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Old 04-18-2012   #1
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Skullgirls - A Fighter Fan's Thoughts.

So, I've been playing Skullgirls off and on for roughly a week now, and having digested it to whatever extent now, I feel like I can give a somewhat informed opinion on the game as a whole from the perspective of a 2D fighting game junkie.

(As a quick disclaimer, the difference between what I consider "bad" and "ugly" in this review format - "Bad" tends to be more nitpicky stuff that can be written off as taste or opinion and for the most part doesn't hinder the overall game. "Ugly" issues are what I consider legitimate objective problems with the game that hinder gameplay and are issues that "need fixing". To reiterate. "The Bad" does not necessarily mean that the game itself is bad or even that the issues there are all that bad.)

Ladies and gentlemen(?) it's... SHOWTIME!

The Good :

To start with, the game just looks gorgeous. They nailed the presentation of this game, in the world they've built, the crisp 2D sprites and backgrounds, and the fluidity of the animation. The character designs are all pretty unique and creative (if somewhat grotesque and cheescake-heavy at times), and the personality of the characters are interesting and show through well in their animations and attacks.

The game is also stuffed full of in-jokes, both generic internet pop-culture ones (Ms. Fortune has serveral "I can has cheezburger" call-outs in her openings, one with Cerebella saying it to her with a shocked "That's racist!" in response) as well as fighter-specific ones. The announcer is particularly fun to listen to for fighter fans, as eventually he'll break from the game's usual match announcements and start to parody ones from other games ("This is true love we're makin' tuna with bacon" was probably my favorite). The bonus color palettes for the characters also have fun little shout-outs to characters from other games or pop culture-y things (most of the characters have Vocaloid colors amongst their options).

Along those same lines, the game's sense of humor is a large part of its charm. While the story and the world it takes place in have extremely dark overtones (although, as it's been pointed out to me, not any darker than a game like Darkstalkers, and it rings true), the game doesn't take itself all that seriously the majority of the time, and there's a good balance between dark and dreary concepts and lighthearted comic relief to keep the game enjoyable overall.

From a gameplay perspective, the controls are responsive and simplistic enough that there's little chance for too much trouble with input (which is a problem I've had with other fighters on the 360). An arcade stick is probably still preferable (I haven't had one to try it with, however, so I can't say for certain), but I was pretty comfortable with the controller as it was.

The game very obviously pulls quite a bit of inspiration from Marvel vs Capcom 2, and if you're a fan of the crazy hyper-long strings of ridiculous combos, you'll probably slide into the system Skullgirls has in place pretty easily. The gameplay and mechanics of the two games share a lot in common, and even as someone who isn't usually a big fan of that style of gameplay, I have to admit that when it's done well, it's pretty fun, and this game fills that niche in 2D fighters that to my knowledge hasn't really gotten a whole lot of attention since MvC2 made its debut.

The actual setup of the system itself seems to be a cross between MvC2 and Capcom vs SNK 2 - namely, you can build a team of up to three characters, but the more you pick, the weaker each will be. There's pros and cons to playing with each of the team sizes, for example, you can just use your best character in a solo team, and they'll hit like a truck and take less damage, but you can't swap them out to recover any health, and you won't have any call-in striker moves to help you out. On the other end of the spectrum, you can have a large variety in moves by stuffing your team full, and you have three health bars to play with, but none of the characters are going to do a ton of damage on their own and depending on the opposing team's size, they can get shredded by stronger characters. It's a really cool way to vary the team-style setup.

In addition, the game also lets you make custom striker moves for teammates when you call them in to help, which is the first game I've ever seen that gives you that option. The only things off limits are supers (obviously), which means the same characters can have drastically different effects when called in to help. It's an added bit of strategy that really improves the game.

One of the biggest bits of praise the game deserves, though, is for its tutorial mode. For the most part, tutorials in fighters are either nonexistant, too quick of an infodump, or only for very specific mechanics in the game that leaves beginners puzzling out the rest on their own. Skullgirls' tutorial, in comparison, is the most entry-level friendly fighter tutorial I've ever seen. It actually breaks down every major fighting game term, explains what it is, why you'd do it, and walks you through a few practice rounds of increasingly difficult manuvers.


