Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] Review – A Pixel-Perfect Sequel

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] Review: A Fitting Sequel to the Beloved Fighter

An actual Under Night In-Birth sequel has been highly anticipated both for the addition of new characters to the game and the continuation of the original story. Each update has only added a bit of build-up, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late cl-r, which added just one character, did feel a bit egregious to some fans. But now, there’s a sequel hot on the heels of Tekken 8, in the form of Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes], which will conclude the story and features rollback netcode.

Mastering the Unique Mechanics of Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes]


The story of Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] serves as a direct sequel to the first game. While the original included a visual novel compilation story, II focuses on the characters’ individual arcade modes. Here’s everything you need to know to quickly understand what the game presents on screen if you haven’t played the previous one: In certain places, on the night of a full moon, a magical event known as a “hollow night” can occur, transporting individuals to a realm inhabited by monstrous beings called voids. If you’re bitten by one of these creatures and survive, you’ll become an “in-birth,” gaining the ability to control the supernatural power of “Existence,” also known as “EXS.” This power takes on various forms depending on the void that attacked you, resulting in unique fighting game movesets and personality powers, all beautifully animated with French Bread’s pixel art animations.

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] brings a highly anticipated conclusion to the story, along with welcome gameplay innovations and new characters.

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] is a 2D fighting game developed by French Bread and published by Arc System Works. It employs a three-button control scheme, featuring light, medium, and heavy attacks, along with a unique “GRD” system that adds depth to the gameplay. In this fighting game, each motion corresponds to a specific attack, with properties varying based on the attack button pressed. When your special meter is more than half full, a heavy attack triggers an EX version of the attack. Additionally, there’s a mode called “Veil OFF” that slowly depletes your special meter, allowing you to use specials and EX moves at a reduced cost.

Enhancing Gameplay: Training Mode and New Character Moves in Under Night In-Birth II

The game’s unique GRD system and detailed mechanics offer depth and reward strategic play in this beautifully animated fighter.

Apart from that, performing successful actions like blocking, dashing, and attacking earns you GRD, a resource that can be spent on force functions (unique skills for each character) or transferred to your special meter. It serves as a reward for anticipating and controlling the game’s flow, though your opponent can quickly drain your GRD by performing the same actions. It’s important to note that I’m simplifying the game’s mechanics here, as the in-game tutorials offer more detailed information for newcomers. Furthermore, Under Night II has received numerous tweaks and updates, not only to its characters but also to quality-of-life features.

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] stands out as a testament to the franchise’s enduring appeal, delivering classic gameplay with fresh narrative and gameplay enhancements.

In training mode, you can adjust the battle speed for combo practice, record and save states for individual combo parts, and access damage scaling and frame data to optimize your effectiveness. Three additional characters have been added to the base roster, with one unlockable after clearing certain single-player arcade modes. Each character brings a unique and enjoyable moveset to the table. The entire cast has also gained access to a new special move that’s easy to chain into big combos. Casual players can enjoy survival and time attack modes, with the ability to upload high scores. The game oozes style, and even basic combos feel satisfying thanks to fantastic visuals and sound design. The soundtrack has been completely revamped, with Raita delivering a new score of remixes for the cast.

Overcoming Online Hurdles: The Rollback Netcode of Under Night In-Birth II

There were some initial issues with the online version of the PC port at launch, but as of now, these problems have been resolved. You can go online to battle friends, foes, and strangers, though be prepared for some fierce competition from players who are more dedicated to mastering their characters. Most importantly, as mentioned earlier, this installment of the Under Night series features rollback netcode, making online battles more stable. Your level of success now depends on your skill rather than network issues.

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes]: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation in Fighting Games


In the realm of fighting games, Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] emerges as a highly anticipated sequel that truly delivers. With a delightful blend of classic gameplay and a fresh narrative, it will easily satisfy the cravings of long-time fans. The introduction of new characters and gameplay tweaks sweeten the pot, catering to both seasoned veterans and newcomers. Although it had a bumpy start online, the updates and inclusion of rollback netcode set things right, ensuring that your skills, not network issues, dictate your fate. Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] stands as a testament to the enduring charm of the franchise, promising hours of action-packed enjoyment for fighting game enthusiasts.

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A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] (PC)

Under Night In-Birth II [sys:Celes] delivers as a solid sequel, tying up the narrative and introducing fresh characters and gameplay. Its unique combat system, stunning pixel art, and new training features make for a deeply engaging experience. Despite initial online hiccups, the game's stable rollback netcode ensures smooth matches. It's a standout choice for both newcomers and series veterans seeking intense fighting action.

The Good

  • Unique GRD System: The game features an innovative GRD system that rewards players for controlling the flow of the game, adding a strategic layer to the combat.
  • Extensive Training Mode: The training mode offers comprehensive tools such as battle speed adjustment, combo part recording, and access to damage scaling and frame data, enabling players to refine their skills effectively.
  • New Characters and Special Moves: The addition of three new characters and a new special move for each character in the cast enhances the gameplay variety and offers fresh experiences to players.
  • Improved Online Experience with Rollback Netcode: The inclusion of rollback netcode and the resolution of initial online issues provide a stable and fair online battling environment, emphasizing skill over network connectivity.

The Bad

  • Initial Online Issues: The game experienced some initial problems with the online version of the PC port at launch, potentially affecting the early user experience.
  • Potentially Steep Learning Curve: While the game offers detailed tutorials, the unique mechanics and GRD system might present a steep learning curve for newcomers to the series.