There is so much good news nowadays, I don’t know where to start…
The excellent, under-appreciated, currently independent creators of Skullgirls, going under the new name of Lab Zero, are still hard at work on releasing new content for their vibrant 2D fighting game, and are asking for crowdfunding in order to push the possibilities to the max. Please go here and check out what they’re offering.
I’m not a dedicated fighting game dude, but I recognize extreme talent when I see it. For a measly $5 you can pre-order Squigly, a fascinating Tim Burton-esque girl with the ability to stretch her attacks and mess with the “meta game” — special meters, space and time, etc. Each of the characters is hand-drawn, gorgeous, high frame rate (which can never be fully appreciated on something like YouTube) and deserving of money. Remember, this isn’t some corporate scheme for milking money: it’s the most pure, artistic kind of creation you can get in gaming, and that alone is worth a lot.
The stretch goals are much more interesting yet! And boy do they keep going! I would love if this funding drive made millions. The stretch goals include story modes, backgrounds, the game’s first male character (nice!), and a huge list of secret characters that could potentially be added, which fans will be able to pick from. It’s making a ton of money after only a few hours, but let’s see how high we can go, for great justice!
So remember when I said this:
I was surprised that the control scheme heavily leans towards an “arcade stick” setup, …
It turns out I was wrong. Skullgirls has two custom input buttons for players using the controller, which allows you to map up to six buttons or something to both L1 and L2. All you have to do is go into the control setup (press “Start” while on character select), move down to where L1 and L2 are listed, press that button, and then press however many buttons you want, then press L1 or L2 again depending on which one you’re editing! What a really great feature, and very quick to do! So, for example, I assigned all three punch buttons to L1, and all three kicks to L2. I could also have assigned buttons to make calling assists easier, swapping teammates, etc.
Right now the fighting game community is exploding with videos on insane combos, which certainly looks scary. Even with my limited skills and practice, I found myself doing over 10 hit combos and finding it quite satisfying. Now I feel stupid for ever doubting it!
So Skullgirls has been out for a couple of days, and I did purchase it. It takes a lot of energy for me to get into a new fighting game, so I’ve only scratched the surface so far, but Shoryuken.com has put up their own review here.
I was surprised that the control scheme heavily leans towards an “arcade stick” setup, where you play with an arcade control peripheral, with 2 rows of buttons flat on the surface. Many of the moves require you to hit certain combinations of buttons that don’t work well on a traditional controller, such as all 3 kick buttons at the same time (X, O, and R2 on the PS3) or Light Kick and Medium Punch at the same time (X and Triangle). These are easy inputs on an Arcade Stick, but they’re very awkward on a controller.
Read the review to get an idea of what hardcore fighting game players think of it, and let’s hope that it becomes successful enough that they can continue to polish, support, and add to it. I love the creators, I love what they’re trying to do, and I think they deserve the small asking price.
Here’s the Character Guide to download, by the way. Might help you understand how to use the characters a bit better, learn some backstory, and enjoy the artwork.
Damn you, internet! When will you ever recognize Canada as being close enough to America to be able to ship your shit to us as equals! All you have to do is literally drive across an imaginary line.
Skullgirls official store has opened, so within 10 minutes I had my cart full of $80 worth of awesome merchandise — including a Peacock aluminum water bottle, a gray Skullgirls hoodie, and a Ms. Fortune t-shirt — eager to throw my money at Alex Ahad and Reverge Labs, Continue reading
Looks like the game will feature a full story mode on release, with high quality art and plenty of side characters to flesh out the world. I’m super excited for this, and the apparently revolutionary tutorial mode. Take my money, you bastards!
Maybe you don’t want to watch all 30 rounds, but if you’ve been following along you’ll notice that the backgrounds now have more characters, the winning player now has “Leader” above their health (it gets tricky to measure health when you can have 1 v 3 matches) and that these players are highly skilled. I’m excited.
Looks like the game is close to finished, although I heard a rumor that the Story Mode will be released (for free) later on, as a separate patch or something. This could be wrong! But even if it’s true, I won’t mind. They also promised more downloadable characters (including males!) later on. And, if I recall correctly, they also said you can stream your own music while playing, which is great for people like me who are super picky about in-game music.
Once the game is released I’ll be doing a bigger analysis of it, but for now I just have to applaud the team for pulling it all together and making something so compelling in a genre that’s flooded with sequels and spinoffs. I won’t be surprised if the fighting game community neglects it for being too fun and stylish, but hopefully it finds a big following.
In other news, Notch has begun working on an X-Com influenced project that sets Santa Clause against Cthulu in a battle for world supremacy.
You can read about that here.
Also, it’s been a while since I talked about the upcoming fighting game Skullgirls!
This game keeps getting more and more interesting. They say they’re going to have the most user-friendly, helpful tutorial system in fighting game history (which is good!) and a bunch of other goodies. Personally I’m in love with the designs most of all, but everything about it is impressive to me. The sheer quality of work makes you wonder why games like King of Fighters are so incredibly lazy in their animation process.
Also, the last time I mentioned Skullgirls I accidentally made it sound like a PS Store exclusive! Whoops. It’s going to be on the Xbox market too, so make sure you buy it.