User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 96
  2. Negative: 17 out of 96

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  1. Aug 27, 2013
    4
    Skullgirls is a fighting game envisioned by fighting game community celebrity: Mike-Z. Because of Mike's pedigree, there is a stark similarity between this game and the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise (in terms of how the game is played). Players can choose from a current roster of 9 characters, and can form a team of 2 or 3 characters, or simply go solo (damage/health adjusts accordingly, depending on your team number). Allow me to say some good things about Skullgirls..

    The animations are pretty to look at. They are very fluid and when looked at in slow-motion you can appreciate how smart certain moves look. The style? The crazy 1920's art-deco noir? It's fantastic and peaks the interest of the player. Most of the music is great, not memorable, but pleasant to listen to. And of course, the characters themselves exude both good character design and zany sex appeal. It's a very sweet looking game with a great concept. However..

    The fighting game itself is both disconcerting and unpalatable for competitive play. When you boot the game up, you're treated to a simple (but effective) tutorial mode, teaching new players about the basic of basics: high, medium, low attacks, blocking, movement, hit-stuns and recovery time, block-strings and tech-ing out of throws. It also teaches the formula/play-style of all 9 of the characters. It succeeds in giving the player a warm welcome both to the game, and the fighting game genre. But that's about it.

    As mentioned above, the game plays similar to marvel vs. capcom, a game which is known for it's long combos and fast-paced footsies. In skullgirls, you get just that. Unfortunately, because of it's relative ease, the hit-stun gauge (pocket of time you have to follow-up your combo) is too large, while in other games, the gauge is a lot tighter, forcing the player to get the timing just right to execute high-damaging and drawn out combos. What this means, is that though the game's mechanics is well-presented to the newcomer and the execution is easy on the fingers, the entire learning curve becomes drastically low.

    More often than not, your opponents will hit-confirm you with one of the 6 pokes, and carry it into a 20-30 second combo that will deplete anywhere between 60 70% of your life-bar. And if you're like-minded and rehearsed your combo, you can counter in turn with one of your own. Essentially, the meta-game boils down to: ''Whoever gets first hit, wins.'' This is doubly true for relatively new players who haven't rehearsed such a combo.

    This is where the game is crippled. The competitive nature of the fighting game genre revolves around trying to read your opponent, and to play mind-games. However, in skullgirls, they have neglected this element. Which is by far, the most important element. Though the game does a fantastic job at first-impressions and presentation; teaching newcomers and brushing veterans to the genre on the basics, the premise of competitive spirit is subsequently destroyed by the rather abhorrent combo mechanic.

    In closing, skullgirls is a pretty game with a fun concept. However, it is let down by the game's inability to balance fast-paced combat with controlled, precise mechanics, but instead, makes the mechanic loose for the newcomer, which subsequently scares such players off when it's exploited to it's full extent. For this reason, I rate it a 4/10. Below average. If you're new to the fighting genre, and wish to pick up a fighting game? Avoid this one.
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  2. Oct 5, 2013
    0
    I found this game to be rather derivative of a large number of other fighting games, and it also seems to have a rather tacky deco art style, which further detracts from the experience. Plus, the are charging £11.99, which I feel is quite an exorbitant price for this game, it seems as though it would be worth around £4.99. Plus, they are charging £3.99 for a DlC which ONLY CHANGES A FEW COLOURS, which seems to be very overpriced... Expand
  3. Aug 29, 2013
    10
    I'll cut to the chase: go buy Skullgirls right now. It's incredibly fun and you'd be hard pressed to find a better value for your gaming dollar. The sheer amount stylishness, polished gameplay, and raw originality on display here is truly remarkable.

    I've always enjoyed fighting games, but I'm not an expert by any means. I like to learn as many special moves and combos as I can, but my
    actual "strategy" usually ends up being semi-coherent button mashing. I own Street Fighter IV and Mortal Kombat and have had a lot of fun with both. Skullgirls is similar in many ways to its big-budget cousins, but it's also very much its own game. The neo-Art Deco art style is very well done and the characters are designed and animated to perfection. It's an absolute joy to watch classic Warner Bros.-style cartoon chaos unfold as cars race across the screen, heads roll, and giant balls of twine wreak havoc on your character. The voice acting is limited, but suits the mood of the game to a T, as does the 1920s-era jazz soundtrack.

