Hey, G1s! It's been a while.
Although I'm not that great at fighting games, I've been playing a whole lot of Skullgirls recently, and since the new free DLC character Big Band came out today on PC and PS3 (sorry Xbox fans, you'll have to wait a bit), I think it's only fitting that I post a blog about it. So here are my reasons why Skullgirls appeals to all fans of fighting games, both new and old!
1. Story and Visuals
Let's start with something basic. The premise of Skullgirls is that there's a skull heart that can grant a woman one wish, but it can also cause chaos in the world, so naturally there would be women who want the skull heart for their own desires, and others who would want to destroy it (hence the reason why Big Band was added as a male character). Although the story MODE in the game is not that great (for me it's hard to tell what's going on at times), the story itself is really cool. That and the fact that the world itself is kind of an insane and dark world with strong 1920s film overtones is pretty neat. It reminds me of a mix between the anarchic Cool World and the dark and rainy Blade Runner. SO THERE'S THAT.
2. Similar Gameplay
Now, copying other games is just plain dumb. We've seen it happen with Minecraft clones and other games, but it's when you take an old concept and make it into something new and fun that's interesting. Skullgirls plays very similarly to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, with up to 3 tag-team characters and is very combo-driven, but Skullgirls takes it up a notch. It has a system where you can't use the same mix-up twice in one combo, adding an infinity breaker to break out of a combo. You can also switch characters in ways which you wouldn't expect, not only during a super but also during blocking.
The characters themselves are also very similar to other characters in other games, but with a twist. Ms. Fortune is a Frankenstein cat who plays very similar to Wolverine, but can throw her head for attacking from far away. Valentine is a nurse who plays similar to a ninja (which is one of the reasons why she has bouncing breasts like Mai's from KoF), but she can also throw syringes to slow down attack speed and drain health. These characters are not the most original, certainly, but at the same time they kind of are original because of how Lab Zero took something old, and created something new.
3. Audible and Visual References
It's an indie game, so by golly there's gonna be references, but they're so cleverly done wherever they're put in the game. For example, the color palletes for Peacock (the annoying cartoon girl) include but are not limited to the following: The Grinch, The Warden from Superjail, Super Milk Chan, and Inspecter Gadget. For Filia (the girl with a parasite in her hair), there's a skin for Finn from Adventure Time, no shadows or anything (which makes it even more cartoony). But color palettes are not the only places where there are references. Sometimes the characters themselves will reference something.
Peacock: "You're not bad. You're just drawn badly."
Leviathan (Squigly): "GET OVER HERE"
Announcer: "This battle is all in the mind!"
Big Band: "We have come to terms. See ya, space cowboy."
I don't know about you, any game that references Cowboy Bebop gets almost all of my cred.
Speaking of cred...
4. INDIE CRED
How many games do you know that is not only a 2d fighting game, but is also developed by an indie company? And I'm not talking about games like Divekick, I'm talking a fully realized 2d fighting game that can be played competitively at, say, EVO. There are so many people in the indie scene that made this game a reality and are still making it a reality, with regular updates coming in about once every week. There's even small internet stars such as Joshua Tomar of Jaxamoto, who has done voice work for the announcer, and has done other voice work such as Girlchan in Paradise and Admincraft. Not only that, but they also take input from others to fix bugs and add things in the game. They made an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to play fighting games, which really helps with the learning curve. They even had a vote to who would be new DLC characters for the game, Big Band being one of them. For Pete's sake, they had an April Fools character and kept her because people wanted her.
I personally love that anyone can have Beta access and receive instant updates if they own the PC copy of Skullgirls. I feel that PC is not only superior in the technology department, but also the fact that Steam and others in the PC community are very friendly to their Indie devs. That's more than I can say for Xbox Live Arcade. In fact, I'm gonna write a quick letter. BRB.
Dear 2d Fighting Game Developers,
Please bring SF Third Strike, MvC 1-3, and Killer Instinct (old one or new one, your choice) to Steam or PC, and have them with GGPO Online support. None of that laggy crap that's on games like MK9 on Steam. And if you do not accept to these demands, I will send you pieces of my PS2 copy of Third Strike, bit by bit.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, my conclusion. *ahem*
The people at Lab Zero are constantly working around the clock to make Skullgirls a better game by adding things and fixing bugs. I've never seen this much dedication for a small team of people on a fighting game before. And to that, I say FIGHT ON.
Now that I'm done, it's time for a SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG.
As I've said I'm not very good at fighting games, so I made a series in which I get better from the start! I take input from other people and all that, so if you see me mess up somewhere and I need to be punished for it, then be sure to tell me and I'll correct myself.
Also people said it was fun to watch, so there's that. You can start from the first episode here:
The Saltiest Loser: Episode 1
And with that, I'm off. PEACE