Skullgirls Review

Developer: Lab Zero Games, Reverge Labs

Publisher: Autumn Games

Genre: Fighting

Platform(s): PlayStation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA), PC (Steam)

Release Date: August 22 (PC)

Skullgirls is a downloadable fighter that puts impressive visuals, hand drawn characters and 2D fighting action in a magical mixture making for a great title well worth its $15 price tag. And the best part? After a full year on consoles, it has finally come to PC. 

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Skullgirls has a setting reminscent of BioShock with its 1940s post-war America feel and timely artstyle. The amazing, ambient soundtrack offers brillant sounds resembling that time period and fits perfectly with the on screen action. Voice work is top notch and also fitting in the game as well. The playable roster of characters now consists of nine females ranging with different playstyles & personalities, offering incredible variety despite being a relatively small roster compared to AAA fighters. The Skullgirls Indiegogo campaign brought forth the announcement of five new characters to be distributed across all platforms for free (one has already been released in Squigly).

The engine, look, and feel of the game were intentionally modeled after Marvel vs Capcom 2 most notably, implementing similar mechanics that MvC2 (and its sequels) became famous for in its later years such as tag-team combat, delayed hyper combos, snapbacks, and character assists. Ratios from the Capcom vs SNK games were also implemented. A single character will have more health and deal more damage while two to three character teams will have a slight decrease in health and damage but are capable of DHCs, assists, & brief health recovery when tagged out. One of the more interesting and new mechanics, geared towards two to three character teams are the inclusion of custom assists. This is simple as inputting the move of a particular character in the select screen. This leaves room for added experimentation with teams.

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There are story, arcade, tutorial, & training modes, for single player content. There is also local versus and online play using the GGPO netcode for smooth matchmaking. Although the arcade is repetitous and story mode isn't particularly long for a single character, these will surely train new players and adjust them to the game as much as single player modes can at least. Skullgirls also uses unique features for balancing and system issues such as infinite combo detection which make an incredible difference. In addition, this also prevents high and low unblockable attacks from registering. The tutorial mode is one of the most informative tutorials in a fighting game to date. Many of the more complex terminologies and mechanics such as high and low mixups, crossups, hitstun, blockstun, startup, recovery, and much more are covered in detail.

Skullgirls brings forth a plethora of content and its growing roster will only improve and increase more play both online and local at no extra charge. Coupled with the most breathtaking 2D visuals in a fighter, the attention to detail in teaching newcomers will help them to take most of these teachings into other 2D fighters with ease. In the past year, Skullgirls has met a warm reception and although it hasn't been welcomed in entirely with open arms, it now has a strong place in the competitive fighting community, bringing new reasons to get excited with its release on a new platform.

The Pros:

Visually Stunning

Great voice work and equally great soundtrack

Finely tuned playstyles with great diversity in roster

Well done prevention of game breaking mechanics like Unblockables & Infinites

Surprisingly informative tutorial

The Cons:

Repetitious single player


Skullgirls gets 4.5/5 lucha masks

Skullgirls gets 4.5/5 lucha masks