Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], so that title is a bit of a mouthful right? Hard to swallow and it’s also a bit intriguing isn’t? Well, don’t hold your breath on something exciting, if you do fancy something fun, say the title five times really fast.

efore we get into this, let’s list some of my fighting game credentials, shall we? Over the last 12 months or so it’s safe to say that I’ve played quite a few fighting games almost making 2017, at least for me, the year of the fighting game.

I’ve played Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, The Naruto Ninja Storm Boruto DLC and the PS4 release of the first three, Street Fighter 5, Tekken 7 and finally, Injustice 2. A fighting game player is my name and cracking the story campaign is my game.

Now, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] has a story, but it’s told in the messiest way possible. A bit like someone telling the whole Harry Potter book series in alphabet soup. It’s something about some kind of demon or dimension seeping into a Japanese city and a load of characters with different motivations going around beating each other up.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] Screenshot

Of course, this being a port of a Japanese arcade game it’s mostly told in text boxes and the baffling dull prologue mode, a mode of endless text boxes attempting to flesh out character backstories with translations that need a bit more work.

In terms of gameplay, as far as fighting games go, it’s okay I guess. It’s easy to learn controls where you can accidentally do some fairly cool looking finishers. But y’know how a tutorial is meant to teach you about the game? Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] has come up with a confusing way to demonstrate buttons in the menu that almost needs a codebreaker to work out what you’re supposed to press.

I didn’t really need to guard… which kind of says something about the game right? That leads us to the Arcade Mode, where the main meat of the story is.

The Arcade Mode in Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] features 10 matches with a boss character. The computer puts in some minimal effort, but I only got KO’d once in the 2 round format and was the last battle, all of which took 15 minutes to do… so yeah.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] Screenshot

The real punch to the face is the other modes you can tackle after you’ve done a bit of the story. Time and Mission mode are just the story modes with no cutscenes. As the game is yet to launch, the online mode was pretty underpopulated so I can’t really touch on that mode right now.

In terms of graphics, the animation for the characters are great and remind of Dragon Ball FighterZ, but the level design is lacklustre as you scrap in dull boring city locations dragged kicking and screaming out of a PS2 game. Of course, you could argue with all the in-game currency you earn you could do lots in the customisation.

So, you must be thinking, “Wow, I bet customising my character will be worth it!” but no, it won’t. All your hard earned currency in Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] can you buy you cosmetic changes like the colour of your health gauge and character image… but it’s not really worth it.

I can rant and be mean, but how does the game hold up against its peers? Maybe I’m being cruel comparing the C student doing their best against the Mathletes.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] Screenshot

The graphics aren’t AAA great like Tekken 7, but not a real deal breaker as long as you don’t compare the character quality PS3 graphics against the PS2 era quality graphics for the level design. The story is dense and poorly told, but a trashy story isn’t a killer, Street Fighter 5 isn’t War and Peace, but at least it’s told in cutscenes and is easy to understand.

The characters are bland and look like they could’ve wandered in from another anime and aren’t unique recognisable like the Naruto characters from the Ninja Storm series. The customisation mode adds nothing to the gameplay, unlike Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 where you can all sorts of crud for your characters.

The finishers are dull and so so, unlike Injustice 2 where you can clock someone out into space.

To put the final finisher on this Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] review, this a game you’d buy on the cheap on the PS Store, or if you live in Japan, you’d play in the arcades after school before you need to go home for tea and complete in an afternoon, just before you get sick of the generic soundtrack.

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