The Bad :

As beginner-friendly as the tutorial leads the game to appear to be, there's a massive jump in difficulty the second you leave tutorial mode. As mentioned, the game is incredibly combo heavy, and the computer knows every combo possible and WILL use them against you relentlessly. Even as a fighting game veteran, I had yet to get a full grasp on the playstyle the first time I walked into story mode and got frustrated as the computer would occasionally completely destroy me. I can't imagine a brand new player fresh out of the tutorial would feel any better about it, and I could easily see someone losing patience. Now, granted, this was on "Normal" difficulty, and there were two difficulty levels below it that are likely better suited for beginners, but I'd imagine most people starting up the game for the first time would just go with the default difficulty before turning it down, especially if they felt ready following the tutorial.

Semi-related is the actual style of play that the game revolves around itself. With the exception of maybe one or two characters (granted, I still haven't played a few of them, so I could be a little off in this judgement), you HAVE to play combo-heavy in order to stand a chance. What's normally a high-level concept in other fighters is this game's bread and butter. If you don't like that, you're going to get frustrated with this game fast. Because the game is so focused on taking advantage of hit stuns to keep combos going as long as possible, being on the receiving end of particularly brutal ones can be irritating. Especially against the computer, where there doesn't seem to be any chance of human error causing flubs in the combos that give you an out, it sometimes feels like you may as well put your controller down once you've been hit - you're not doing anything for at least a few seconds. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (some would probably say it's the entire point of the game), but if it doesn't match your tastes, then it can be a problem.

Speaking of tastes, while I don't personally count this as a "bad" thing, the game is obviously pretty heavy with "fanservice". If you're offended by busty girls in barely-fitting outfits (or the gross-out factor of characters dismembering themselves, girls driven to insanity by horrific experiments turning them into living weapons, or horrific blobs that imitate people), then this game might not be for you. That said, I think the cheesecake and gross-out factors are easily looked past for the overall game (I don't mind the fanservicey stuff in the least, but went in slightly nervous about the gross-out stuff, and shortly after starting realized I didn't really have anything to worry about in the first place).

I'm going to backpedal a bit on the tutorial and criticize it just a touch. For a game so focused on combos, it would have really been nice to include at least one starter-combo tutorial for each of the characters. It's something fighters that don't make high level combo play the focus of their game have, it seems odd that Skullgirls is lacking it. I get that part of the "fun" is supposed to be working all of it out for yourself, but again, you come out of the gate with really no idea how any of the characters work, while the computer... doesn't have that problem. Granted, it's a problem fixed by spending time in Training mode, but given how long the tutorial already is, most people probably are going to want to head straight into Story Mode if there's nothing actually prompting them to do otherwise.

It's also a little odd that the movelists for characters are nowhere to be found in the game. It took me a while to work out that you have to go to the actual game site and download a .pdf that has the movelists for everyone (from what I recall there's a note to that effect that shows up on the main menu of the game, but it's easy to miss and it's not anywhere near the first place anyone would normally think to look for character information).

I'm not going to directly complain about the size of the roster, because I think with how distinct all of the character's playstyles are it isn't really an issue in Versus, but combined with the potential of three characters per team, Arcade mode can get... a little repetitive. I've had a few games that threw the same three characters at me the entire time in differing team sizes.

There are little bits of balance issues amongst the characters. Nothing game-breaking, but I've noticed mobility is a significant problem amongst certain characters that don't have moves designed to get them around the screen (this really becomes glaring against the final boss of Story/Arcade mode, who is Magaki-level cheap and extremely good at keeping you from being able to hit her). Zoning is maybe a touch too difficult to work around with because of this, although Peacock and arguably Double are the only two characters that can fully take advantage of this (Peacock is also one of the only characters I've noticed that can break out of the combo-string playstyle effectively, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing). It's not a major problem, and I'm certainly not going to break out the "OP" label, since I do think all of the characters more or less balance out when played as intended (some of the balancing is a bit subtle and hard to notice - I've seen Cerebella's grapples called out as exceedingly damaging, which they kind of are, but they also rarely ever give unrecoverable damage, which means a character can swap out and immediately start healing over the damage they just took; likewise, Ms Fortune's head can cause significant problems for people when used right, but it's also vulnerable to attack when it's on the ground).

