Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes is the fifth entry of the Under Night In-Birth series and published by the popular fighting genre company, Arc System Works. The 2D fighting style and mechanics are similar to other popular fighting games such as the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series. The game offers 24 characters to choose from the start with additional DLC. If that wasn’t enough options, each character has over 40 color outfits.

While many fighting games have moved away from pixel art illustrations, Under Night In-Birth hangs onto this style and keeps its charm that helped make the Guilty Gear series popular. It’s similar to how Dragon Quest continues to hang-on to turn-based attacks while other franchises like Final Fantasy move away from it.

Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes - Screenshot

The 2D fighting game uses a system called the Grind (aka GRD) that resembles a tug-of-war between fighters. The system evaluates both fighters on their performance and rewards them with advantages such as increased damage attacks temporarily. Digging into the fighting style takes some time and certainly has some depth to it. Additionally, players can utilize special attacks when filling their EXS gauge by creating or receiving attacks. When your fighter is in critical mode, players can use an ultimate attack called “Infinite Worth EXS”, but can only be executed when your health gauge is 30% or lower and your EXS gauge is full. It creates animation in the background while pulling a strong attack. A new feature to the game adds more depth, the Creeping Edge and Celestial Vorpal. Celestial Vorpal. Both help player’s maintain and utilize the GRD mechanic. The game offers 24 characters to choose from the start with additional DLC.

If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise and its mechanics, the game does offer training and tutorials. However, the game’s tutorial setup is visually draining and unimpressive. Almost like reading a dictionary. Sometimes it feels like you are better off learning on your own or going online to watch tutorials. This makes it tough for newcomers to dive in the game. When compared to other Arc System titles such as Granblue Fantasy Versus, there could have been more innovative ways to guide players to learn and motivate them.

Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes - Screenshot

The game’s soundtrack is upbeat and energetic which catches the vibe of a fighting genre. It sounds just as good as the Guilty Gear soundtrack. If the game was released during the PlayStation 2 era, the Under Night In-Birth series would have been just as popular with its style of combat, character designs and soundtrack. Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes is a fighting game worth checking out if you’re a fan of the fighting genre.

A Steam code provided for this article and played on the Steam Deck. Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes available now for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC (Steam).


About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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