Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 27.02.2020

Review for Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] on Nintendo Switch

Fighting game fans are absolutely spoilt for choice these days. Whether it is 2D, 3D, anime, weapons-based, tag team, simple, complex, gory, cutesy, original creations, or old-school revivals, there is something for just about everyone. Each game is vying for your time and money, however, and that makes this now-crowded market (which is fantastic for fans of the genre) difficult to not only break into, but keep players' attention for a prolonged period of time. One series that has done a pretty good job of that over the last few years, though, is Under Night In-Birth, of which the latest iteration comes to Nintendo Switch.

Just what is it with ridiculously named Japanese video games? Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] is one heck of a mouthful, and it is anyone's guess how the creators expect the average person to call it as intended. Whatever the case, this is the latest in French-Bread's successful anime fighter series, which has proven popular enough to become a main event title at yearly fighting game tournament Evo. It is fully deserved, as Cubed3's review of the last instalment's PS4 version can attest to.

The methodical and stylish combat system carries over into [cl-r], which once again retains its grounded approach to battle, with players vying for more GRD blocks than the other, as a small timer winds down throughout battle; once it hits zero, the combatant with the most GRD gains a little boost and can deal more damage. It is this kind of offensive gameplay that makes Under Night In-Birth so exciting both to play and watch.

Screenshot for Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] on Nintendo Switch

The same weak-medium-strong button setup that many anime fighters employ makes for a pretty easy to understand game, so anyone can dive right on in and get to grips easily enough. A very in-depth tutorial mode coupled with character-specific combo challenges helps to get players familiar with Under Night's unique gameplay features, including the GRD system and Veil Off mode - the latter of which can be activated with a full meter and allows for infinite use of special moves until it runs out. It feels like there are multiple stages to a single fight, with players pushing and pressing to really build their meters and GRD in order to get to that coveted Veil Off moment. Every battle is thrilling.

This is indeed only another update to the same game that has seen various adjustments since the original arcade version, though. Okay, it boasts over a thousand move and balance changes over the last version; includes one new character in the form of Londrekia, with his slick, icy moves; and adds in some extra narrative to the incredibly long visual novel-like story mode. It isn't entirely void of new content. Is it enough, though? Nintendo Switch owners that haven't delved into this franchise before will find an awful lot to enjoy here, as there are plenty of modes (online included) and a varied cast of characters. As another Under Night In-Birth entry, however, this does feel lacking, despite the gameplay tweaks.

Just one new character and no attempt to add another mode for anyone that has played the previous title isn't enough, especially given the price being asked. Day one DLC is a common theme now, but surely the voice pack for Londrekia should be included in the game as standard, and not portioned off to buy separately? Additional DLC character colours is also a shame, although the range of choice already in there is strong. It's unfortunate, but the next iteration of Under Night In-Birth needs more than this update.

Screenshot for Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Stylish, methodical, and encouraging attacking gameplay, this latest Under Night In-Birth title is as exciting as always, and Switch owners that have yet to try the series out are in for a treat, with plenty of modes, a lengthy visual novel chronicle, online play, and a varied cast of characters. Despite the array of balance and move tweaks, though, this just isn't enough of an improvement over the previous title, with only one extra character being introduced. That said, this is still a top anime fighter, and a good alternative to BlazBlue.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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