Speaking of the boss... yeah. I can't make too big an issue out of bosses being incredibly difficult being an SNK fan (the term for exceedingly cheap bosses is "SNK Boss" for a reason), but as a warning, Marie is up there with Igniz and Magaki for the most frustrating bosses I've fought against in a fighter (to be fair, though, Igniz and Magaki are still worse by a bit). Marie's one of the only bosses I can remember fighting who significantly shifts the size of her hitbox (smaller, not larger) and purposely puts it out of reach of most character's attacks for the final third of the fight. You have to fight her in the air to finish her off, and it's likely you'll be continuing over and over and over again against her just to finish off story mode for certain characters (Peacock, however, can just stand in the corner and shoot her and pretty much insta-win - see above).

The game also lacks a spectator mode for versus play. I can't dock too many points for this, though, seeing as it's both an independant budget title, and it's something that even full-price fighters have yet to adopt as standard.

The GGPO based online system seems to operate on a working-or-not kind of thing. I've yet to have actual lag in a match, which I have to say is pretty nice, however there's been a pretty decent sized handful of matches that disconnect before they can even start, and when there is lag between players, it comes in the form of the game freezing for a bit before it catches up with everything. Granted, I prefer that to the game slowing down completely, but those freezing moments can pop up at inconveniant times and completely throw off something you were attempting to do. When it works, it works really well, but when it doesn't, you have to back out and try all over again, which can be frustrating.


The Ugly :

The loading times. Sweet Celestia of Equestria, the loading times SUCK in this game. It's one of the few glaring issues the game has, but it's by far the biggest for me. For a non-disc based game installed on the hard drive, I'm not really sure why this is such a problem, but you can be sitting on loading screens for upwards of half a minute at a time. Arcade mode is particularly bad, since it puts you through loading screens between each fight. Between that and occasionally odd connection issues trying to play online, it can take long amounts of time just getting anything going through Xbox Live. I've quite literally waited fifteen minutes from starting the game up to finally getting a match going against someone before. That's on the extreme end, but it's happened.

Slightly less of an issue, but still a pretty big problem in my book, is that the game will quite frequently glitch into swapping out character sprites for their hitboxes for a few frames. This might be something of a "YMMV" issue, since I'm sure it doesn't bug other people as much, but I find it extremely distracting, and it can happen at very inconvenient times, taking away any hints that would be present in the character's animation about what they're trying to do simply because you can't see them at all.

There's supposed to be a patch coming before too long (which also should bring along the first DLC character, from what I understand), so hopefully one if not both of these issues get fixed soon.

TL;DR :

Skullgirls is a fun, deceptively complex fighter with gorgeous 2D graphics. There are definite issues, but there are also far worse things you could spend $15 on. If you're a fighter fan, it's worth at least looking into, and if you're a 2D fighter fan, even moreso. If you like the frantic fast-paced playstyle that MvC2 had, you'll probably enjoy the game (on the other hand, if you couldn't stand it, you might want to give this one a pass). Beginners interested in checking out the fighter genre, come for the tutorial at least, it'll give you a good idea of the basics of how fighters in general work, but turn down the difficulty against the computer until you get up to speed.
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Old 04-18-2012   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie Pie View Post
I'm going to backpedal a bit on the tutorial and criticize it just a touch. For a game so focused on combos, it would have really been nice to include at least one starter-combo tutorial for each of the characters. It's something fighters that don't make high level combo play the focus of their game have, it seems odd that Skullgirls is lacking it. I get that part of the "fun" is supposed to be working all of it out for yourself, but again, you come out of the gate with really no idea how any of the characters work, while the computer... doesn't have that problem. Granted, it's a problem fixed by spending time in Training mode, but given how long the tutorial already is, most people probably are going to want to head straight into Story Mode if there's nothing actually prompting them to do otherwise.
It's also a little odd that the movelists for characters are nowhere to be found in the game. It took me a while to work out that you have to go to the actual game site and download a .pdf that has the movelists for everyone (from what I recall there's a note to that effect that shows up on the main menu of the game, but it's easy to miss and it's not anywhere near the first place anyone would normally think to look for character information).
I'm not going to directly complain about the size of the roster, because I think with how distinct all of the character's playstyles are it isn't really an issue in Versus, but combined with the potential of three characters per team, Arcade mode can get... a little repetitive. I've had a few games that threw the same three characters at me the entire time in differing team sizes.
These things right here are my biggest problems. I have to disagree with you on how distinct their playstyles are, though. Because of how combo-dependant the game is, all that really varies is the order in which you push the buttons. Compare this to Blazblue, (which you need to buy the second you get access to another 360 dear god) where each of the fighters are so unique that they feel like they're each taken from a different game entirely.

