The Melty Blood series has gained a slow-but-respected response from fighting fans since its 2002 release on the PC and its appearance in the arcade at last year's Super Battle Opera arcade fighting event. According to a recent 4Gamer.net article (translated by Andria Sang), developer French-Bread will be moving on to something new within the same genre--a new high-definition 2D fighting game called Under Night In-Birth.
Announced at the Hydra GP Winter Festival 2011 tournament at the Akihabara Club Sega arcade in Tokyo, Japan, the 2D fighter will be using a standard joystick and four-button control system. The 2D hand-drawn graphics will be bumped up from 640x480 to 1280x720. Based on the arcade poster layouts and screenshots, the main characters appear to be a blonde sword-wielder named Hyde and a dual-blade-wielder pint-sized woman named Linne. Other characters include a white-haired samurai brute named Waldstein and a red-haired, pale-skinned person of undisclosed gender named Carmine.
The in-game fight screens appear to be standard with the usual life bar at the top and a super meter at the bottom, though there seem to be lined-up blocks at the middle bottom part of the screen. While four characters are revealed, there are currently six other blank slots on the fighter selection screen, making the current roster 10 characters.
The game is between 30 and 40 percent complete and will be playable at September's JAMMA Amusement Machine Show. Under Night In-Birth's release into Japanese arcades is not specifically dated, though producer Nobuya Narita assured fans that the game will be out before the end of 2011.
As for French-Bread's plans for the Melty Blood series, an upcoming update to the most recent game in the series, titled Melty Blood Current Code, will add in a new character called Powered Ciel. The developer is also planning an HD version of the game.