From the outside, the fighting game genre seems like a deep, dark pool, full of mystery and piranhas. There are so many sub-genres and on-going series with niche fan-bases that have their own seemingly impenetrable histories and cultures. Since these games tend to iterate on themselves, the barrier to entry can seem pretty high to an outsider, as catching up with 15 years of franchise history seems like it might be a little off-putting. Further, there are few shorter paths to humiliation than being a novice and taking on an experienced player. If you have ever been juggled for 45 seconds before landing in a heap on the floor - without ever having landed a blow - you know what I'm talking about.
Which brings us to Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [st] from Aksys Games, which is being released for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita on February 9th. I'm sure fans of the franchise look at this trailer and feel a thrill of excitement when they spot favorite characters doing new moves. I'm certain that there are new animations, move-sets, characters, settings, and game modes. And there has to be a significant audience, because these games continue getting made. But brother, I can't tell what the heck is going on in this trailer. It just looks like neon lights and sensory overload to my old-man eyes.
According to the Aksys website, "the mystery of the Hollow Night is unfolding before you. At the center lies the Abyss, an unimaginable and uncontrolled phenomenon that threatens all. Pick one of 20 unique characters and fight your way through the dangers of the “Hollow Night”, and claim your victory over those who would get in your way. Experience intuitive and tight 2D fighter controls, with a splash of devastating combos and unique fighting styles to keep your appetite for battle sated!"
It sounds cool! But for a guy with little skill pulling off combos, who last spent time in fighting games floundering around with Tekken Tag Tournament, the idea of even trying a game like this is...unsettling. Even the name - Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [st] - is intimidating.
Regardless, if this looks like your jam, Under Night drops next Friday. Pre-orders are open now!