The problem I have with the design philosophy of the game is that there's little room for flexibility or free thinking. If you don't do the combos in EXACTLY the order the game has laid out, you're gonna lose your chain and get killed. Compare that to KoF 13, where you have half a dozen ways just to get to each of your supers, and that's before getting into HD combos. It's this reason that I've decided to never touch Skullgirls again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie Pie View Post
There are little bits of balance issues amongst the characters. Nothing game-breaking, but I've noticed mobility is a significant problem amongst certain characters that don't have moves designed to get them around the screen (this really becomes glaring against the final boss of Story/Arcade mode, who is Magaki-level cheap and extremely good at keeping you from being able to hit her). Zoning is maybe a touch too difficult to work around with because of this, although Peacock and arguably Double are the only two characters that can fully take advantage of this (Peacock is also one of the only characters I've noticed that can break out of the combo-string playstyle effectively, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing). It's not a major problem, and I'm certainly not going to break out the "OP" label, since I do think all of the characters more or less balance out when played as intended (some of the balancing is a bit subtle and hard to notice - I've seen Cerebella's grapples called out as exceedingly damaging, which they kind of are, but they also rarely ever give unrecoverable damage, which means a character can swap out and immediately start healing over the damage they just took; likewise, Ms Fortune's head can cause significant problems for people when used right, but it's also vulnerable to attack when it's on the ground).
The other big problem, I hear, is Parasoul. One of her jump attacks has enough range that there's nothing that can challenge it, not to mention all her attacks that put you at range for her to shoot you while half the characters don't have range attacks (and some who have mobility issues on top of that).
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Old 04-18-2012   #3
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From what little exposure I've had to it, some of the characters have neat gimmicks (One of them has their head disconnected and acting independantly from the main body, there was a combo video where the head was filling out gaps in their combos to keep one going for over 100 hits. Naturally, I couldn't exactly try this with the demo....) Neat gimmicks always keep a fighter interesting; I love it when everyone is rather different

My biggest complaint is the total lack of in-game move list. Until I have several of a character's inputs memorized, I always like to go into one player modes where I can pause and check the in-game movelist mid battle. Needing to get a movelist from a website simply does not fly for me, since I have both my PC And PS3 linked to the same monitor, and it's a pain to change the cables back and forth.
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Old 04-18-2012   #4
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The in game move list was not included due to a lack of time and more important issues being implemented. It is being patched. Considering that most of the characters have the exact same inputs, it is not that big a deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Dash View Post
I have to disagree with you on how distinct their playstyles are, though.
The playstyles are distinct. If you're going to complain that this game requires the same combos, you have to complain about MvC3. There's a game with very few distinction between characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Dash View Post
The problem I have with the design philosophy of the game is that there's little room for flexibility or free thinking. If you don't do the combos in EXACTLY the order the game has laid out, you're gonna lose your chain and get killed.
Not true. In my playtime with the game I have seen players adapt to new combos and different attacks. Just today I was messing around with Painwheel and was fairly flexible in how I did my combos and punishes. And let's not kid ourselves here, high level play often boils down to the same combos until something works. Just look at the number of FOOT DIVES you see in an MvC 3 match or the fact that people flock to high tier characters. You can certainly be flexible in your combos, it's how I implement Painwheel's charge dash into combos now as well as the Hatredcoptor for more than just projectile dodging and distance covering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie Pie View Post
Speaking of the boss... yeah. I can't make too big an issue out of bosses being incredibly difficult being an SNK fan (the term for exceedingly cheap bosses is "SNK Boss" for a reason), but as a warning, Marie is up there with Igniz and Magaki for the most frustrating bosses I've fought against in a fighter (to be fair, though, Igniz and Magaki are still worse by a bit). Marie's one of the only bosses I can remember fighting who significantly shifts the size of her hitbox (smaller, not larger) and purposely puts it out of reach of most character's attacks for the final third of the fight. You have to fight her in the air to finish her off, and it's likely you'll be continuing over and over and over again against her just to finish off story mode for certain characters (Peacock, however, can just stand in the corner and shoot her and pretty much insta-win - see above).
Yo you should fight Parace. Hit a button. Get rocked with a 100% combo. Repeat. Try again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie Pie View Post
There are little bits of balance issues amongst the characters. Nothing game-breaking, but I've noticed mobility is a significant problem amongst certain characters that don't have moves designed to get them around the screen
Painwheel has a Hatredcoptor. Valentine has a teleport. Cerebella has that glide thing. Parasoul has...well she doesn't really need to be always on the move but her Egretz can act as a distraction while she moves up and Krieg can be used to glide. I can't speak to the others, but most of the characters can get around the screen.

