Autumnal Waterfall 37 – Skullgirls

Ladies and Gentleman(?)

Skullgirls is a fighting game that’s been on PS3 and Xbox360, but now it’s also coming to PC! I’ve been wanting to play it for a while now, but have held off. It’s a fighting game that features an all female cast of improbably proportions. Several of the characters are kind of disturbing, though.

Note, I’m speaking from experience on the PC version. All features might not be available on all platforms at the same time. I hear that patching on consoles is actually a time-consuming and costly process.

Also, get it on Steam. Or if you prefer the console version, it’s on PSN and XBox Marketplace.

It’s Showtime!

The Skull Heart, the perfect gift for any girl. (No, it’s not. Do not give the Skull Heart to anyone.)

Skullgirls is an indie developed fighting game. Its mechanics are very solid and smooth, equal to most fighting games made by companies. They have less characters, but each of the characters have their own style, aethestics and quirks. Playstyle wise, the game is similar to Guilty Gear, I would say. It uses the 3 punch, 3 kick system, that is, light, medium, heavy punch and light, medium, heavy kick.

As far as expected fighting game mechanics goes, this game has all of it executed well. Wake-up games, teching, combos, mix-ups, super moves, all that good stuff. Skullgirls doesn’t introduce a lot new in terms of mechanics. You’ve probably seen everything done here somewhere else before.

I got this!

The largest difference this game has over others is that you can choose if you want to tag-team up to three characters, or play solo. The character’s life and damage are scaled depending on if you have a team of 1, 2 or 3. The 1 being the toughest and 3 being the weakest of course.

I haven’t played enough to see, but ideally, a one on three match should be balanced.

That’s not a ball of yarn, that’s her muscle fibers.

One thing I really like about a team match is that characters will have specific phrases for calling out other characters. Usually they’ll say the character that’s jumping in’s name or something like that. It’s pretty cool and makes the team feel that much more teamy.

Another unique thing it has the the anti-loop feature. The game will detect loops and allow your enemy to burst out of them if you try an infinite loop.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the combat other than it is really solid with good effects, both visual and audio.

Neeerd raaaaaaaaaaaaaage!

The plot? I’m not going to talk a whole bunch about it. Or any about it, really. Not because I don’t think fighting games have important plot, some of them try, but because I haven’t done any of it yet. So plot? Okay plot.  Plot.

Now, game aesthetics and character design. They call the art style dark deco, and I don’t disagree with that. It’s colorful, but there is something disturbing about the whole thing. The characters especially. The style looks kind of like a fusion between anime and western cartoons. Animesque, they call it. And don’t forget the fifth panel: Darkness.

Valentine’s super move.

The most normal one of the bunch is probably Valentine. She has no growths, magical parasites or anything else like that. Just good old fashioned ninja nurse skills. The weirdest one of the bunch is  Double. Double looks like some sort of flesh abomination that morphs into other characters to attack.

Double, that thing on the left.

The rest of the characters have a mix of disturbing ranging from just a bit to whoa there.

I usually base my character choices on how the character looks and behaves rather than their playstyle. So I’m trying to learn Painwheel and Squigly right now.

Listen to my song!

Painwheel is pretty psychotic and has a bladed spinning wheel that looks to be attached to her spine. Her body also does not bend right. Most of her normal attacks can be charged up and will give super armor while they are being charged. She can also use the wheel on her back to fly around.

Squigly is an undead opera singer with a bone serpent going through her head. She also has a chargeup mechanic, though its for stances. Once a stance is charged, you can cancel it. Any moves that start from that stance will keep the charged up version, so in essence, you are storing a charge for later use. One of her skills is something I have not seen before where she basically gets a close up. This will pull the enemy closer to you because the screen shrank. The charged up version actually keeps the screen shrunk, so you create a corner. Neat.

The game also includes an okay tutorial. It’s not on the level of, say, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, but it’s pretty serviceable.

Not shown: Hot Teacher.

Well, I’m still bad at the game and in need of a lot of practice.This certainly isn’t Dive Kick (which I have not tried, but it’s pretty interesting in concept. Go look it up if you want fighting games distilled to their absolute simplest.)

My goodness, it’s been a while since I played fighters, and I forgot how much they hurt my fingers and how much practice combos require. Heebeez.

Cheapass fighting game boss alert!

Full version comes out on PC August, 22. More characters are being developed and will be added in as DLC. Get it on Steam.

That’s a wrap!

Dive Kick

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