Just over a year ago, indie fighter Under Night In-Birth hit arcade stands in Japan. 4Gamer sat down for an exclusive interview with developers Narita Nobuya and Serizawa “French Bread” Kamone to check out new character Chaos, unveil surprise guest character Akatsuki and chat about upcoming massive changes to the game’s metagame balance.
Dubbed Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late to follow the idea of “executing a program late at night”, said Narita, the first new character is Chaos, an ally of Gordeau.
Serizawa noted that Chaos will be a very technical character—a cancel and pincer-style fighter whose high agility will run rings around foes. Nonetheless, he stressed, Chaos will “not be a difficult character to play”.
The larger surprise was the unveil of Akatsuki from The Lightning War of Akatsuki, another arcade battler released in 2008. While more details were not forthcoming for the guest character, he will come with his own set of combos and abilities to rival other fighters in the game and has been noted to be an AI-exclusive enemy for now.
The big balancing act, said Narita, will be trying to move away from the impression that Under Night is a combo-style battler reliant on stringing together long chains to win. Their initial idea of a game with easy-to-combine counters unfortunately created that perception, he said, especially amongst beginners and intermediates who could get stuck with no recourse against expert combo jugglers.
Guard Thrust in action
Balance will thus take the form of additional new actions such as Recovery Correction Costs and Force Functions. Recovery Correction Costs will nudge players to split up their attacks by also having to manage their EXS and GXD meters more closely than ever. Force Function, meanwhile, will give added punch to skills when unleashed to help offset the drop in damage from shortened combos. Easier Guard Cancels, air intercepts and dash-aways will also shift focus to a more strategic “ground war battle”, added Serizawa.
The newly updated version is out now in Japan’s arcades.