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Originally Posted by Pinkie Pie View Post
but they also rarely ever give unrecoverable damage, which means a character can swap out and immediately start healing over the damage they just took
This is assuming everyone plays with teams. I do not, I play as one character. In a 1 v 2 match, her grab super still does pretty crazy damage. In a 1 v 3 it is more tolerable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips View Post
Until I have several of a character's inputs memorized,
Except for Parasoul and Cerebella, everyone has pretty traditional quarter circle and dragon punch inputs. Parasoul has charges AND quarter circles while Cerebella is grapple. Meaning full circle. The lack of in game movesets is not that big a deal when you learn that most of the characters have similar inputs. That's part of the charm, really, I mean back in the MK days, the game didn't tell you kombos or moves or fatalities, you had to figure that shit out for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Dash View Post
Compare that to KoF 13, where you have half a dozen ways just to get to each of your supers
Plenty of ways to get to your supers in Skullgirls, bro. But I know you're all about KoF being the greatest thing ever so whatevs, I understand. I can rattle off more than six ways I can get to Painwheel's Death Walk super. If all you are going to do is compare fighting games to KoF, why bother playing other fighting games? Can't a game stand on its own merits? Of which Skullgirls has a fair amount, mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Dash View Post
The other big problem, I hear, is Parasoul. One of her jump attacks has enough range that there's nothing that can challenge it, not to mention all her attacks that put you at range for her to shoot you while half the characters don't have range attacks
Parasoul's shots should not be considered in the same level as a fireball. Parasoul's shots literally do nothing if you attack her and unless she is close enough (or does her down charge with Med punch) most people can just run past the shot. She has to detonate them and a lot of her moves deal with pushing opponents away. If she just stands around flinging shots, she is going to get punished severely.
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Old 04-18-2012   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Dash
These things right here are my biggest problems. I have to disagree with you on how distinct their playstyles are, though. Because of how combo-dependant the game is, all that really varies is the order in which you push the buttons. Compare this to Blazblue, (which you need to buy the second you get access to another 360 dear god) where each of the fighters are so unique that they feel like they're each taken from a different game entirely.
I think they're plenty distinct. If the only way you play the game is just using regular attacks to combo together, then I guess that's true, but you're missing out on a good half of how the characters play if you do that.

Sure, some characters play similarly, and you could probably do okay by playing them all the same way (you certainly wouldn't do well against someone who wasn't doing the same thing, though), but using the resources that you're given, Cerebella is not going to play the same way that Ms. Fortune does, who won't play anything close to how Peacock does, etc.

Yeah, the game's combo-heavy, but the focus on it isn't such that you can ignore everything else and just mash buttons.

Quote:
The problem I have with the design philosophy of the game is that there's little room for flexibility or free thinking. If you don't do the combos in EXACTLY the order the game has laid out, you're gonna lose your chain and get killed. Compare that to KoF 13, where you have half a dozen ways just to get to each of your supers, and that's before getting into HD combos. It's this reason that I've decided to never touch Skullgirls again.
That hasn't been my experience at all. You have plenty of flexibility on where to go with combo strings, when to activate the supers during them, whether to try to launch into the air or keep grounded, go into a grab, and so on. It's not a rigid set of "you must do this combo string in this specific way or it won't work".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejack
The in game move list was not included due to a lack of time and more important issues being implemented. It is being patched. Considering that most of the characters have the exact same inputs, it is not that big a deal.
Good to hear, although I don't consider a major issue anyways (hence why it was in the nitpicky section and not the "for-realsies problems" one). I honestly don't mind going to an outside source to look up the movelists, I just wish it was a little more obviously communicated that you needed to go to an outside source. All in all, it's not a big issue, anyways.

