So just last week, releasing in Japanese stores and on the Japanese PSN Store, the latest version of ArcSys and French Bread’s newest fighter, Under Night In-Birth finally made it’s appearance on console. For those of you who don’t know, French Bread is the developer that worked with the esteemed Type-MOON to produce the Melty Blood franchise, with ArcSys a publisher of many a Japanese 2D fighter as of late. As such, fans of that game and veterans of the fast-paced, flashy, heavily Japanese style of 2D fighting games that we in the scene refer to as ‘anime’ should feel fairly comfortable as soon as they pick up the controller to learn the ropes.
The game initially plays very much like its predecessor, with most of the basic mechanics feeling like a Melty Blood Mk. II, of sorts (there’s even a guest character from Melty in the roster). But the pacing and combat focus strays away from the typical aerial combat, airdash and mixup heavy style of most anime games in favor of a more deliberate, controlled, ground game and spacing. (If that was a bit too much fighting game technical lingo for you, let’s just say that it feels more like Street Fighter than other games of its style).
The game has a diverse roster, as many characters play extremely differently, with varying degrees of difficulty and technique required to excel with them. At the same time, it’s a fairly easy game to pick up and play with most characters, thanks to the (mostly) loose and forgiving combo system, simply executed commands for most of the moves in the game (compared to many other 2D fighters, anyway), and autocombos, executed in the same way utilized by Atlus and ArcSys in Persona 4: Arena.
Currently the game is only available in Japan, but ArcSys has already stated that they’re bringing the release Stateside sometime in 2015. But if you’re a huge fighter junkie like me, that’s way too long a wait, so if you don’t have a Japanese PSN account, you can always just import it (over at Play-Asia like I did, for example). The game looks great, has an awesome soundtrack, and features guest characters Eltnum (better known as Melty Blood’s Sion Eltnam Atlasia), and Akatsuki (the titular character of the PC Doujin Fighter Akatsuki Blitzkampf).
Need a bit more information on the characters and how to get started in the game? Well, you’re in luck, as the fine folks over at Brokentier have put together a great guide to help you get started, and I honestly couldn’t have done it better myself. (Besides, stupid me had to pick up Yuzuriha, the hardest character in the game to start with, so I won’t be breaking down most other characters for a while ;_;)
Aside from that, there’s plenty of tutorials and match videos available on Youtube, as the game has been out in Japanese arcades for some time. With the wealth of information and footage available, you should have everything you need at your fingertips to get into this fast, fresh, and fun fighting game!