In my hunt to play a new game in my Steam library, I remembered that I owned Skull Girls. This was one of the very first games I bought, but I didn't play much of it. Here I am seven years later finally playing the game as I am now more accustomed to fighting games...and I absolutely suck at it, but I am not going to let my skill level ruin my experience.
Pros and Cons
- A very interesting story with an enjoyable cast of characters
- Wonderful voice acting that is executed very well
- Fun and fluid gameplay that has a high skill sealing
- 14 different characters for you to play with their own unique play styles
- Catchy soundtrack that gives off nice beats
- Beautiful Live2D art style that is very nice to look at
- Requires you to use a fighting stick as using the controls are a bit clunky
- The final boss in the arcade mode is underwhelming
Set in the Canopy Kingdom, there is a certain event that shackles the kingdom into a spiral of chaos. Every seven years after its destruction the Skull Heart will come and grant any wish to one woman who wishes upon it, but at a great price. If the women were to make a wish to the Skull Heart, they would turn into a Skullgirl. An extremely powerful murderous person who is corrupted and could destroy the world if given the chance. This is attributed due to the fact that the woman who wished for it is impure, however, if a woman is pure then they won’t be corrupted by it. This never happens because one's own wishes being impure, thus the cycle is repeated every seven years.
The current Skullgirl is Marie, who happens to show some resistance from the Skull Heart's influence due to her strong will. However, Marie is being hunted down by some people who want to make a wish to the Skull Heart. Canopy Kingdom will be going through one hell of a night with the promise of a wish being granted to one person who can claim it.
The story for Skull Girls is rather interesting as well as the cast of characters that the game has. Each has their own personalities that make them unique. My favorite character has to be Peacock as her character design fits with the game's hand-drawn art style. Her personality is also that of a cartoon character in a way that to me was very fitting. Another character I liked was Big Band, who has a bunch of musical instruments and uses them as weapons when attacking. Robo-Fourtune is also an interesting character that I enjoyed as well. These are also my favorites to play as well as I had fun with them most, I do suck at using Peacock though.
The characters for the most part are very enjoyable and they are all unique for what they are. The voice acting is very well done, and I liked all of the voices that were present in the game.
Skull Girls has a few gameplay mechanics that are worth mentioning. You see, while the game does not give it off at first glance, Skull Girls is a tag fighter. You can play the game with one character, but you do have the option to have up to three characters in your party. I should note that depending on the team setup, you can pull off different techniques like Blockbuster Sequels, Stunt Doubles, and more. You will have a health advantage with two or three in your party. However, if you are doing a 3v1 the person with the one character will have a big damage boost, which can lead to a devesting 100% combos with a single character. The exact life and damage between having a certain team size will vary but having the same size of a team will have no changes so teams with the same size will have no health or damage change.
Of course, that’s only the basics of team size, you have the other stuff like movement, attacking, and blocking that is typical for any fighting game. There are a total of 14 different characters for you to play as, with three of them being paid DLC at the time of writing this review. Skull Girls has a high skill ceiling, so you have to practice a lot if you want to get good at the game as a whole, it will take quite a lot of time. This is typical with every fighting game, but with Skull Girls, it will take a bit more time compared to most fighting games.
Finding a con with Skull Girls is rather difficult because most problems I could have with the game may come down to my overall personal skill level. Although I do have two that I think are noteworthy, I personally think that Skull Girls requires a fightstick to get the full benefits for characters' move sets. You can say this for any fighting game but for a casual player who just wants to pick up the controller and such, you may have a hard time. A fightstick is almost the equivalent of a full-priced game in a way, It really depends on where you look and such. Oh and don’t even think about playing on the keyboard and mouse, your fingers will hate every second of it.
Other than that, the final boss in story mode is kind of underwhelming in my eyes, Marie herself is a very interesting character, it’s just fighting her does not feel as fun. Her theme song kicks ass though, so there is that.
Art Style and Soundtrack
The art style for Skull Girls is very beautiful and I love the detail that was put in it, the hand-drawn art style is so well done that I just wanted to look at the stages. My favorite stage has to be River King Casino, where you can see references to different characters, like Yuzuriha from Undernight In-Birth. The soundtrack is also something else I loved as well, it was very catchy and had a nice beat to the songs that played. There was never a song I hated listening to as they were very nice to the ears.
Skull Girls ran with no issues for me, and I had a nice smooth experience while I was playing. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. The game should be able to run on a decent computer with no issues.
All in all, I honestly had a lot of fun with Skull Girls, and can definitely recommend the game for those who want to have a high-skill ceiling fighting game to play. The game is 20 bucks CDN at full price, not counting the DLC characters but if you are patient and wait for a sale, you can get the game for at least two or three dollars which to me is a steal. The player base is also still active and joining the Discord server will definitely help in getting some matches quicker.