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Skullgirls Review

/ Jul 4th, 2012 No Comments

Skullgirls

Skullgirls Review

Skullgirls Review

Skullgirls is a hot new 2D fighter from Reverge Labs with enough artistic appeal to turn more than a few heads, whether you are a fan of fighters or not. Designed to be a tournament level fighting game, Skullgirls comes from the minds of artist Alex Ahad and tournament fighter Mike Zaimont. The overall style of the game is very enthralling, with a neat combination of a jazzy soundtrack and a film noir style environment, illustrated by The Announcer. While being incredibly stylized, the game is not short on humor, with character dialogue referencing movies, cartoons, and other various media. The game follows a cast of eight, all female leads, as they seek an ancient artifact known as The Skullheart, which can grant a woman’s wish, should it be pure of heart.

Gameplay

Skullgirls offers up what a great 2D fighter should. If you’re a fighting game veteran, then you’ll undoubtedly have no problem jumping right in. Or even if you’re a casual gamer, Skullgirls features a tutorial mode that teaches you all the tricks of trade and helps you better understand what a fighting game is. There’s even a few new things Skullgirls brings to the table, like unblockable and infinite prevention, and enhanced input detection, allowing for special moves that are easier to pull off. The controls feel solid and the elements of the gameplay are well thought out. With a roster of eight playable characters, it may seem feeble in comparison to other fighters out there. However, a great deal of thought is put into each, giving them distinct playstyles. Skullgirls also features the option to have one strong fighter, or up to three weaker fighters on your team, not to mention custom assists. While the gameplay is nice and tight, the AI will sometimes knock newcomers off their feet, even on the easiest difficulty at times.

Story

Skullgirls

Skullgirls

Each character of our ensemble cast has their own story to tell, showing what action they take, should they get their hands on The Skullheart. A great deal of backstory is given to every character, making each feel equal in terms of depth. Cutscenes are presented with characters conversing with text over a background, which often, if not always, leads into a fight. Though the characters themselves are well developed in their own respects, a cast of eight characters leaves you wanting to know more about the world of Canopy Kingdom. With DLC characters on the way, I’m more than certain the folks at Reverge will give us more of what we’re looking for.

Graphics

Skullgirls on XBLA

Skullgirls on XBLA

The game’s visuals are absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds are as beautiful as our quirky and curvacious cast of characters. Each frame of animation is hand-drawn and wonderfully demonstrates each character’s appeal in every punch they throw. Skullgirls utilizes a shading layer, allowing the lighting on each character to match the tone of the arena, whether it be a big city of bright lights, or a sun-baked dock town. The character pallettes make nods to various anime and fighting games, with examples such as a Morrigan Aensland color swap for Cerebella and a HighSchool of the Dead swap for Filia. The visual appeal is nothing short of amazing for an indie developed game. Sadly, there is no gallery available at launch, but rather, “Coming Soon.”

Sound

With solid voice acting for each character and a beautiful original score written by none other than Michiru Yamane, the graphics aren’t the only thing that bring the game to life. The incredibly jazzy ‘let’s put on a show’ feel of the soundtrack couldn’t fit the overall personality of the game any better. The vocal performances of each character really shine in their own unique ways. Whether it be the alluring sound of Valentine’s masochistic quip or as hilarious as all the cartoon and internet refernces Peacock can cram into a single fight, the voice actresses truly put on one hell of a show, along with The Announcer, who should take a bow as well.

Overall

Skullgirls Screenshot

Skullgirls Screenshot

Skullgirls is a solid 2D fighter that packs an immense visual wallop. As far as fighting games go, this is a great 2D fighter with all the necessary elements a fighter should have, with a few subtle changes thrown into the mix. However, with an unfriendly AI and no in-game move list at launch, newcomers may have a tough time adjusting if they haven’t checked out the tutorial mode. The story is fairly thought out without being too complicated, but you may be left wanting more. DLC characters Squigly and Umbrella might provide more of a story than you would think at first glance.

The visuals and audio are truly the strong points of the game, with wonderful frame by frame animation, an imaginative soundtrack by Michiru Yamane, and incredible vocal performances from the voices behind the characters. If you’re one who enjoys gawking at concept art or listening to voice clips one by one (much like myself), then you may be dissapointed to find out an in-game gallery is not available at launch. Although you may be anticipating its appearance soon enough.

Overall, Skullgirls is a stable 2D fighter with great visuals to boot. Whether you partake in fighting games or not, it’s a great game to play with friends around the living room or even in a competitive tournament.

Overall Ratings – Skullgirls (Xbox 360)

Gameplay:

9/10

Story:

7/10

Graphics:

9/10

Sound:

10/10

OVERALL SCORE:

88%

Nik Castaneda

Nik Castaneda

Nik Castaneda

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