If you’ve been following the fighting game scene, you’ve probably heard whispers about the Under Night In-Birth series. It’s got a devoted fanbase of players who adore its smooth, fast-paced combat. But it has largely flown under the mainstream radar.
That could change with UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes. This slick sequel retains everything fans loved about past games. The unique tug-of-war mechanic with the shared GRD gauge returns. Combos still flow like water. But there are also some exciting additions to lure new blood.
Three new characters join the fray, each bringing distinct weapons and playstyles. There’s Kaguya with her stylish dual pistols for keepaway lovers. Tsurugi shakes things up with his massive shield for in-your-face aggression. And sinister pretty boy Kuon will entice players looking for a technical wizard.
The online play also gets a glow-up. Smooth rollback netcode replaces the lackluster offerings of previous entries. Early tests indicate a big improvement, though time will tell if it holds up.
So while UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II isn’t a massive overhaul, it didn’t need to be. This is a series with fervent fans for good reason. If you’ve slept on it before or fighting games feel intimidating, this sequel tries to ease both problems. It likely won’t dethrone genre juggernauts. But for players hungry for something fast, fresh and just a little weird, this cult favorite brings the goods.
A Pixel Powerhouse With Punchy Tunes
Let’s not bury the lede here. UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes looks incredible. The developers didn’t try reinventing the visual wheel. Every character sprite carries over from previous games. But when your pixel art already oozes this much style and detail, why mess with success?
Combat crackles with vibrant colors and fluid animation. Backgrounds pop with atmosphere, like the neon-bathed cityscape or cherry blossom-dappled shrine. Every frame drips with visual splendor. Games spend millions chasing photorealism when anime-inspired fantasy lands like this exist.
And it sounds as good as it looks. The soundtrack adds re-recorded takes of fan favorites along with new face-melters. Whether it’s wailing guitars or urgent electronic beats, the music energizes the action. Raito outdid himself with catchy hooks and blood-pumping anthems.
Fashionistas can also flex their creativity. A whopping 40+ colors await each character on the select screen. Accentuate Linne’s frosty hair with an icy blue ensemble. Give Hyde a menacing red and black combo. Or craft your own scheme entirely with the deep customization tools. The visual feast doesn’t end when the round starts.
By sticking to its signature style, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II presents players with one of the most dazzlingly-realized fantasy worlds around. The exquisite pixel artistry and pounding soundtrack make this a sensory delight. If you’ve got an eye (and ear) for gaming as an audiovisual artform, prepare to fall in love.
An Enthralling Lore Labyrinth
The world of Under Night In-Birth overflows with supernatural wonder. Humans transformed by otherworldly creatures. Secret societies wrestling for influence. An impeding apocalypse that could end everything. As premises go, it captivates the imagination.
But make no mistake – this labyrinthine lore can overwhelm newcomers. UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes doesn’t hold your hand. The limited story mode barely sketches the relationships between heroes like Hyde and villains like Kuon. It mostly throws you into the deep end to sink or swim.
So for the uninitiated, understanding why these characters clash or what’s at stake requires external study. Consult wikis to unravel mysteries like the Hollow Night phenomenon and its aftermath. Watch YouTube summaries detailing centuries-old grudges between factions. Sift Reddit threads dissecting motifs.
This sequel had a prime chance to onboard a new audience into its rich narrative tapestry. And while the central tug-of-war concept proves easy to grasp, the complex backstories and terminologies around it decidedly less so. Piecing together plots and motivations yourself can prove rewarding. But more explanatory story modes would better welcome newcomers.
Yet for all the confusion, one thing shines clear – these characters brim with personality. Behind the bewitching powers and ornate outfits lie relatable souls. Their bonds and backstories compelled fans for years, and their clashes evoke real pathos. So stick around, and their world may envelop you too. Just don’t expect an easy road there.
Built for Battles…And Not Much Else
Let’s cut to the chase – UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes caters to fighters, not sightseers. If your idea of fun is chaining combos instead of soaking in lore, fantastic news awaits. But players seeking solo adventuring may leave disappointed.
The tutorial and training modes shine as beacons for aspirant combatants. Options range from total newcomer lessons on basic moves to pro-level concepts around frame data. Every trial builds competency, whether practicing anti-air responses or optimal punishes. Expect mastery to demand diligence, but the tools exist to level up.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the wider single-player package. Non-fighting game modes barely register as footnotes. No alternate story chapters or gallery unlocks incentivizereplayability. The arcade mode offers glimpses of character bonds and conflicts but lacks connective tissue between them. Don’t anticipate narrative payoffs without external research.
And in terms of extras, meager pickings await. Survival and time attack modes bring minimal novelty. The unlockable VO options allow swapping the announcer, but otherwise customization feels an afterthought. Aside from colors and controls, personalization feels limited.
Clearly the developer’s mission centered on crafting a pure competitive experience. To that end,UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II delivers a one-way ticket to the battle arena with all the learning tools you could ask for. But when the fists stop flying, the fun dries up almost instantly. This sequel had a chance to broaden its single-player scope. Unfortunately it sticks to a narrow focus of fighting fundaments rather than fully fleshing out its fantasy world. For solo combatants seeking more than practice and arcade battles, disappointment looms.
