Skullgirls Review

Skullgirls definitely has a certain charm. All the while playing it, I couldn’t help but compare it to the original Darksiders that was released back in 1994. Similarities are there, but I knew I had to think of it as its own release.  I was surprised to find that Skullgirls is a very good, balanced, and unique 2D fighter that everyone should try and experience.

The story of Skullgirls begins with the legend of the “Skull Heart,” which is an ancient artifact that can grant wishes controlled by the Skullgirl. However if the person using the wish is corrupted, then the wish takes a turn for the worse. Now a new Skullgirl has risen and depending on your character, you will eventually cross paths. Not a very original story to say the least, but still one that works in this case.

You have the regular standard modes when choosing how you would like to play. You can pick from a total of 6 beginning characters with 2 more unlockable; with the option of picking a total of 3 characters per game, depending on what mode you play. You can tag another character in at any time to change.

Training mode helps you learn some of the moves and advanced moves for the game. From single player Arcade, which also somewhat doubles as a survival/team attack mode, and Story mode, which will say the story for whichever character you play as. Each character within the game has their various reasons for joining in the fight. You have your demented soul, one looking for revenge, one wanting to right a past wrong in their life and so forth. But don’t let the fact that it’s all girls throw you. Stories sometimes add in a little demonic side with various over-sexed or violent tones. Where else are you going to see a catgirl who continues to fight even though she is decapitated or characters that control possessed hats that grant them power?

There is a versus with local mode if you’d like to take on someone sitting next to you and online fighting that includes Leaderboards which ran smooth enough. One criticism about playing online is that you do not have the option of searching for open games. Instead you are randomly thrown into a match that could or could not have a good connection.  Or end up battling someone who has chosen two or more characters to fight with. Basically comes down to the luck of the draw.  As I mentioned, games have run smooth for the most part when connecting with others online.

The overall design of the game is unique onto its own. Presentation of the game is very well done. The game features a 1940’s-1950’s theme complete with music, announcer and cut scenes. In fact some of the characters, particularly one, could have been cut out from various old comic strips. Skullgirls graphics and smooth animation is one of its strongest suites. The beauty of the game comes from the movement of the fighters and the fantastically colored and detailed backgrounds. In fact Blazblue is one of the only other game series that looks too rival the fluid animation of the game. Fighters move without lag or delay and there is a surprisingly good combo system, that is easy to pick up and deep enough to really make a difference to learn which character you will play. It isn’t anything that will make you learn an extreme style of combos like the King of Fighters series.

One of the nice things that Skullgirls has done, that I noticed, is giving nods through various references to comics and other video games. It’s funny hearing certain characters say “Hello Nurse!” before fighting Valentine or after winning saying, “Ain’t I a Stinker.”  At other times certain characters will yell “Berserker Barrage!” when doing special moves. Obvious nods referencing other fighting games. These little things along with others add to the charm of Skullgirls.

One of the other criticisms I had with the game is the lack of other modes and characters. There is no time attack and when playing the Arcade team battle/survival mode I kept getting the same characters over and over again.  That became a bit stale. Some people might even complete the game quickly, in some cases, and see all the endings for the characters. This, not including the online mode, may make people wonder what else to play with the game. Hopefully these other options will come but it leads me to believe that it will come with paid DLC.

For a $15 dollar game though, Skullgirls is really good. From the terrific animation, good fighting system and playable online, you really could go wrong playing other fighting games. I recommend this game for all.

Skullgirls gets a 8/10

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