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Skullgirls Review: Breakthrough Female-Based Fighting

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Posted on May 11, 2012 AT 08:00pm

Skullgirls Review

Canopy Kingdom holds a dark secret known to those who seek power or vengeance. The fight is on as you play through the battle for the mysterious Skull Heart, which is rumored to grant your greatest wish, but at a great cost. Read on to unveil the secret of the game that fighter fans have been waiting for!

Reverge Labs have created a mean 2D fighting machine with credits to the experienced tournament fighter Mike Zaimont. With his help Skullgirls was designed for tournament grade competition and it is definitely worthy. Co-published by Autumn Games and Konami, Skullgirls offers a very creative and entertaining experience alone or with friends, and with remarkably unique, well… everything, you can’t really go wrong with trying it out.

The single-player story bursts with flavor as you choose one of eight girls to battle their way to obtain the Skull Heart. Each character has their own little adventure complete with a glimpse of their background to get you tuned in to more than just the fight. You see, the Skull Heart grants you a wish, sure, but at the cost of possibly becoming The Skullgirl. The Skullgirl is a representation of all that is impure, and those with corrupted aspiration become what she is. Each girl that you play as is entirely unique and intricately designed with their own persona, attitude, and set of moves to defeat any adversary they may come across in their journey for the Skull Heart. From the “catty” personality and reflexes of Miss Fortune to the mindless cartoon-loving biomechanical weapon that is Peacock, you won’t find yourself bored from a lack of exclusivity.

Skullgirls is quite difficult to play, I’ll give that to the nature of it’s creator, so if you’re feeling a little down on your expertise you can always visit the training room to brush up on your skills. Ranging from baby steps such as basic movement to mastering mix-ups and combos, the training mode will have you kicking Skullgirl ass in no time. If you don’t think you need training per se, go ahead and start up a game in the arcade mode and pick your team out of the girls. The arcade mode is awesome because you aren’t restricted to the play of one character. You can pick up to three girls to fight as or fight, with the strength of each girl depending on the quantity of your team. The content of this downloadable game is quite the treat for the 15 dollar price tag! Skullgirls also includes a sweet multiplayer for those that are more of the competitive nature, online or off.

The characters, world, and style of the graphics in Skullgirls don’t differ from actual gameplay to cinematics like most games do. Even in battle every girl is a finely designed warhorse, and not only that but the stages of your fights are insane! Stunning hand-drawn animations and world are literally eye candy, and definitely differ from any 2D fighting game I have played. I can’t tell you anything other than ‘unique’ because that is solely what this game is in the design department.

However the gameplay lacks, controlling my character was for the most part a very fluid experience but I found it difficult to execute the moves that I wanted to, such as special, combo, etc., and usually ended up dead on the ground for such reasons. It could be attributed to the fact that I wasn’t using a fight stick, just a regular xbox controller, but I’ll let you be the judge since I’ve heard great things from users who played with a fight stick.

The moves are sick otherwise, once you’ve got them down. Seeing as how Skullgirls is from the mind of a tournament level fighting-game player, it gets quite messy. Even on Sleepwalk, which is the easiest difficulty setting, it’s hard. Very, very hard. So the one thing Skullgirls does lack is the absence of an in-game move list. You can check out the list on their site, but that’s a bit inconvenient if you ask me (which you are…).

In general, Skullgirls was a very fun game to play when I didn’t rage quit and cry in a corner, and if you’re a lean mean fighting machine I suggest you check it out. With a different story for each character and mind-blowing animations to keep you interested, Skullgirls is definitely a good bang for your buck.

Final Score: 7.0/10

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