    I do have a few tiny nitpicks. I would like to see a few more characters, a little bit more voice work, more graphics options, and maybe some polishing done on a few of the stage backgrounds. Honestly though, I get why there are a couple of minor weaknesses like this. Clearly the developers spent a huge amount of time and money perfecting the core gameplay, and as a result they've come up with something really special. If a few secondary things fell through cracks or got pushed back then that's totally reasonable. It just makes me look forward all the more to future patches/DLC and (hopefully) Skullgirls 2!
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  4. Sep 6, 2013
    0
    derivative as hell fighter. Does absolutely nothing new and everything worse than other games. Its much touted "originality" stops at the character design. I suppose if you couldn't care less about any of that and just want to masturbate to some faux-anime, then go for it I guess. There's even a tutorial in there that's been hailed as amazing by people too lazy to use google.

    In short,
    absolutely nothing special. If you want to play a good fighter, play pretty much anything else. If you want to play a good fighter that's also pretty, play KoF XIII. If you want to play a barely competent attempt at the genre with janky animation, play Skullgirls. Though I guess Netherrealm's spawn falls into that category too. Expand
  5. Oct 9, 2013
    8
    Beautiful game. The art style, music, and character design are top-notch. The game plays like Marvel vs Capcom, but with a few difference. The assists are infinite, which means they can be used with less caution, and the game implements an anti-infinite combo system, which can means there should be no infinite combos.

    However, there are 100% combos, which may as well be infinite.
    But, they are not easy to do, and you won't see them online every often, if ever.

    My biggest gripe is with the combos being very long and overdone. It's not fun to helplessly sit through someone's 80 hit combo. It's not fun because, not because you are helpless, but because it gets boring after a few times. And that's what the game turns into. Each player tries to capitalize on any openings, and once that first hit lands, it turns into a massive combo. And on top of that, everyone who plays has to learn those combos to compete. Spending hours in the training mode memorizing huge combos gets old. But that's how the game is played, so you don't have a choice.

