I have been looking forward to play this game. I finally bought it today, finished a single player with one character, had about 4 multiplayer fights. I'm no game reviewer nor fighting game guru but man... so many things about this game made me think "It could have been better."
Misstep 1) Ridiculous Difficulty
I'm not the best fighting game player in the world or anything like that. But I'm okay at it. I get about 50/50 win/lose ratio when I play online and when I lose, I understand why I lost that fight. I love Street Fighter IV and I thoroughly enjoy SF X TK. With that said, I have to say,,, SkullGirls is not an easy game.
Ridiculous difficulty can be translated into many things and could be caused by multiple things so I honestly don't know where to start. But let's talk about the AI first.
Me being a normal person, I started the single player first and picked Parasoul. She seems like an interesting character so why not. I picked "Normal" difficulty. First opponent was Ms. Fortune. I got owned within first 30 seconds. I thought "Okay, I'm not used to with the controls yet. Maybe I'll do better next time." 18 combo hit, knocked out immediately. Okay.... I tried again. Same result. Maybe "normal" is not what I want. After all, I did just pick up this game. So I got out of the game and picked the easiest difficulty; "Sleepwalk." Same character, Parasoul. 20 hit combo and knocked out.
The AI does not joke around. If she has a chance, she will start comboing nonstop and it is really hard to get out of them mostly because a) you're not familiar with the combo(some of them are 5, 8 or 18 or even 32 combos if you do the ultra moves) and b) the nature of the game pretty much allows infinite combo with some leeways to escape. Well... it's not really an "infinite combo" if you can escape I guess but if you have no idea how or when to get out, you're pretty getting hit by all the 32 hits. It is even harder because....
Misstep 2) No In-Game Move List
I knew this because I saw IGN's review but I thought "how bad can it be." Dude.... It gets pretty bad. Characters have surprisingly robust move list. It is somewhat like Capcom fighting games(you got your quarter circle forward/backward, charge moves etc) but if you don't have any move lists next to you, those robust moves don't mean a thing. Moreover, each character has different move sets so it's not like you can get used to with one character and utilize them for others, which is not a bad thing. I like that each character controls differently. But if that's the case, why didn't they provide move lists??
The training session straight up tell you go to a website(their homepage) to see the move lists. Really? Argh....
So, I got my laptop out, went to wiki.shoryuken.com and looked up the move list. I put it right next to me and tried to use the moves while I was playing the single player mode except....
Misstep 3) Cannot Pause
Once you're in the game, you cannot pause. It just goes. I might not have been able to pause because I was in a middle of a combo and getting my butt kicked but as far as I can tell, you cannot pause. So there is really no way to test your move while you're in the story mode. You could go to training mode to do it so this is not a huge problem but I thought this was a mistake. But eventually, I beat the final boss(in Sleepwalk mode) with Cerebella(Pro Tip: Pick Cerebella. I would argue she's the Ken of SkullGirls). The final boss had three different stages and was very hard to defeat. But I managed in Sleepwalk mode and beat her. Boring story, boring ending, I could not careless.
Misstep 4) Locked Characters
Two locked characters. I beat the game in Sleepwalk mode and I did not unlock any of them. If the game requires me to play through anything above "Normal" difficulty, I doubt I will ever see them in the single player mode. You can pick them in online mode though so... take that as you will.
But One Hell of An Amazing Multiplayer
I almost want to say just ignore the single player and go straight to online. It is super fun. It works great. The game has GGPO stamps all over the game and, as they promised, it provides a great online experiences. It automatically matches you with people who are the same tier as you and so far, I have not had a bad match.
What is really amazing is that the game allows you to pick one character, two characters or three characters and whatever you pick, you do not feel like you are underpowered. I have always picked one character because I knew how to use only one character(Cerebella), and I do not really enjoy switching characters(I'm not big fan of tag fighting games). But I beat a guy who picked 3 characters. It was an amazing experiences and I felt good about it.
At the end, it is a good fighting game because really, as long as it provides an amazing fighting experience online, that should justify its existence... Right?
Sigh... who knows.... If you have SkullGirls and just wanna have some fun, add me on PSN(nohthink). PEACE!!!