Quote:
Yo you should fight Parace. Hit a button. Get rocked with a 100% combo. Repeat. Try again.
Well, yeah, that's essentially what Igniz and Magaki boil down to also, which is why I said that they're still worse fights. My point wasn't "omg worst/hardest boss fight ever", because it's flat out not true, just that a lot of continuing is likely, and that she's frustrating to fight against. Which is true. She is. Unless you're Peacock.

Quote:
Painwheel has a Hatredcoptor. Valentine has a teleport. Cerebella has that glide thing. Parasoul has...well she doesn't really need to be always on the move but her Egretz can act as a distraction while she moves up and Krieg can be used to glide. I can't speak to the others, but most of the characters can get around the screen.
I'll be honest, I may be off on that call just because I probably haven't had as much experience against actual people as I should yet, and I also just haven't played as all the characters yet. So, retracted. It was premature of me to make that judgement.

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Don't worry, one of the DLC characters is going to be a dude with a tank arm, so there will be a dude to even out all that estrogen.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less on that count (I happen to prefer female-heavy casts anyways), I just know there are people for whom that was a deterring factor in picking it up, which is why I mentioned it.

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This is assuming everyone plays with teams. I do not, I play as one character. In a 1 v 2 match, her grab super still does pretty crazy damage. In a 1 v 3 it is more tolerable.
I derped a bit and didn't actually consider that. I've been doing 2v2s and nothing else when playing lately, so that's where my mind was.

To be absolutely clear, I like the game. I think it's a very good game. It's not a perfect game, but that's not the same as saying it's bad. The only issues that are an actual hindrance to it are the ones I mentioned at the end, the rest are all preference and opinion things on my end.
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Old 04-18-2012   #6
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Droog, you keep doing this thing where you repeatedly reference a game you know I havent played. I dont know where you expect to get by doing that.

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And let's not kid ourselves here, high level play often boils down to the same combos until something works.
I don't give a microfuck what people do in high level play unless I'm watching them fight each other. I care about me and my opponent enjoying ourselves. This is not possible in Skullgirls, because high level play is the only thing that was in their heads when they designed it.

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Parasoul's shots should not be considered in the same level as a fireball. Parasoul's shots literally do nothing if you attack her and unless she is close enough (or does her down charge with Med punch) most people can just run past the shot. She has to detonate them and a lot of her moves deal with pushing opponents away. If she just stands around flinging shots, she is going to get punished severely.
The move I'd heard complaints about was a regular air attack. Her projectiles are annoying but nowhere near as annoying as peacock.

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That's part of the charm, really, I mean back in the MK days, the game didn't tell you kombos or moves or fatalities, you had to figure that shit out for yourself.
And it made those game almost completely unplayable for newcomers to the genre (which most people were). "You have to figure out how to make your character do what you want" is a bad philosophy through and through. That's the whole barrier to entry that casual gamers had that made the Wii and the Kinect so successful.

It's almost definitely the fact that they're throwing you in with no meaningful tutorial that is giving me such a different experience from you guys. You were able to play fighters in their first coming, I was not, for the same reasons I can't play Skullgirls. And this game really does feel like an unpolished SNES era fighter to me, for all intents and purposes.

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But I know you're all about KoF being the greatest thing ever so whatevs, I understand. I can rattle off more than six ways I can get to Painwheel's Death Walk super. If all you are going to do is compare fighting games to KoF, why bother playing other fighting games? Can't a game stand on its own merits? Of which Skullgirls has a fair amount, mind.
Just want to clear something up: Blazblue is the better series right now. My reasons for liking KoF more are entirely subjective, and stem from KoF having had decades to build and refine its roster.

I also compared Skullgirls to Blazblue earlier in that post so fuck you.

