It’s no surprise to the general gaming community that fighting games are making a huge comeback. In recent years, beloved titles have received fresh editions and significant updates. Right now, there’s no better time to dive into fighting games. Excitement and anticipation have been building, especially among fans of UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH. They’ve eagerly awaited a new release or a sequel that embodies the essence of modern fighting games. Fast forward to now, I can’t believe that we are doing a review for UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH‘s sequel, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes.
Praised as a sequel to the original, Sys:Celes introduces major changes to its characters and gameplay, along with exciting tournament news. This announcement rekindled the passion of the UNDER NIGHT community, giving them something thrilling to anticipate. Having spent considerable time playing Sys:Celes for this review, I can share my firsthand experience. As a competitive fighting game player who has explored various titles, this game, new to me, made a lasting impression. What are my thoughts? Stay tuned for my in-depth UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes review!
An Ambitious Yet Confusing World
In UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Sys:Celes, the single-player mode greets you with the full cast of characters. Each character has a description that introduces them briefly. This is a brilliant feature. It helps you understand each character and how they fit into the story before you play as them. This isn’t common in fighting games, especially in arcade mode. Including character descriptions is a thoughtful and helpful touch for players.
The story of UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH is centered around a phenomenon called the Hollow Night. On these nights, unseen creatures named Voids appear. They feed on a power in humans called EXS. Those who survive Void attacks become In-Births. They can control their own EXS. The main character, Hyde Kido, becomes an In-Birth after surviving a Void attack. He meets Linne, an ancient In-Birth, who asks for his help to end her life. The story includes different In-Birth groups, like Amnesia and the Lickt Kreis. They face conflicts and uncover secrets in this supernatural world. The sequel, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes, is the final chapter. It introduces a new force, Kuon the Aeon. Kuon declares the end of the world is near. This causes Linne to disappear. Hyde sets out alone to save their world from Kuon.
The characters in this game are fascinating. But for new players, it’s hard to grasp the story. Some characters will mention offscreen characters and events. If you haven’t played the earlier games, you’ll be lost. Even with character descriptions, I found it tough to follow as a new player. While it’s usually advised to play the previous games, I think the game should have recaps of past stories. This would be reminiscent of how Tekken 8 approached getting new players into the story. An encyclopedia explaining the UNDER NIGHT world would be great. The UNDER NIGHT world is grand and ambitious. I hope the story is handled better in future games, making it easier for everyone to enjoy.
A Tug-Of-War Style Combat System
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Sys:Celes has an amazing combat system, with features like EXS, Shield, Assault, and Veil Off. As stated before, EXS is the energy characters have for powerful attacks. The EXS Gauge fills when you attack or get hit. Shield is for defense, keeping you safe from chip damage and creating space between you and your opponent. Veil Off boosts your attack power and other skills for a short time. It uses part of your EXS Gauge. The more EXS you have, the longer Veil Off lasts. Lastly, Assault is a faster and more powerful way to approach your opponent than normal jumping.
However, the core strategy of the game is played around the GRD Gauge. The GRD Gauge, just like in the previous game, is shared by both players. If you play well, both defensively and offensively, your side of the gauge grows, strengthening your attacks. The opponent’s side can grow, too, if they do the same. You can use a lot of mechanics if you fill the GRD gauge well! Creeping Edge lets you dodge attacks and projectiles. Vorpal increases your attack power temporarily. Chain Shift, during Vorpal, greatly fills your EXS gauge to the point where you can use powerful special attacks. Concentration increases your gauge and lowers the opponent’s. Force Function is a special move unique to each character, using GRD as well. Finally, if you get thrown or take damage while using a shield, you will enter a GRD Break state, temporarily disabling your Shield and Assault ability.
Complex and Rewarding
These mechanics create a complex, fun game that rewards good defense and offense. It encourages players to get better naturally. While usually, it would seem bad for a fighting game to have so many mechanics in its game, Under Night handles this very well. The mechanics link perfectly to the overall game’s strategy, which is to keep your GRD Gauge fuller than your opponent’s. This game’s combat system is truly for new and experienced fighting game players alike.
A Replay System Like No Other
Fighting games are tough for many new players. Learning combos is cool, but losing can make you feel bad. In other words, it’s hard to know how to get better. Community members and developers always discuss making fighting games easier for new players. It’s not an easy task, but there are always attempts. Now, we are finally seeing some good changes that push the genre forward in this regard.
One of the best new things in fighting games as of late is the replay feature. If you want to get better, you need to watch your replays. You can see the matches you lost and figure out why you lost them. It shows you the mistakes you keep making. This helps you learn and get better. Many new fighting games have this feature, so you should try it in any modern games you play!
But, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes has an even cooler feature! It lets players take control of their replays or even other players’ replays! In the new UNDER NIGHT, there’s a Replay Assist in the pause menu during a replay. When you pick Replay Assist, you get a five-second countdown. Then you can control your character in that part of the replay. You can choose to play as either character, giving you many more options. This is great for trying new ways to escape or defend against tough moves. You can also find gaps for counterattacks or new combos.
