If you’re easily made uncomfortable, you really shouldn’t play Skullgirls. However, if you possess the willpower necessary to figure out that the animated characters parading around in front of you aren’t real women, and if you’re a fan of complex and rewarding fighting systems, then you’re going to find a game here with enough competitive spirit to keep you busy for quite some time.
Like most fighting games, Skullgirls has a full story mode, in which a bunch of mystical nonsense happens, some people fight over motives that aren’t clearly explained, and it all wraps up in a hilariously unbalanced final boss that frustrates more than anything. It seems to be a common staple of the fighting game genre, the hideously bad final boss. Every time I play through a fighter’s story mode, and make it to the end, I wonder how anybody can think its a good idea to end your story with an enemy so aggravating that it has every player seeing red. Maybe its a necessary tradition, but I just can’t find it in myself to care much about a mode that is an afterthought in every fighter except Mortal Kombat, and even that had about 3 final bosses, each of ever increasing ludicrousness.
Enough about the windows dressing though, let’s get down to the main meat of Skullgirls. If you have no idea what cancelling is, or simply want to learn how to perform a few crazy looking combos, the game’s tutorial mode is about as perfect as I can imagine. Its thorough, deep and satisfying to make your way through, as you feel that you’re learning valuable things about the fighting game genre, and not just the game you’re playing. Finding out how cancelling works might just have tipped me over on this game. There are a fair few tutorials to complete, and each takes great pains to explain just how to perform each move listed. The addition of an in-game move list would have helped in some of the later ones though, as being given the name of a move, but no explanation on how to perform it, seems somewhat backwards. Of course, the multiplayer is why everybody comes to these games, and I’m happy to report that Skullgirls’ local and online modes are adequate enough for anybody wanting to compete against another player. I took part in a fair few matches, and the netcode held up well enough for me to execute combos effectively, and even make it through half an opponent’s health before being completely decimated. Not even playing against a player sitting next to me is going to help my fighting game ability.
At $15, Skullgirls is pretty good value for money. With 8 characters, a decent selection of modes and features, and a well executed online mode, you’re going to find plenty to enjoy here if you’re looking for a good fighter to test out against your soon to be adversaries. If you’re looking for some solo fun though, you’re not going to see any of that in these parts. As a multiplayer experience though, you’re going to find a lot to love about Skullgirls.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Impressive hand drawn aesthetic and excellent soundtrack
- Thorough tutorial mode that explains every mechanic to you
- GGPO for Online ensures reliable netcode
What I Dislike:
- No built in move lists for learning attacks
- Story mode is weak, and has a terrible final boss
- Still being terrible at fighting games