    All in all, it's a good game, but with a flawed combo system. I guess that was the vision of the designer though. I'll stick with games like KOF and GG.
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  6. Nov 15, 2013
    5
    Firstly I'd like to state my experience with fighting games. I only play SF4 and done all trials on SSF4 so I know the game mechanics of that game very well. Coming to Skullgirls, it was a pleasant change to see a fighting game have an extensive tutorial. Everything from movement, blocking, blockstun and recovery concepts, high and low attacks, combo chains, air combos, the different attacks, throws and techs, infinite breaker etc. Every aspect of the game is perfectly taught in the tutorial. Each character also has their own specific tutorial explaining their moves and how they should be played. So very impressive stuff. However, there are no combo trials like in Street Fighter, the final boss in story mode is really cheap and there are no animated cutscenes or voices so story is literally just text. But what really puts me off this game is not these things, but the characters. The game mechanics are excellent and don't have things tacked on for the sake of it like Street Fighter x Tekken, but the characters don't really suit the game. I don't mind that there are only 8 characters and they are all REALLY DIFFERENT from each other, but none of them seem to play how you'd expect them. They have crazy moves which seem like gimmicks and these playstyles are very unconventional compared to other fighting games. However, I do like that you can choose to play as up to three characters, with the trade-off of choosing less being more health. But I dislike all the characters and their moves lists and their jumping range and everything else. It's hard to tell what's going on because of all these gimmicks and flash on screen. Comboing is pretty much like Marvel vs Capcom 3 where there is no timing involved it's literally do each attack straight after the other no timing to master like Street Fighter. My recommendation is that if you want a fighting game which is less about grounded fundamentals and more about craziness like MvC3 then get this. If you like Street Fighter it's probably not for you. Expand
  7. Sep 23, 2013
    10
    For a fighting game, it delivers very well. While I can't deny the fact that it does have a small roster at the moment, the addicting gameplay, endless combo combinations, appealing artwork, and the characters' fun personalities all make up for that. Whether you're playing the single-player story or arcade mode, or playing with friends, you will certainly have lots of fun with it. 15 dollars for this is a total steal! Go get it right now! 10/10 Expand
  8. Sep 24, 2013
    5
    well, its a nice game but it kinda get very monotonous after you are done with the story mode...but its also very challenging.And considering the fact that they are only girls ;)...its not that bad
  9. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    From glitches to enthroned combos are the backbone of competitive fighting game gameplay. Skull Girls was envisioned by Mike Z a competitive Marvel vs Capcom player and the game takes MvC's fast paced combos, ability to force out different opponents, and other aspects of MvC gameplay I honestly never paid attention to and make it an art form. The tutorial teaches you well beyond what comes in most tutorials. I had no idea standing moves could be used in some cases to break a ducking block or that you could smash an opponent's character out of the screen to force a healing teammate back in. In other words Mike Z has shared a bit of his wisdom with us and the combos go on forever. The single player is a bit of a let down. Skull Girls doesn't have the over the top special moves that you jammed joysticks to perform in MvC instead of boils down special moves to a few fairly easily to remember sequences and then from there requires you to learn combos and manage your characters ability to break blocks. I actually found myself looking for block breakers only to find she doesn't have a standing high hit. But back to the single player, it might convince you to not get this game. The story mode is entertaining, but easy. However it's really getting online and figuring out how to tackle your opponents that makes the difference. I was decimated in my first few matches before I found out how to repel and keep my distance from opponents. My point is Skull Girls is made by a student of the genre. What he shares is more than just good game play: he shares a methodology of how to think about fighters and how to approach them. It's a lesson in observation, experimentation, and deep gameplay. In that sense it's the best fighter I have ever played. However, a casual glance at the game will only lead to disappointment. Try out the fighters, take some games online, hang out in lobbies and watch other people play. Have fun! I played almost 5 hours of this game my first day and I still can't get a combo past 6 hits. People dissuaded by the cheapness you experience at the hands of more experience players take heart: you will get there, but it will take criticism, practice, and a lot of challenges. It's that aspect of Skull Girls that makes it memorable: it's the first fighter that made me think about the genre. Expand
  10. Sep 2, 2013
    9
    This game is an experiment in creativity and stylistic game-play. As much as I enjoy classic fighters like Street Fighter, I have found myself more drawn towards games with unique engines such as the Guilty Gear and the Blazblue games from Arc System Works. This game is a beautiful mix of the two types of games. The physics are well designed, and the control scheme is tight, smooth and fun. The game is rewarding for casual fans but features a high-end engine that takes a lot to truly master.

    The only real drawback to this game at all comes from it's limited character roster. (Which is expanding with a few free DLC characters in the near future) All the same, the overall game makes up for that by creating stark artistic representations, forcing all its characters to have very unique, memorable looks/play-styles.
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  11. Nov 14, 2013
    9
    I hated this game. That's what i'd say if I was a horrible person. Awesome on almost every level, Skullgirls is a game that I highly recommend to anyone with a thing for fighting games. You'll find the game jam-packed with satisfying gameplay and beautiful spritework. However, my only issues with the game is what it ISN'T jam-packed with. The lack of an extensive roster (I know that there are more DLC characters on the way, but it's gonna be a long time 'till they're all released) and fully animated cutscenes in story mode is a bit upsetting, but I can mostly forgive Lab Zero in these regards due to limitations set by them being an indie company. But, believe me, if you're a fighting game fan like me, then you'd be doing yourself an incredible injustice (even if the presentation is a little off-putting to you (believe me when I say it was for me)). Expand
  12. Oct 9, 2013
    10
    If you are the kind of person that enjoys playing the Street Fighter Series, Marvel vs Capcom, Darksouls and more, then I highly recommend you give this game a go. The roster is full of well designed and created characters each with their own unique personalities and abilities. Action is fast paced for old school hardcore veterans with its online versus mode, while also providing the rich story telling setting and game play for a more casual audience, without ever giving up one of the two groups. With content being released at a steady pace and at Triple-A fighting game companies pace, the gameplay always remains fun and enjoyable without sacrificing the feel of the game. Plus, coming from an indie company, the quality put out is comparable to even the standard of Konami and Capcom, perhaps even better since the game is always being attended to and any bugs prominent are fixed on a matter if days. Lastly, the staff of the game is always ears open, attending to your needs and request, tweaking minor segments of the game to provide a more comfortable experience for any gamer looking to try or commit to the game.
    Also, the art style is something different compared to what your would see in most fighting games. With a first ever "dark-deco" style, you can expect beautiful art work on both the characters and the backgrounds of the many "arenas" you would fight in, guaranteeing your eyes will never be too confused nor bored with the scenery at hand. Even when it comes to the motion animation of the characters the character movements are fluid and well connected, so you will never experience static imagery which would ruin your game experience.