Taking Control of Replay
This “take-control” replay feature is honestly my favorite thing to write about in this UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes review. It’s still a huge feature to have in fighting games. The first time we saw this was in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R in early 2021 on PC. Moreover, Under Night isn’t the only modern fighting game with this feature. Tekken 8 introduced the “take-control” replay feature as well and has been met with great reception. Sadly, few new fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Guilty Gear Strive have it yet. But there’s hope they might add it in future updates.
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes Wants YOU To Be Good At Fighting Games
The training menu for UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes has great learning tools for new players to sit down and play around with. One of the coolest features is the Battle Speed changer. This tool lets you slow down the game. It’s super helpful when you’re trying to learn a new combo. You start slow, get better, and then speed things up until the combo feels easy. Another great tool is the Frame Data Display. It shows important info about your attacks, like startup frames, frame advantage on hit or block, and the total frames of the move. Knowing about startup frames, total frames, and frame advantage is vital in fighting games. These details help you understand which moves are fast, which ones keep you safe, and which ones can put your opponent in a tough spot.
The training menu also includes a fantastic tutorial mode. It’s designed to teach new players step-by-step. There are five levels: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. Each level has different lessons to help you improve. The best approach is to go slowly. Learn one thing at a time. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed, and you’ll see your skills grow.
The mission mode is another awesome feature. It’s like a full guide on how to play your chosen character. You get recommended combos for different skill levels and key strategies. It covers anti-airs, mixups, block strings, and playing the neutral game. Like the tutorial mode, take it one step at a time. Learn a lesson, then practice against the computer, a friend, or online. If you’re unsure where to start with a character, mission mode is your go-to.
Helping New Players
One of the best things about this game is how it helps new players learn. You never feel lost or unsure of where to start improving. Just jump into the training menu and start learning. It’s great to see more fighting games, like Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, improving their training menus. Hopefully, more game developers will continue to make their training menus better and more helpful for players!
Customizing The Fight
In UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes, players can make their characters look really cool. It’s fun to see your character in awesome colors while you play. This game doesn’t have different costumes but offers many color options. The best part is that you can create your own colors, like in Melty Blood: Type Lumina! You get five slots to make custom colors. You can change different parts of a character using 40 color palettes. This means you can mix and match colors in many ways. It’s so fun that you might spend hours finding cool color combos!
Another cool feature in UNDER NIGHT is changing the game announcer. Are you tired of the normal announcer’s voice? Now, you can pick any character to be your announcer! In the customize menu, you can choose from different characters for this role. They will then announce what’s happening in the game. This little change adds a lot of fun to the game. It’s something players will really like.
I really appreciate how UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes lets players personalize their game experience. It doesn’t limit you to only what the developers made. You can pick your character’s colors and choose your favorite character to be the announcer. These cool features are something I wish more fighting games would have. They add so much fun and personal touch to the game.
A Stunning Symphony of Sights and Sounds
In the last part of this review of UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes, let’s dive into its overall presentation. When you start the game, you’re greeted with an amazing opening. It shows all the characters in cool ways, blending 3D backgrounds with 2D characters. This mix is something really new and exciting. The colors are mostly dark and purple, creating a unique look for UNDER NIGHT. The opening song, “The End of Reincarnation,” is sung by Jun Ichikawa. Her voice perfectly captures the emotion of the game’s story. This opening quickly pulls you into the world of UNDER NIGHT.
The music in this game is another big highlight. Raito, the composer, is known for his work in other French Bread fighting games. His music mixes electronic beats and traditional instruments like piano and guitar. Sometimes, you’ll even hear some cool rock elements. Raito’s music sets the mood for each fight and character. It’s not just background music; it really adds to the excitement and feel of the game.
Lastly, the art style in this game is varied and interesting. You’ll see characters drawn in different styles, from detailed portraits to cute chibi versions. This keeps the game fresh and exciting, especially for new players. The characters have unique outfits that show their personality. You can tell a lot about them by how they stand, talk, and fight. It’s clear that the creators put a lot of love and thought into each character. This makes every character special and fun to play.
A Passionate Display
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes‘s overall presentation is spectacular. I’m a big advocate for having a good presentation, as it shows off the developers’ passion. I want to play a game where I can feel the love being put into it. With each and every corner of this game, I can see hard work being implemented to make this game feel alive. If you haven’t witnessed the UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH series yet, then you’re missing out!
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes Is The New Hotness!
I hope that this UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes review was enjoyable for you. The UNDER NIGHT series has been around for 11 years, and this huge comeback for them is well-deserved. If you’re looking for a fighting game that is friendly to newcomers and has amazing visuals, complex mechanics, and fantastic music, this is a great option! Despite my gripes on how the story is handled, I think UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes is a great fighting game for newcomers and old players!