This week I finally got my hands on Skullgirls 2nd Encore Edition, and it’s awesome! This is the physical edition published by Limited Run Games. I haven’t been this excited for 2D fighter in ages. It’s developed by Lab Zero Games, and the inpressive thing about Skullgirls is that it was all drawn by hand. I can’t help, but admire the hard work that was put into this game.
Skullgirls plays exactly how you would expect a 2D fighter to behave, which is a good thing. The controls aren’t anything fancy, but that doesn’t matter. There are a few combos to remember, but you can pretty much just bash a bunch of buttons together and still win. That’s not to say that this game is easy, because it’s not. It’s actually very challenging.
Skullgirls has a ton of features for a indie budget title, or at least more than one might expect. You have a few options for both single and multiplayer game modes that add a ton of value and replay ability.
Skullgirls’ gameplay is pretty much what you expect in a 2D fighter. The gameplay itself is a tag team style fighter and you can either choose one super strong fighter, two medium strength fighters or three regular strength fighters. It just depends on your gameplay style and which way works best for you. You can also expect your basic combo attacks and button bashing, like I said earlier, but that’s about it as far as gameplay goes.
First up, Skullgirls offers a Tournmament Mode. I haven’t had the opportunity to play this mode, because it requires an arcade stick, which I don’t own. I have listed some compatible sticks at the end of this post.
Secondly, you get your standard Local Only couch co-op type of gameplay. This is pretty self explanatory. Grab a friend and smack each other around.
Next, there’s Quick Mode. This is your online multiplayer match. You simply just pick your region and hit “Find Quick Match”. This might just be to the lack of popularity or the time I was playing, but the game set me up against the same player three times in a row. I really do hope that more than two people play this game, because it’s actually pretty good.
Lobby Play is how you play against your friends online. First you have to create a Lobby, then you can go about inviting your friends to join. The good thing is that Skullgirls works across multiple platforms, so you can play against your friends on PS4, PS3 and Vita.
Single Player Modes:
There’s a few single player game modes to choose from in Skullgirls. You have your standard Story Mode, Arcade Mode, CPU Quick Match, and Survival Mode. These modes can be played on Sleepwalk, Easy, Normal, Hard, Ridiculous, and Nightmare.
Story & Characters:
There’s 14 characters in total and each character has their own short story mode that will take about 30 minutes to complete. So, depending on your skill level you should be able to complete the story in about 6 to 7 hours, and maybe quicker if you’re good. The good thing about this games is that you get unlimited tries, so if you die just try again until you succeed! The great thing about having short story modes for every character is that you get 14 different endings and 14 different perspectives. That being said, quite a few of the characters are based off of gods and myths, but not all. That makes for an interesting play though. We get to play as legends like Beowolf, Samson, a Leviathan and an ancient Egyptian goddess just to name a few.
In this mode you will face a number of challengers until you’ve reached the end. Besides that, there’s not much more to say about the Arcade Mode.
CPU Quick Match:
If you’re just looking for a quick one and done match then this is the match you want. All you do is choose your character(s) and fight. After the match is over you have the option to play again, change your character(s) or quit.
Another self explanatory mode in which you play until you get knocked out.
This is an area where you can practice your combos on a defenseless opponents.
This mode offers a variety of lessons on everything from basic defenses to advance combo chain moves.
Another self explanatory mode, where you choose a challenge and try to complete it. There’s 26 challenges in total.
You can learn how to do combos here with each character.
Extras and Leaderboards:
Extras is where you will find the Art Gallery. You can unlock more images as you play the game, which includes 893 character images. Extras is also where you’ll find the credits and contributors. Lastly, there’s a extra mode on here where you can face a pretty much impossible version of Marie called Marie 300%. Let me know if you can beat her, because I can’t. There’s also a leaderboard, but I don’t need to tell anyone what that is.
Art and Character Design:
Like I said earlier, the art is amazing and there was a lot of hard work that went into hand drawing each characters. On top of that, there’s a ton of color in this game that really catches the eye. You can get lost from just looking at the art; it’s really well done. If you look at the credits, you will noticed that it took a huge team of animators to make everything come alive, so that shows you how much work a game like this takes.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting a good soundtrack, but I’m glad I was wrong! Skullgirls has one of the best video game soundtracks that I’ve ever heard! It’s not everyday that you get a good soundtrack from an indie game. The game is full of great jazz music and it’s hard not to like it. I don’t even particularly listen to jazz music, but I’m loving the music in this game. It makes me want to go discover even more jazz music. Limited Run Games sold the soundtrack with the game as a bundle, but unfortunately I missed the initial pre-order for this game. So, I had to buy my physical copy for a premium. The good news is that you can download the soundtrack from Amazon and iTunes.
Skullgirls gets a 4.5 out of 5 in my book. I’m loving it and it has officially become my new favorite game published by Limited Run Games. There’s a ton of great things that Skullgirls has going for it and the only con is there’s a limited amount of players online. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your friends online or off, and of course you always have the Single Player Modes.
I recommend owning a physical copy, and there’s two options to do that. You can either buy the Japanese version of the game, which has English subtitles according to Play-Asia or you can buy the Limited Run version from a third party seller. I recommend that you join my Facebook group, Limited Run Games Fan Club and you might find someone willing to sell you a copy slightly below eBay prices. I’m glad to report that this is a great community and I’ve had two great positive deals from sellers in this group. So, that’s two out of two, not bad.
On Lab Zero Games website they have listed these Arcade Sticks as compatible.
- Mad Catz
- EightArc / Qanba
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Hori Arcade Stick (Great Reviews). This is the arcade stick that I plan on buying.