Release Date: April 11th, 2012
Developer: Reverge Labs
Publisher: Autumn Games/Konami
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360]
Genre: Anime Fighting
Rated: T for Teen
SkullGirls; a very anime looking 2-D fighting game, is brought to us by Reverge labs and head designer Mike Zaimont. Zaimont is known for his tournament-level fighting as a both a competitor and a champion. He helped balance games BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 making him a huge asset to the SkullGirls team. And definitely gives SkullGirls a fighting chance in a gaming world filled with high expectations and high demands.
So what exactly is a Skullgirl? Well Legend has it that there is a mysterious artifact known as the “Skull Heart”. It has amazing powers and can grant any young woman her wish. Yup that is right it is just for the ladies. Sorry guys! However, this doesn’t mean you can’t partake in all the fun and image your very own wishes being granted. Like with anything that is too good to be true there is a catch. Any wish made with an impure heart, regardless if the wish is selfless or selfish, will be turned in the most horrid of ways.
So what Horrors could happen if you sought out the SkullHeart?
“Peace brought through brutality, eternal life through perpetual childhood, or a lost love returned as an undead monster.
Hundreds have sought the Skull Heart, but so far none have been deemed worthy and spared its cruel power. Those judged impure are transformed into the fearful instrument of their twisted wish… a pale and lovely tempest, a beautiful nightmare – the Skullgirl!”
Would you seek out the Skull Heart and risk becoming a Skullgirl? All I can say is if I didn’t end up becoming a SkullGirls I would be seriously upset.
Character selection is minimal, providing you with a meager 8 characters. There is talk, however, that they will be adding more content and characters at a later date. Despite the small cast that makes its appearance on Skullgirls at launch, I am pretty sure there is a lovely lady for all you. Ranging for sultry, to creepy, to scary, and plain and simply cute there is a SkullGirl for every fighter out there. So who do you fancy? Filia, Cerebella, Peacock, Parasoul, Ms. Fortune, Painwheel, Valentine or Double?
This game is not for the faint of heart, so instead of jumping into a game only to get your ass handed to you, like I did, take the tutorial. Remember – Tutorial Tutorial Tutorial – this game is hard. Even on easy! Unless you are a veteran when it comes to fighting games I STRONGLY urge, *nudge nudge*, that all of you take this tutorial. This tutorial is priceless for the casual gamer and in all honesty only makes things slightly easier once you dive into the action. This is where you will learn when to block high/low. You will also learn about overheads, mix-ups, cross-ups and when to or not to extend a combo.
If you are like me and like to have access to a list of character specific moves via your menu you are out of luck. Whether it be because you like to have it as a reference, or plain and simply you can’t remember shit, be prepared to be perched on your sofa/bed laptop in hand. The only view-able lists are available via their website. This may not be an issue for the hardcore gamers out there that can remember any move combo, but for most of us it takes time to learn all these and a move list would come in handy.
Skullgirls is being compared to the likes of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Marvel vs Capcom, but mostly to the newest Street Fighter game Street Fighter X Tekken. It features the same cross-up system seen in some of the Street Fighter games but its online gameplay is comparable to the Mortal Kombat system. SkullGirls runs incredibly smooth and the combat rooms have almost a mirrored feel to the Mortal Kombat ones. As a huge Mortal Kombat fan from the beginning of time these are the similarities that truly pull me in. Of course along with the awesome anime/comic style graphics.
The graphics in SkullGirls are beyond amazing. It is incredibly balanced flowing from one movement to the next. There is really nothing like a game that can take a theme and bring it to life so perfectly. SkullGirls combines all the necessary elements; colors, design, movement, lighting and music into one complete and awesome visually stunning game. The color palette is breathtakingly vibrant making everything pop out at once, but never overwhelming. You will be so at awe with this game that you willy barely notice the insane amounts of cleavage flying all over your screen. And if for some reason you do it will not be for long.
The biggest downside for me was the way online ranked matches are filtered. A lot of games have a system sorting ranked matches by the players level of experience and their rank. Unfortunately in SkullGirls this is not the case. Not a problem for you veteran players, but all us novice players are at a huge disadvantage. If you do brave the storm chances are you may rage quit and end up avoiding the online ranked matches all together.
Despite this minor hiccup you still have other options, Arcade Mode and the Story Mode. Like all other fighting games, Arcade Mode features the ability to choose your team facing a random onslaught of other teams prior to facing off with a Boss. In the Story Mode however; you will be playing as one SkullGirl. You will get to experience the SkullGirl story from the perspective of which ever SkullGirl you selected through fighting, cutscenes and of course dialogue via text.
Overall this game is awesome! Despite it being ridiculously hard I never raged quit once. I had a blast everytime I played it. It would be a great addition to every Fighting game fanatics collection. And for only 1200MSP how could you ever go wrong?
Replay ability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
For access to Character information, screens, video’s, music and your very own SkullGirls swag check out there website http://skullgirls.com/ .