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I think they're plenty distinct. If the only way you play the game is just using regular attacks to combo together, then I guess that's true, but you're missing out on a good half of how the characters play if you do that.
Lemme rephrase. There aren't enough characters in the game for them to be similar at all. The game loses points for variety by only having 8 characters, which it could overcome by having larger and more varied move lists, but even that is only passable.

Also: All of the characters I've played are completely vulnerable after using a special attack, and unable to continue any combos that may have been going on.

quote="Pinkie Pie;414928"]That hasn't been my experience at all. You have plenty of flexibility on where to go with combo strings, when to activate the supers during them, whether to try to launch into the air or keep grounded, go into a grab, and so on. It's not a rigid set of "you must do this combo string in this specific way or it won't work".[/quote]
This has not been my experience at all. I almost have to wonder if we're playing entirely different games. Or characters.

There is literally only one combo I can get to work with Valentine: poke -> MP x3 -> HP x3 -> QCF K. Everything else I try leaves a hole open for someone to break out of my combo.

Legit question: once you get a combo to work, how do any other variables matter at all? Your opponent is completely helpless until you're finished taking your free shots at him one way or another. If you knock them in the air or keep them in the ground, how does that in any way affect how you play aside from the name of the moves you're hitting them with? The only thing I can think of is that one set may do more damage than another, but that causes there to be only one "correct" response to the situation.

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Well, yeah, that's essentially what Igniz and Magaki boil down to also, which is why I said that they're still worse fights. My point wasn't "omg worst/hardest boss fight ever", because it's flat out not true, just that a lot of continuing is likely, and that she's frustrating to fight against. Which is true. She is. Unless you're Peacock.
Actually didnt have much trouble with her with Painwheel or Filia (the only two I've completed the story with). Since she can't block (which is something Igniz and Magaki could do) she is entirely useless against supers. The question is when to use them.
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Old 04-18-2012   #7
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Droog, you keep doing this thing where you repeatedly reference a game you know I havent played. I dont know where you expect to get by doing that.
You do it too.

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I don't give a microfuck what people do in high level play unless I'm watching them fight each other. I care about me and my opponent enjoying ourselves. This is not possible in Skullgirls, because high level play is the only thing that was in their heads when they designed it.
No it wasn't. Mike Z is on record as saying that it was made for people of all experiences. If it was made for high level play, they would not bother putting in a tutorial or the entire team selection balancing stuff. It is literally made for all people, which is why I have seen newcomers take on veterans and win.

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And it made those game almost completely unplayable for newcomers to the genre (which most people were). "You have to figure out how to make your character do what you want" is a bad philosophy through and through. That's the whole barrier to entry that casual gamers had that made the Wii and the Kinect so successful.
Didn't stop games like Street Fighter 2 and MK2 from being considered great games. Which they are. MK9 even hid the second fatalities and babalities from you even though there was a movelist. They didn't do this to be assholes, but to pay homage to the klassics. These days, people who are playing fighting games are familiar enough with a six button game and a four button game. People new to fighting games have a larger barrier to entry that most fighting games don't even address. Skullgirls does more to alleviate that barrier than SSF4, MvC3, or any fighting game other than MK9.

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It's almost definitely the fact that they're throwing you in with no meaningful tutorial that is giving me such a different experience from you guys. You were able to play fighters in their first coming, I was not, for the same reasons I can't play Skullgirls. And this game really does feel like an unpolished SNES era fighter to me, for all intents and purposes.
The tutorial is more meaningful than most other games. They break down and define terms that other games expect you to know and then show you how to respond and react to them. If you absolutely need a movelist, that's a separate issue. Do you want them to hold your hand the whole way? If this feels like an unpolished SNES fighter, you need to play more SNES fighters because Skullgirls is hardly that. At all.

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The move I'd heard complaints about was a regular air attack. Her projectiles are annoying but nowhere near as annoying as peacock.
Parasoul's projectiles are hardly annoying. They'd be more annoying if they detonated instantly. But that would be broken as all fuck. And Peacock is a zoning character. Shooting shit is what they do. But like any zoning character, take away her range and you have the advantage.