    Overall the gameplay is fluid and it fulfills the core element of what every fighting game should be, while also venturing away from common practices and going in a different direction, a better, brighter and more creative direction. And that is why I give Skullgirls, a solid and well deserved 10/10
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  13. Nov 17, 2013
    5
    Tried this on free weekend on Steam. Not a bad game, really. But I doubt this franchise will last long, specially with import (japanese) fighting games which are way much better than this.

    The characters are obviously too surreal and has no "cool" factor like those in the bigger franchise such as Tekken and SF. They are adorable and sometimes disturbing too. But I admire the creativity.


    Character roster are too small, compare to KOF XIII (which has released on steam)

    If you want to go surreal with "cool factor" try Guilty Gear.
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  14. Nov 17, 2013
    7
    Skullgirls is nothing revolutionary. It's a slightly annoying if otherwise polished fighting game. If you're looking for fluidly drawn fighting fighting breasts then Vanguard Princess is a better bet. If you're in it for the gameplay and enjoy fighters then you'll probably enjoy this but just don't expect anything special.
  15. Nov 15, 2013
    9
    Skullgirls is an excellent fighting game. The controls work wonderfully on the PC which surprised me, and It doesn't require you to be a twitch pro like other fighters such as SF. You can pick up and learn a character pretty easily in about 15 minutes, so its a game that is easy to learn but hard to master. Its great to see a game with an all female cast as well. Its something that isn't done often and actually probably needs to be done more. The only problems I have with this game is its horridly confusing menu controls due to everything being telegraphed through action keys and not by "push enter" or "press back". I promise you the first time you play this game you'll be scratching you head as normal menu control keys don't work, and as you start pressing buttons your screen will start to spasm. Also, the final boss falls into the normal "cheating a-hole" boss. I would compare it Mortal Combat 9's Khan in where you just have to rush him and spam one attack over and over dodging his attacks. Kinda ruins story and arcade when your having good fights racking up combos, then you hit the boss and spam high kicks the whole time. I do recommend this game though. Its brilliantly done. Expand
  16. Nov 23, 2013
    10
    Hands down the most fun I've had in a fighting game. Excellent characters, beautiful and fluid animations. Every character feels very unique and thematic. Fighting mechanics are amazing and have a lot of depth to them. Net code is amazing and allows my friends and I to play around the world with minimal lag.
  17. Nov 21, 2013
    10
    One of the best fighting games what i ever played. Graphics is wonderful and smooth and music are quite nice. The characters are really original, every one of them has their own fighting style. For example, Ms. Fortune can remove her limbs and head which provides a tactical advantage and Double which is able to deform in any other application fighter. Game is a great tutorial, a guide to all the basic movement, attacks and special attacks. Tutorial we will learn all the characters attacks and special attacks. Games also are frequently updated which says that the game makers care about the game. And believe me, those updates will be 2-4 weeks, and they are not wildly big. One thing which is a bit annoying is the fact that the game is currently only 9 characters, but the beginning of year 2014 will be 4 new FREE dlc characters and more are just coming up. This game is totally 10/10. Expand
  18. Nov 23, 2013
    10
    Skullgirls was made with love for the genre and you can see that at first sight. Great visuals, solid gameplay system, awesome music from the Castlevania SOTN composer, wonderful netcode and constant support from developers.

