Heeelllooo everybody! I see that the title has drawn some people in~ SOooo … Today marks the 5th year anniversary of the release of a 2D indie fighting game.
Skullgirls is a game co-created by Alex Ahad (who is responsible for characters and lore) and Mike Z (who is responsible for coding). Although it was released in 2012, new characters had been added to the roster in 2014 and voice acting was added in Second Encore DLC last year. There is a mobile game coming veeeery soon too…
Story and The Premise
Surprisingly, the game overflows with lore. It is pretty original in what it does and introduces new concepts. To sum it up, I suggest you watch this video if you are interested and want a simple summary.
One of the game’s biggest charms is the music.
Jazz 4 ur soul dat is about 2 be corrupted by ur wish. Dark, I know.
It was composed by Michiru Yamane, his most known work being Castlevania OST.
The characters are pretty distinct and unique with their appearances and backstories. So I tried to sum ’em up without spoiling major stuff. If you want the full experience, I suggest you play the story modes~
She’s an average school girl really, except the second mouth on her head. She coexists with a parasite named Samson. Though she has no memories of her old life, perhaps it is for the best. After all that, she has Medici blood in her veins.
Admired acrobat of The Cirque de Cartes and beloved leg-breaker of Medici Mafia. Using Vice-Versa, her living weapon, she follows the orders of his adoptive father, Vitale Medici. Despite whole crime empire thing, she’s a decent gal.
A gal who’s all about cartoons!!! Her bead “eyes” are actually not even there, she used to have actual arms instead of Argus Unit, let’s just say bad stuff happened to her. Not being able to cope, her mental health went downhill. Using her other parasite Avery Unit, she made her imaginary friends real and created a world of her own.
Crown princess of The Canopy Kingdom and The Respected Leader of Black Egrets. After her own mother almost destroyed the world, and her father disappeared to unknown, she was left her kingdom and her sister to protect. And so she did.
The Meownificent Nadia Fortune, (who likes puns furry much) is the last “surviving” member of the Fish Bone Gang, a group of thieves who took care of her when she was a kitten. As they made their last heist, they were caught by Medici and sliced into pieces. But lucky her, she happened to swallow the Life Gem, a stone with incredible regenerative powers. And just like that, she gained immortality, she’s not in one piece, but “alive” nonetheless.
2 Skullgirls ago, Contiellos used to be a prestigious family. But when Selene, Sienna’s mother, acquired the Skullheart mysteriously, Medicis (If you haven’t noticed, Medici’s are kind of…pricks…) were fast to betray them. They made a genocide and Sienna Contiello died right there. Her father, Roberto, sacrificed himself so that her daughter wouldn’t become a peon of the undead beast that once was his wife. Squigly, once again, awakens from her deep slumber.
Ben Birdland was an honest police officer who dreamt of a world with justice. But you know, Medici exists. After he was beaten to death, he was found by Lab 8 and given a second chance. Though he doesn’t have a living like the most, he is an experienced fighter.
A talented diva and host to skeleton parasite Sekhmet, Eliza has some dark secrets she would like to keep hidden, such as her age and her god complex. But Medici has different plans for her, and blackmail her to do their bidding. After so long, the hunt begins once again.
Despite all the odds, after winning against Gigan Grendel (and his mother), the legendary wrestler Beowulf retired and had a mediocre-at-best acting career. But no more! He is back in the ring to protect New Meridian once more.
Joke Character #1. Other than ruining lives, Ol’Braino is also interested in cloning and necromancy. So he forced to two fused souls in a body and called it Fukua. Fukua pokes fun of clone characters in other fighting games (including Decapre.).
Joke Character #2 Yet another hobby of Mr. Brainiac is robotics. When he learns about Fortune from Valentine, he is convinced he can do a better Fortune compared to the organic one. So that’s how she came to be.
Carol was a normal girl, she had friends, she had a future. Until Lab 0 happened, that is. She is made into a living weapon by Valentine and Brain Drain. Skullgirl blood in her veins, an evil scientist in her head, she seeks her old life and family.
Ahh … Many’s favorites, bust nurse. After her group of combat medics (basically ninja nurses), The Last Hope, encountered and failed to defeat the Skullgirl, she joined her sides to take a closer look and save her own life.
Nothing is known about “Sister Agatha”. She exists merely to tempt women into making wishes, aid the Skullgirls and make sure Trinity’s will is forever.
Graphics and Gameplay
I have decided to talk about my opinion on these subjects under one heading, mostly because 2D is a great part of what makes the Skullgirls experience so delightful.
Here I compiled a few gifs for your enjoyment~
Click to zoom in~ (If there are any errors , open them in new tab [as the gifs are pretty big]. Sorry for inconveniences.)
There are 8 main characters, 5 DLC characters and 1 Fukua in the game. They all have different playstyles and different moves (even Fukua and Robo Fortune).
You want long range? Peacock.
You want to be fast? Ms. Fortune.
You want to combo? Valentine.
Did you know you could have up to THREE favorite characters and play with them at the same time?! You can fight 1v1, 2v2, 3v1, 3v2, 2v1, 2v3, 3v3, 1v2, 1v3 . Thanks to ratio, you can wreck a team of three with only one character. Isn’t that great?
Choose your main and excel at them. The tutorials and training room are there for a reason! So that you don’t try to do the same combo over and over and over again and fail because of the dandy infinity prevention system. As the name implies , it keeps you or your foe from spamming a move/combo and knocking out the poor character. Also you have Drama Meter, and it basically limits how long a combo can be.
There are 6 buttons you can use; lP-mP-hP (light punch-medium punch-hard punch) and lK-mK-hK (light kick-medium kick-hard kick). Combining certain combinations, as you can predict, leads to gooooood stuff. Personally, I use my controller but I have seen people rocking the keyboard and beating me hard.
Speaking of, multiplayer with friends is THE BEST. Nothing can strain your friendships better than Monopoly and Skullgirls. Even though all the fun, i stay away from the lobby play , it’s scary.
TL: DR; Good fun.
+Diverse roster with characters specialing in different aspects of a fight. Also they are all lovable goofs (especially Peacock) except bust nurse, breast skeleton and abomination.
+Hand drawn animation with squash-stretch technique thrown in. Produces great screenshots such as [this one].
+A-fricking-mazing soundtrack, as expected from Mr. Yamane.
~Ping, which can be torturous thanks to the internet quota our fine country has (I’m talking about Turkey, so if you are abroad, perhaps you are much luckier than us)
~The cutscenes aren’t animated in Story Modes. Though not a downside, just imagining how cool it would make me fangirl. A shame really…
~Cerebella, but that’s just my humble opinion~
-No ranking system in online play. You will either get some newbie or someone who has had the game for 5 years, since the very first day the game released, there is no in-between.
-No “real” ending to tie stories and conclude them. I won’t say further than that.
-Very fast, can be hard to get used to.
In the End…
Skullgirls was my very first fighting game. I don’t know if I would like it as much or like it much more if I was more experienced, but I love it the way it is. If you came this far, I hope you give it a try.
You can find Skullgirls on Steam [here]! There is no sale as I am writing this, but when there is one you can buy it for like, 5 $/5 ₺, so keep an eye out for that ~
You can find much more detailed information [here] , on the official site of the game, Skullgirls.com.
You can find Salty Noob’s channel [here]! They play different fighting games but are also known for their SG gameplay!