Video Game Review: Skullgirls

Developer: Reverge Labs

Publisher: Autumn Games and Konami

Release Date: April 11th, 2012

Platforms: X-Box Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Microsoft Windows

Genre: Fighting

By Nolan Patrick Smith

(Victor Valley)–In the past, I have focused on a wide variety of games, but all of them had one thing in common: they were all disc based. You could walk into a GameStop or Target and pick up the game right then and there, pop the disc in and be on your way. This review marks something different: this is the first digital download game I have reviewed. What that means is that you can simply go online using the X-Box 360 or PlayStation 3 (or a PC) and download the game right off the internet; no disc is needed, just download and go. For this first downloadable review, I picked quite the game. Fighting game fans should rejoice: Skullgirls is here.

Story: Skullgirls is a fighting game fan’s dreams come true. Back are the 2D animated fighters, like the Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom titles. Back is a strong, animated look and feel, which seemed to get lost once everyone tried to make fighters out of polygons. Just to top it all off, the roster is composed of all women, so that’s one more plus for this game. When speaking with developers of this game way back during last year’s E3 Expo, they emphasized their love for classic fighting games, and it shows here.

The story circles around the Skull Heart, an artifact that can grant any wish. This is what brings this strange ensemble of characters together.  When I say strange, I mean strange. Like a girl with a muscle bound alien on her head or a war orphan that looks like she jumped out of an old Walt Disney cartoon. These characters definitely stand out.

Design/Art: The crown jewel of this game is the artwork, no doubt. From each character’s design, which are all very impressive, to the detail orientated backgrounds, the designers of this game spared no expense to make sure we got the best looking game possible. This game’s art is what drew me to it back in 2011 at the E3 Expo, and I think if you take one look, you will agree: it’s a knockout.

Gameplay: I like traditional fighting games, like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, that use the universal control “down, down to forward, forward + punch”. That is exactly how Skullgirls is played, plus some wicked chain combos and a diverse blocking system. Fans of the genre should have no problem jumping right into this game.

Sound: The music provided for this title, from the fight scenes to the load screens, is a perfect fit for the title. The voice work is excellent as well, as seasoned voice actresses like Christina Vee lend their talents to this groundbreaking fighter.

Overall: Since last year, I have waited patiently to play this game once again. When looking at the title as a whole, I see only one thing that it could improve on, and that is the size of the roster. Clocking in at only 8 fighters to choose from, it seems minuet when you compare it to the 50+ characters in some fighters. However, being a downloadable game, you really can’t compare the two. This is one of the best, original fighters I have seen in quite some time, and I urge everyone to at least download the free demo. I guarantee, if you like fighting games, you will be hooked.  A great game, I give Skullgirls a 9 out of 10.

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