Platforms: PSN | XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: Reverge Labs
Skullgirls is one of the most exciting games I've reviewed in some time. Not only has Reverge Labs, a plucky yet small outfit of elite designers, players and fans, entered an arena dominated by AAA franchises, but they promised to beat the big boys at their own game. Skullgirls planned to deliver the most balanced competition fighting game ever, and set a new standard for the FGC by fixing the myriad problems present in the genre. All while delivering a sensational hand-drawn visual treat and some jaw-droppingly (cynically?) sexy protagonistes. It's aimed squarely at the hardcore, and makes no bones about it.
Before we begin, it's important to bear in mind that us reviewers often don't have the time to practice and specialise at a single game, and the days of absorbing every command, character and nuance of MvC2, Street Fighter and Soul Calibur over several months are long gone. For the sake of full disclosure, I fully admit that I'll never be good enough to compete with the online community - the spirit is willing, yet the thumbs are slightly too slow even after many hours of practice.
But damn, I still know a sweet fighting game when I play one. And Skullgirls is oh so very sweet.
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Reverge Labs plan to make Skullgirls the best competition fighting game on the market.
This might sound like a remarkable - even ridiculous - statement... but what's more remarkable is that they're actually on course to succeed in spectacular style. This humble download title is set to pack more nuance, better balance, more nuance and more fun into its eight characters than any number of monolithic full-price Japanese juggernauts. Our extensive hands-on test was barely enough to scratch the surface, yet we came away knowing that Konami has discovered a major game-changer that caters for the most hardcore players and genre-fearing newcomers alike.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 provides the inspiration behind Skullgirls' basic premise, but not in the way you might expect. Reverge Labs love Capcom's classic fighting franchise - and at the same time, feel that it's broken at a very basic level. Competition players only tend to favour a handful of fighters out of the enormous roster (Magneto and Tron Bonne especially), highlighting what is essentially an unbalanced and unfair system. Not only that, but "infinites" cause newbies no end of grief as advanced players exploit unbreakable combos to facilitate cheap victories.
This will not stand. Skullgirls is here... and it's going to fix everything.
Click here to find out how!