    I read a critic here that says: "More often than not, your opponents will hit-confirm you with one of the 6 pokes, and carry it into a 20-30 second combo that will
    deplete anywhere between 60 70% of your life-bar." as if that would destroy the game experience.

    In general this genre work that way. You can be raped by someone with good execution. That is the one of the basic rules. Work hard/Practice Destroy your enemy. Old games like Kof 2002, Street fighter alpha 3 and MVC2 had the same aggressive approach (or even far more hardcore) and they all had a strong competitive scene even with 3 char tiers like MVC2.

    Air dashers are a sub-genre within fighting games. They work that way. You can look some MVC2 and UMVC3 tournament footage to see it with your own eyes. The style is completely offensive and If you can not defend properly you are in big troubles.

    Skullgirls is like that. A aggressive game with good user-friendly mechanics and a deep care for the details. All i can say to you who are thinking of buying is give it a try. Play it for a few weeks with friends or online. Explore it. Try a console demo or something. Then you can draw your own conclusions.
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  19. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    Just to spite the people making 0 scored reviews because they got beat online.
    Those people make metacritic such a hard site to gauge the quality of a game because they make spite reviews for no reason, and especially 0 scored reviews just because they didn't like something small about the game, and blew it up into a big problem when there is none.
  20. Jan 25, 2014
    8
    A game that succeeds as a fighting game on all fronts, but falls short as an actual game. The simple storytelling format (static images and accompanying text-narration and non-spoken character lines) remains a solemn reminder of the lower budget this crowdfunded game faced in development, and has suffered from postponements and unclear update/DLC schedules since its inception. Again, there's superb quality to be found in it as a fighting game, between its artistic merits in character design and sprite illustration and technical merits for developing a fighting game that avoids many (but maybe not all) of its historic predecessors.

    Bottom line is that it will always hold a very esoteric appeal, meant only for those that will enjoy this style of game and competitive scene (which falls short, in volume of players/community, of what many of us envisioned coming from the game), and that won't suffer too many qualms with the under-developed story. Definite 8/10 from me, but this game is a walking "your mileage may vary" tag.
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  21. Feb 2, 2014
    9
    skull girl is a very fun game with beautiful art design. i would have rated this a 10 except for the fact that the story mode and other modes are way to short. the combat flows perfectly and it shows while in the tough boss fight. you can get the hang of the game pretty quick but it will take you a long time to master a character and be ready for online play. it is a fun and awesome fighting game and i'm glad i bought it Expand
  22. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    Skullgirls is a great game. Like, a REALLY great game. I’d honestly say one of the best games I’ve ever played. But, that’s not an objective fact. That’s how I view it. Sure, it’s got some problems, but otherwise, it was a very enjoyable experience.

    First off is the music. When you begin the game, you get haunting opera. Then, there’s an electronic guitar riff with game footage in the
    background. Then once you’re on the main menu, you get a snazzy jazz number. And as you play the game, you have a unique song for each map that matches the general aesthetic. But one of the best pieces is “The Lives We Tried to Reclaim”, the song used for more emotional scenes. And then, during the credits, you get another jazz number, but this one is more chippy and happy. This one is called “In a Moment’s Time”, and is my favorite song in the soundtrack. The soundtrack was made mainly by Michiru Yamane, the woman who composed for the Castlevania games, before leaving Konami to work on Skullgirls. If you like her music, it’s safe to say you’ll like her work in Skullgirls. The rest of the soundtrack was composed by Vincent Diamante.

    What is personally my favorite part of the game are the wonderful character designs. All the characters are unique, creative, and very expressive. But it’s funny, because the lead animator of Frozen, a movie with a budget of millions backed by Disney, said that animating women is so hard that apparently they had to revise the entire movie’s storyline while this indie game had an entire cast of women, all with amazing character designs. But, what makes them so good? Well, for one, they allow for expression. They are very stylized, and the range of emotions the characters can convey is very wide. Second, is that they’re just cool to look at. Although not everyone might agree, a good chunk of these characters are rather cute.

