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Worth so much more

By Jason Bogdan
On April 18, 2012

If you're looking for a good old-fashioned fighting game, Skullgirls is definitely worth turning to. That is, for the 15 dollar cost.

This is a game that has all the content and quality to make it worth every last penny for the fifteen dollars it costs. And yet, every minute I've played Skullgirls, that very fact made this game a bit depressing to experience. For what you are paying for, Skullgirls is undeniably a good game; but if it had the extra time and budget for a full-priced title, it could've easily been brilliant.

And this thought couldn't come any clearer until you see the roster of lady fighters at deck. Every one of the violent ladies has their own fighting style and intricacies that makes them wildly different than all the rest. For example, the lovely Parasoul has calculated movements with some powerful finishers, while the twisted Peacock is a spindly loon with an arsenal of deadly weaponry. And with some of the most beautiful and fluid Art Deco 2D animation for a video game, they all also control wonderfully.

And yet, you still only have eight of them. Yes, quality is always better than quantity for games; but the amount of déjà vu you'll have when fighting against the same characters over and over again is ludicrous.

It doesn't help that the modes available here also reek of the limitations for indie titles. Each playable vixen has their own fascinating tale to be told in the story mode, but the complete lack of voice acting and miniscule dialogue makes the stories ultimately feel hollow.

The training mode is great, but you need to download the fighting move list off the Skullgirls website to know what all the special moves are. And the A.I. in the arcade feels unapproachable to new players as even the easiest difficulty is an intense challenge.

But at least the online mode has the new "Good Game Peace Out" middleware to create near-lagless matches. It's certainly not perfect as players with bad Internet will have to sacrifice the quality of those wonderful visuals to pull off some good combos. But considering how easy it is to fall prey to an onslaught of continuous attacks in Skullgirls, a thing like GGPO is mandatory, lest the mode be a complete disaster.

So, ultimately what Skullgirls actually does have included for its price point is done very, very well. Fighting game afficianados should have little regrets for what quality is put into each intricate character, as that alone makes for some high replayability. But honestly, it just isn't enough for everybody else. If the developers did put in the time and money for a full-priced title with various game modes, extra characters and more heart in the simpler things like the menus and story mode, it could've been something much more than an acceptable purchase for 15 dollars. But as it is, it's still pretty darn good.


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