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Available on

Xbox Live Arcade!

 

Platform

Xbox 360

Genre

Fighting

Publisher

Autumn Games / Konami

Developer

Reverge Labs

ESRB

T (Teen)

Released

April 11, 2012

 

 

- All-girls fighting cast has plenty of catfight carnage
- Awesome anime-inspired artwork, especially the extremely curvaceous characters

 

 

- Horrible blocking controls lead to plenty of frustrating beatdowns
- Although playing through each individual fighter’s story mode increases playing time, each separately is very short

 

 

Review: Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition (360)

Review: Mortal Kombat Komplete (360)

Review: Ultimate Mortal Kombat (DS)

 

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Skullgirls

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

skullgirls          skullgirls

 

Some are super-hot, others are simply super-strange but all are still somehow seductively sexy. The all-female cast of lead characters in the Xbox Live Arcade old-school 2-D fighting game Skullgirls are saturated in sexually, with plenty of curvy titillating T&A. But while the Skullgirls themselves are scorching, the gameplay is just lukewarm, as the visual eye-candy doesn’t completely deflect from the sometimes-frustrating controls, extremely short story mode and ends-too-quickly (albeit fast and furious) online Xbox Live matches.

 

Plenty of fighters have a roster full of libido-raising female characters, and plenty have gone the same route as Skullgirls with the entire roster being female, so there’s nothing original about that aspect of the game. But the uniqueness of the

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character design and overall amazing anime-inspired visual performance stands out above the estrogen-enhanced fighting game crowd. Not only are the very young characters (ranging from as young as 13 through age 27) beautifully rendered, the backgrounds that serve as the fighting arenas are dazzling.

 

With tight and skimpy derriere and cleavage-revealing clothing and

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features, even the strange and proportionally mutated gals such as Painwheel and Ms. Fortune have a bizarrely sexual appeal. There’s nothing bizarre about the curvaceous beauty of others, though, especially Parasol and Filia.

 

Gamers play fighting games for the black & blue bruising and booty beating, not the backstory. Even an excellent fighting game single-player adventure such as the latest Mortal Kombat has a hokey and nonsensical plot at times. So it shouldn’t’ come as much surprise that Skullgirls’ single-player tale is rather flimsy. The story progresses through text-driven static cut-scenes. The tale that unfolds is that of the Skull Heart. It is a nefarious artifact that has genie-like quality to grant wishes of young girls. Those dreams-come-true have an inconvenient way of turning into nightmares, however, for those lasses with an impure heart. Wish for your perished lover to return from an untimely demise? He will, but as a zombie-esque gruesome creature. The Skull Heart is so evilly ironic in its wish-granting.

 

Hundreds have fallen victim to the Skull Heart’s allure and have been transformed into the Skullgirl. Each character has a storyline that leads to an inevitable confrontation with the current Skullgirl. But individually, each story is extremely, extremely short, as after only a few fights, gamers will find themselves facing off against the Skullgirl. Fortunately, the amazing visuals detract from the lackluster lasting quality of the brief single-player adventure.

 

skullgirls           skullgirls

 

Making up for a short-term single-player mode is the lag-free and challenging online play. It can be too fast and too furious for the online Skullgirls newbies, but by using the game’s tutorials, gamers can get acclimated to the Skullgirls gameplay before they head online.

 

For its controls, Skullgirls implements an old-school six-button setup that does allow for some spectacular combos and special attacks. But the controls also have a maddening level of frustration. To begin with, gamers will oftentimes feel invisibly tethered off-screen, as it seems that whatever Skullgirls character is being used doesn’t move at a totally responsive and acceptably fast pace.

 

But far worse than that sluggishness is Skullgirls’ blocking controls. It is seemingly nearly impossible to employ blocking when needed. Too often it becomes worthless to even try and block an adversary’s attack barrage, because it doesn’t work at a high percentage of success.

 

It’s certainly gorgeous for the eyes with stellar anime-inspired graphics and a first-rate capturing of old-school 2-D fighting game charisma. But a short single-player adventure and some overly frustrating controls reveal some of Skullgirls’ warts. However, as a budget-priced fighter, those imperfections don’t detract too much from what is a solid 2-D fighter with smooth and lag-free online gameplay.

 

‑ Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(May 10, 2012)

 

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