Skullgirls is a 2012 2D fighting game and it’s apparent right from the start that this is a love-letter to the 2D fighting games of yore.
Its strong fanbase is proof that Skullgirls has managed to integrate itself as one of the best 2D fighters out there. As someone relatively unfamiliar with the genre, I was eager to check out what all the fuss was about.
- Incredible art and animation
- Tight fighting mechanics
- Depth of combat
- Juvenile character design
- Small roster
The combat stands out as being one of the game’s best qualities. As someone who doesn’t often play fighting games, I could still feel that the controls were incredibly responsive. Fighting plays out like most other fighting games but the timing and execution of each attack are incredibly satisfying.
There’s also a nice option to take up to three characters into each fight, allowing players to swap in new characters during combat, adding further depth to your combat strategy. Players will no doubt spend many hours working out their favourite combination of characters.
As someone who lacks the mental capacity or patience to learn intricate combos, I could happily button-bash and watch the mayhem playout as everything still felt completely within my control. Even with this game’s limited roster of characters, I couldn’t help feel that learning the depths of even a single character would take some time and provide a satisfying challenge.
This brings me to one of my main complaints with this game and the fighting genre as a whole. You have to put a lot of work in before you can really start appreciating them.
Despite having a training mode, I don’t believe this game went far enough to get me interested in its mechanics and works on the assumption that you’re already a seasoned fighting-game fan. Some may see this as a minor complaint, but simply having easier modes available is unlikely to convert fighting game novices into die-hard fans of the genre.
The character design undermines how good the visuals in this game are. The drawing quality of them is incredibly high and the art team of this game has excelled, characters pop, backgrounds never distract or blend with the player’s characters and the standard and quality of animation is truly next level. However, the character design in this game is a little juvenile for my tastes.
I understand that these are cartoon characters and naturally cartoons are a caricature of reality. However, when most of the roster is needlessly sexualised, I can’t help but roll my eyes and feel embarrassed for anyone who had their parents walk in on them playing this.
Skullgirls has a very playful charm and I don’t believe it should be taken too seriously. While the design choices aren’t to my tastes, the art and animation are of an incredibly high standard and the depth of combat is a treat. I can’t say that it’s made me a fan of fighting games, but I don’t think fans of them would leave disappointed.
Skullgirls is available on PlayStation 4 and PC.