Skullgirls Hands-On Preview

By Lauren Alessandra on November 16, 2011, 6:27PM EDT

Fighting games have been around for ages, but in recent years they've become more and more relevant within the industry. Due to this, fighting tournament champ and arguably the best BlazBlue player ever, Mike "Mike Z" Zaimont, felt that it was time to produce a game that combines the best bits of all those fighting games you love, while also giving it the potential to be the next fighting tournament favorite. With the help of Scott Pilgrim artist Alex Ahad, the result is a game called Skullgirls, a fighting game featuring only female characters. But don't be fooled, these aren't your average female video game fighters.

Skullgirls works a lot like other fighting games in that you have your light attacks, heavy attacks, combos, throws and specials. But what makes this game really interesting is both the variety and how it goes against issues such as infinite combos. Usually in fighting games, skilled players can win fairly easily by trapping their opponent in a corner while performing the same combo over and over again. There's almost no way for the other player to break out of it, so they might as well accept defeat. Since Mike Z has obviously dealt with these situations in the past, he wanted to work really hard in order to make the game fair for each player involved so if you perform a combination of moves a second time in a combo string, your opponent has a chance to counter and thrown you to the other side of the screen.

One of the things that really stood out about Skullgirls is the fact that there is just so much content available. There are a ton of specials included that are all very unique depending on which character you choose. For example, Filia fights by using the demon that exists in her hair. Her hair can turn into various kinds of things including a Swiss Army Knife, a drill, a huge mouth, and so on. There's also Parasoul, who is a princess. Therefore, she does very little herself and relies mostly on her servants in order to win her battles - she even has a move where one of her servants sacrifices himself to shield her from damage.

There are so many different combos to try out for each character, which may prove interesting if Skullgirls tournaments show up. There are also some weird adages, such as jumping moves which actually proc as low hits.

To go along with the bolstered content roster, there are a ton of different costumes for characters. We're talking about 4 or 5 costumes for each character. The girls will have different colored hair, costumes, and different types of outfits and so on. It's very possible to not get the same costume twice. Skullgirls definitely opens itself up for a ton more content and expansion through downloadable content.

But if the fact that it's a fighting game doesn't grip you, Alex Ahad's involvement might. Ahad is well known for his artwork in the Scott Pilgrim series. After the film came out along side the PSN game, Ahad's drawing's have become extremely well-known especially amongst video game fans. If you liked the various pop culture references in Scott Pilgrim, Skullgirls doesn't seem to be lacking. One of the characters, Peacock, is actually an ode to classic cartoons such as Steamboat Willy and her weapons have a lot of random elements. If she fires a gun it's not just one type of projectile that comes out. - the animations are also gorgeous

There are only 5 girls announced as of right now, but there are a ton lined up in the wings. Skullgirls seems like it'll be a real hit with artists as the game is actually all hand drawn in a 3-D environment which is pretty impressive for a fighting game.

All gamers interested in fighting games should definitely keep this game in their radar. The fact that it's by Mike Z who has had plenty of experience within the video game fighting tournaments is very interesting and hopefully he provides a lot of insight into the fighting genre. No release date has been announced yet for Skullgirls, but it is currently slated for early 2012.

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