    As for the backgrounds, they are also excellent. You can just imagine the day-to-day goings-on in some of them, and a lot of them already have things like conversing students at school, a preacher at the church when it’s full, people just hanging out at Little Innsmouth (which I might add is just one big reference to Lovecraft), and burning buildings in a mid-battle city. Although you might not be looking at the backgrounds as you’re in the middle of a fight, they’re still simply wonderful.

    Another great part is the dialogue. It’s nothing award-worthy, but it’s certainly something. Each of the characters has not only their own personality, which is a standard among good characters, but they even have their own speaking quirks. Squigly, an opera singer, is very polite and graceful. Peacock, a girl obsessed with cartoons, has a very 1920’s way of speech. Cerebella, a circus performer working for a mafia, throws off circus sayings and lines showing loyalty to the mob boss, Vitali. You can also hear them speak during fights, which is a relief from the usual collection of grunts and groans a good lot of fighting games have. While many games don’t pay much attention to dialogue, saving it for cutscenes, Skullgirls certainly put a bit of work into it.

    However, a problem is that it’s a bit fanservicey. That might be kind of alienating for female customers, and some males, and that’s totally fine. If you don’t want to play a game because it’s content makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, even if the entire gaming community says it’s the bee’s knees, you don’t have to. But if you like the fanservice, then that’s fine too.

    Changing the topic, it is rather easy to get used to if you’re a long-time fan of fighting games. With its 6-button layout, similar to that of Marvel vs Capcom, allows more die-hard players to get into the game almost right away, without much of a hassle.

    But what truly makes Skullgirls stand out is its animation. Literally every frame is individually hand-drawn. The characters all move very smoothly, and it’s beautiful. Just beautiful. Heck, it even got into the Guinness World Records for most frames per character.

    Whereas most fighting games don’t pay much to story, Skullgirls doesn’t either, but got the most bang for its buck. You can clearly see the relationships between characters in the different storylines, and the backstories for all of the characters are all tragic, save for that of Double, who’s background is more unknown. But the genius of the backstories is that they aren’t revealed straight away. After you’ve played the character for a bit, and got attached to them because of their actual character, then you get the sad, tear-jerking backstory. If we got the backstories immediately then we wouldn’t care because we don’t like them yet. That is talked about in this video, albeit on a different subject.

    But one of the problems I have with the game is it’s odd difficulty curve. When you play on story mode, it goes quite smoothly, but then you get to the final boss and WOAH. Suddenly it’s Dark Souls: Fighting Game Edition. I actua
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  23. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    The art and game-play are both amazing. Great touch of having the beta to be accessed, and the game is kept up-to-date in steam. I totally recommend this game to both new and old fighters.
  24. May 26, 2014
    3
    Please don't buy this game if you are EXTREMELY experianced fighting games.

    I'm familiar with various differend kinds of fighting games and mastered at least 3 of them but this games is just meant to be played only by A+ pros who only play fighting games for living... Seriously, this is the kind of fighting game when you make a mistake you get to watch a full lenght combo movie.

    The
    art style might be sexy but don't get fooled by it. The story isn't even voice acted. And because of the colorful nature of the game, screen tends to get very caotic and you will lose focus all the time. Expand
  25. Jun 18, 2014
    9
    A very good fighting game, and very creative. It has a lot more potential then it's using, and its already uses a lot. I recommend you get this great game.
Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 30, 2013
    80
    A sharp, snazzy and accessible fighting game, held back by the unnecessary sexualisation of its antagonists.
  2. Oct 16, 2013
    80
    A fighting game that should appeal to everyone regardless of their experience with the genre. Friendly to newcomers (but it does not reward button mashing) and deep enough for the seasoned enthusiasts. [11/2013, p.82]
  3. Sep 13, 2013
    90
    An atypical fighting game, but one of the best that you can play to introduce yourself to the genre.