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Also: All of the characters I've played are completely vulnerable after using a special attack, and unable to continue any combos that may have been going on.
What you mean like blockbusters? That's...kind of the point of those moves. That tends to be why when people block them, they punish instantly or respond with their own in kind. This is not new to Skullgirls.

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Legit question: once you get a combo to work, how do any other variables matter at all? Your opponent is completely helpless until you're finished taking your free shots at him one way or another. If you knock them in the air or keep them in the ground, how does that in any way affect how you play aside from the name of the moves you're hitting them with? The only thing I can think of is that one set may do more damage than another, but that causes there to be only one "correct" response to the situation.
Depends on the moves and their properties or the other variables that change said moves. Like, an H.I. Painwheel has entirely different properties and set ups than a regular Painwheel. And the combos and combo opportunities would be different. Once you get someone into a combo you can't just keep them comboed forever. The game literally will not let you. Combos are an important part of any fighting game. Any good fighting game, anyway. Skullgirls just makes it easier to get the combos, but not as easy as an MvC 3. And it is not like your combos are always guaranteed to work once you start them.

Sounds to me like you are complaining because you can't figure out a way to get out of combos or respond with one of your own. That's not a fault of the game so much as it is a fault with you not being able to combo.
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Old 04-19-2012   #8
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No it wasn't. Mike Z is on record as saying that it was made for people of all experiences.
And Bioware is on record for saying that Mass Effect 3's ending is revolutionary and depends on the decisions you made in all 3 games. And several billionaires are on record for saying that they don't think they're much better off than normal people. There's such a thing as being delusional, or full of shit, you know.

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Didn't stop games like Street Fighter 2 and MK2 from being considered great games. Which they are.
Strange how you don't feel that way about Final Fantasy 4.

Really, SF2 has not aged well.

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What you mean like blockbusters? That's...kind of the point of those moves. That tends to be why when people block them, they punish instantly or respond with their own in kind. This is not new to Skullgirls.
No, I mean plain old special attacks. All two of them.

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Sounds to me like you are complaining because you can't figure out a way to get out of combos or respond with one of your own. That's not a fault of the game so much as it is a fault with you not being able to combo.
I'd dislike the game on principle regardless, because combo heavy games are silly, for reasons I've repeatedly mentioned before. It's the frustration of everyone being able to somehow figure out combos while all mine fall apart midway that makes me hate it. The fact that the game fails to communicate this basic part of playing does in fact make it partially the game's fault.

So here's a thought: How about instead of beating me over the head with how I'm wrong about this game, that you actually show me how in the everliving fuck you people are able to enjoy it?
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Old 04-19-2012   #9
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How about instead of beating me over the head with how I'm wrong about this game, that you actually show me how in the everliving fuck you people are able to enjoy it?
I'm not touching this topic with a ten foot pole, since you know how I feel about people being all opinionated on games when I just either "enjoy it" or "don't enjoy it" without bothering with the details.

But regarding what I quoted; why not just play the game? I don't mean "play the damn game despite not enjoying it", but I mean, just practice. Put the difficulty on the easiest setting and go through arcade mode, or even just hang out in Training. The first patch promises to expend the Training mode options. Play casually, slowly get used to the game mechanics. The more often you play, the better you'll eventually get at it. As you start to get better, raise the difficulty one notch and play through it even more.

That's how I play all my fighting games. I play on the easiest difficult setting for maybe a week or two while getting used to the characters I like. Learning their moves and their properties, figuring out what links or chains into what, and so on. Then I raise the difficulty and try out what I've learned on slightly more difficult opponents. And I keep going at it like that. It eventually becomes really enjoyable.

I'm not a combo player. At best, I do the basic weak-medium-hard type three to four hit combos, and that always works well for me. Even in combo-heavy games like this and MvC, I still tend to do just fine without relying on combos. I'm sure you could, as well. It just takes some play time.

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Old 04-19-2012   #10
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That's how I play all my fighting games. I play on the easiest difficult setting for maybe a week or two while getting used to the characters I like. Learning their moves and their properties, figuring out what links or chains into what, and so on. Then I raise the difficulty and try out what I've learned on slightly more difficult opponents. And I keep going at it like that. It eventually becomes really enjoyable.
You have no idea how mindblowing it is to hear that from you.
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