GRD Tug-of-War Returns with Slick Upgrades
When it comes to fighting game cores, Under Night’s stands among the very best. UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes retains the crucial ingredient that separates this series from its peers – the shared GRD tug-of-war gauge.
Mastering GRD management unlocks the door to higher-level play. Score hits, block attacks, inch forward – fill your side over your enemy’s. Time a Vorpal state activation once the oscillating timer hits the top. Punish foes during the damage boost window. Then spend excess GRD on EX specials for splashy finishers.
It’s an ingenious system that shifts momentum constantly. Matches evolve into very literal tug-of-war battles where leads change in an instant if you’re not minding your GRD levels. Leave yourself even a sliver vulnerable, and opponents can force a GRD Break state to seize advantage. You’re always analyzing risk-reward with each option selected.
New to the formula, a “Celestial” Vorpal state triggers when you stack over 6 full GRD meters. Cue an eruption of potential teamfight-swinging offense. But don’t neglect the fresh Creeping Edge evasive maneuver either. Activate this roll to narrowly avoid otherwise inescapable situations at the cost of GRD real estate. Time it poorly though, and you’ll sorely miss that fuel for EX moves.
Augmenting the returning mechanics, two exciting new warriors enter the arena with Kaguya and Tsurugi. Gunslinging vixen Kaguya unleashes bullet hell from afar before diving in for aerial razzle-dazzle. Tower shield tin man Tsurugi shrugs off blows during his constant stance transitions en route to earth-shaking slams.
Both slot smoothly into the speedy, freeform battles Under Night elegantly enables. Combos flow intuitively once you grasp input timing, with ample chances to tack on extra hits from stray touches. It’s a trademark Under Night strength the sequel retains in spades. Flashy, fluid, and most importantly fun – this fighting foundation rocks hard.
Netcode Leap Lets Battles Flow Online
Buttery smooth netcode can transform decent fighters into great ones. And UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes ups its online game with long-awaited rollback implementation. Early tests suggest the team at French Bread cooked up something special too.
During online sessions, even 150+ millisecond delay matches avoided unplayable muck. No distracting warping or input lag reared their heads at least. Granted, limited opponents meant testing the outer limits of tolerability proved impossible. But if these early results reflect the norm, prospects look promising for online warriors.
The biggest question lurks around rollout timing. Review periods encounter lowered populations as fans await public launch. So while the netcode itself delivers, actually finding competition pre-release proved challenging. Lobbies sat vacant as tumbleweeds rolled past. Here’s hoping the community populates post-launch.
Because make no mistake – for Under Night to stay relevant in a genre dominated by gaming goliaths, a smooth online experience is mandatory in 2024. And based on early showings, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes checks that box with confidence. The pieces exist for French Bread’s darling to finally make mainstream competitive waves. It just needs active online halls to battle in.
So assuming you can actually find someone to fight, this sequel steps up big in making Under Night hospitable for out-of-town Visitors. Rollback implementation already qualifies as a huge win based on early testing. We’ll know if it’s a runaway success once the bright lights officially switch on. But for now, cautious optimism reigns.
Double Down on Devotees, Not Newcomers
Sequels bring hopes of revolution. Of seismic shifts and reinvention. And in some regards, UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes shakes up its formula. Rollback netcode and additional fighters make their mark. But in terms of presentation and scope, this feels more akin to a definitive edition than full-blown follow-up. An encapsulation rather than unprecedented evolution.
And make no mistake – Under Night didn’t need an overhaul. Its core fighting shine brightly. What this sequel does signals more a doubling down on the franchise’s niche appeal over mainstream ambitions. The complex world and cast still pose barriers for unfamiliar visitors. Solo content simply spotlights robust training options rather than recreational variety.
Yet despite omissions of expansive single-player sojourns, Under Night remarkably retains its luster. Few fighters exude such fluidity and freedom of expression once controller meets hand. Its duels dance with distinct rhythm – testaments to flawless foundational design.
So treat UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes as a treat for the fans who already call this universe home. The technical leap should satisfy loyalists eager to take battles worldwide, even if the surrounding package stays relatively routine. Not quite a fighting game changing of the guard, but further proof this cult classic has earned that status through polish and gameplay purity alone.
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH II Sys:Celes doubles down on the core strengths that cultivated its loyal fanbase - namely buttery smooth, combo-friendly battles accented by lovely fantasy visuals and a pounding synth soundtrack. This sequel brings vital improvements like rollback netcode while retaining the key ingredients fans adore. But it makes little effort to widen its niche appeal through expanded single player content or story accessibility. Consider this excellent package prime for genre devotees, but unlikely to ignite mainstream breakout.
- Smooth, combo-heavy battling
- Gorgeous anime-inspired visuals
- Toe-tapping soundtrack
- Rollback netcode dramatically improves online
- Tutorials/training welcome beginners
- New characters well-designed
- Barebones single player offering
- Overwhelming story for franchise newcomers
- Limited roster/customization options
- Doesn’t fully feel like a sequel