Skullgirls (Available on PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Publisher: Autumn Games
Developer: Reverge Labs
Release Date: April 11th, 2012
Price: 1,200 MS Points / $14.99
PSN/Live: Online Multiplayer
Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Skullgirls T for Teen because of violence, partial nudity, use of tobacco and blood. Skullgirls is a highly stylized animated fighter that’s perfectly geared towards the teenage and adult crowd. Young kids need not apply.
Plays Like: A 6-button fighter.
Review Basis: Completed most character stories, played through a large portion of the tutorial, and got my ass handed to me multiple times online.
The Great: The prettiest and most entertaining fighting game I’ve ever seen. If there’s one thing Skullgirls doesn’t lack, it’s style. The screens don’t do it justice; the game is simply sexy as hell. All these characters have original drawings that you won’t find anywhere else. It kind of reminds me of Gal Fighters a bit since it’s an all-female cast, but pumped up to the extreme.
+ A story mode worth playing. Skullgirls knows how to handle a plot. Usually, fighters do one of two things wrong. They either have no storyline whatsoever, or the game bombards you with line after line of dialogue until you finally fall asleep. This one lets the visuals do all the talking while incorporating just the right amount of text. It’s told mostly with still drawings, but they’re such a wonder to look at. You’ll want to complete all the stories because the premise is so interesting. Each character also has a unique ending too. Well done.
+ Very simple, yet deep tutorial. It starts off slow but isn’t afraid to go in depth as you approach the ending. It makes the learning experience fun, but doesn’t expect you to learn everything all at once. I personally couldn’t complete the entirety of it as I write this review because of the sheer difficulty. I always wondered why fighters felt the need to have difficult tutorials near the end, why not leave this to a separate mode where inputting complicated and well-timed combos reward you with goodies and whatnot. Nonetheless, there’s a quick way to learn the ins and outs of Skullgirls and the tutorial does a great job at that.
+ How do you spell F-U-N? Like all fighters, this one is meant to be enjoyed with friends. Button mashers will be impressed with all the moves and characters that they won’t care about the tedious million button combos you see in tournaments. However, hardcore fighters designed this game and it shows. If you fall into that category, this is your game!
+ Flawless online gameplay. Nuff said.
+/- Extremely difficult. Unless you’re a pro, this is one bloody hard game. Even at the easiest difficulty setting, Skullgirls offers no mercy. It’s really mostly aimed at hardcore fighting fans. Casuals will have fun playing against other casual fighters, but will probably get extremely frustrated at the story and arcade mode. Take consideration of this if you’re mainly looking for a single-player fighter.
– Lack of options. Plus the only way to learn the move-sets of the characters is to head to developer’s website. There should have been an in-game option included to make this all accessible. Also, only featuring eight characters might turn some people off.
– Some of the combos require the press of three buttons at the same time. On a controller (heck even on most arcade sticks), this proves very uncomfortable.
Which version should you pick?
Skullgirls saw a simultaneous release on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Feel free to purchase it for whatever system you own. However, if you have the luxury of owning both consoles, unless you possess an arcade stick, go with the PS3 version. The 360’s d-pad is an abomination. End of story.
While extremely difficult, Skullgirls is a match made in heaven for hardcore fighting fans. I completely suck at fighters, yet I find myself going back for more. Just for the visuals I’d recommend this game to any gamer. It’s so much fun. This is probably one of (if not THE) best looking 2D videogames ever released. The art style is unique and screams of originality. Add to all this, a fantastic story mode and you’ve got yourself a winner. Just be prepared for one heck of a challenge.
Final Score: 9.0/10