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Game Spotlight: Skullgirls

April 11th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

What is Skullgirls? If you haven’t heard, Skullgirls is a brand new 2D fighting game developed by Reverge Labs – a small but talented team in Marina Del Rey, California. The full game is available for download on both PSN and XBLA today.
Skullgirls logo
Skullgirls is also Mike Z’s love letter to Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. I’ll skip over the game’s charming aesthetics and storyline because they’ve been covered plenty. This is more about the remarkably elegant system mechanics you’ll discover as you learn to play.

Skullgirls is a truly hardcore fighting game which pulls no punches when it comes to offering challenging gameplay. Yet beneath the surface, it’s extremely clever about staying accessible and streamlining basics to minimize drudgery.

As you delve into exploring Skullgirls, you’ll notice that the smallest details feel like someone put genuine thought and effort into improving conventional designs. Air dashing, throw teching, input buffering, infinite avoidance, assist selection, and even 360 commands have been brilliantly implemented – with subtle innovations that you’ll be delighted to uncover.

In this day and age of developers dumbing down the genre to conceal that steep learning curve from new players, Reverge Labs has taken a huge risk by making a title for fighting game veterans – and i think the community should support them for it.

If you really want to play the game well, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty and learn all those scary things that make fighting games rewarding. The interactive tutorial will teach you the essentials as quickly as possible, but that won’t keep better players from putting you in frightening situations that only skill and experience can overcome. There’s no escaping that simple fact, but isn’t that what the genre is all about?

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  1. April 12th, 2012 at 07:32 | #1

    Here’s hoping that Skullgirls sells millions of units and makes tons of money. All i can say is, i really hope these guys get to finish all the DLC characters they have planned, continue supporting the game with patches, and eventually get pull out all the stops for a big budget sequel. Fingers crossed!

  2. onreload
    April 14th, 2012 at 23:47 | #2

    I’m with you on that; I don’t know any of the devs personally, but just going on what I’ve seen and read in interviews, you can tell that they really care about games as well as community. And I definitely have to agree with your last bit about the “frightening situations” these fighting games put the players in; it’s this steep learning curve that defines our games and community, I would argue…but Skullgirls still looks like it will be easy to have fun with, with its presentation and basic mechanics (chain combos must have some immediate connection to pleasure chemicals of the brain)

  3. N00b_Saib0t
    April 15th, 2012 at 02:53 | #3

    I’m all for a fighting game that doesn’t let you pick Ken and mash DP to get out of the “frightening situations”. Obviously its not the only way out, and while SF4 has some great things about it, the fact that a pressure game is never really safe against lesser opponents was a let down. I plan on getting it next pay day to see what its all about. I hope this story mode is long and good, because my internet sucks right now and I don’t have a good scene to get into here.

  4. April 15th, 2012 at 08:17 | #4

    Yeah, it should be interesting to see how well the game sells. It seems like most of the major fighting game tournament organizers are supporting it in a positive light, so the audience for SF4/MvC3/SFxT streams will be exposed to Skullgirls in the same way.

    I guess the question is, how big is that audience and how open are they to new fighting games? If they feel saturated with existing games and want to keep playing what they know, then Skullgirls probably won’t fare too well.

    Skullgirls is obviously going to appeal to the Marvel and Guilty Gear crowd the most, so hopefully those guys are ready for something fresh. Plus the game has a very unique and offbeat art style, so i’m assuming there’s some group attracted to that too.

    But that’s everything i can say about the matter. Without knowing how big those two groups are, i really have no idea what to expect.

  5. onreload
    April 15th, 2012 at 13:11 | #5

    The one thing that’s working in its favor is the fact that SFxT has been a bit of a letdown. U/MvC3 helped people get more excited about games again, where the SF4 series took a boring left turn, and SFxT should have picked up the hype torch, but…well…

    So yeah I hope it ends up as a welcome addition/replacement to tourneys

  6. April 15th, 2012 at 14:40 | #6

    The best thing about it is the fact that it comes from a fan who understands what the genre dwellers wish for in their fighting games. That’s just meant for success. Can’t wait to get this game.

  7. April 22nd, 2012 at 02:24 | #7

    This has to be one of the best fighting-game related April Fools’ pranks ever:

    http://skullgirls.com/2012/04/skullgals-coming-to-handheldgaming-systems-in-early-2013

    (It’s kind of old but i hadn’t seen it until now.)

  8. April 27th, 2012 at 23:42 | #8

    Oh cool, looks like Skullgirls sold 50k copies accross both platforms in its first ten days, which is a respectable amount for a digitally distributed game:

    http://shoryuken.com/2012/04/26/skullgirls-sells-over-50k-copies-dev-team-now-working-on-first-update

    I’m happy for them and glad that they get to continue working on extra downloadable content for their fans.

  1. May 10th, 2012 at 00:34 | #1
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