Average User Score: 7.6Aug 27, 2013Skullgirls 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.… Expand