EXS meter. It is far more straightforward than BlazBlue, however, with a more streamlined combo system. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – rather, it is a more accessible fighter. Those new to fighters can also use the “Smart Steer” system, which can auto-combo at the press of a single button.

That’s not to say this game lacks depth. In addition to the EXS meter, there is also a GRD meter to track that can also boost damage. Though there are a lot of blade-wielders in Late[st]’s cast, there is enough variety between each character to allow for experimentation. Cancels and super moves also lead to high level play, one that is absolutely thrilling in the heat of the moment.

Under Night - Gamers Heroes

There is no shortage of things to do in this game. Your typical suite of fighting game options is available, with a 10-stage Arcade Mode, Score Attack, Time Attack, Tutorial, and Training Mode all available from the get-go. A network mode is available for those who want to throw down online, but you’re mileage may vary. Player matches with opponents across the country were smooth as butter for some matches, and downright rough for others. There is also a ”Chronicles Mode” in the game, which serves as a visual novel portion of the game. Set up in a number of different chapters for each character, it consists of a number of talking heads, detailed backgrounds, and a metric ton of text. These moments are very slowly paced, and can sometimes feel a little aimless – one may consist of somebody looking for their sister, while another consists of somebody’s plane ride. It does provide more depth for each character, and it is well-written (if verbose), but it is a stark departure from the meat of the game.

There is also some replayability to Exe:Late[st] with its IP currency system. Players can earn this currency by playing each mode of the game, which can then be spent on titles, icons, and gallery images. Players won’t be starved for choice, and will be at it for some time.

UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] is a flashy fighter that is a welcome addition to the fighting game community. It’s not the deepest game around, but its unique mechanics and anime stylings will appeal to both novice fighters and seasoned vets.

This review of UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] was written based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game. A digital code was provided by the publisher.