E3 2015: Hands-On with Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Skullgirls 2nd Encore

When it comes to fighting games I would place myself in the casual category. I dabbled in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 when that came out and I competed in a tournament or two before realizing I had no business being in one. And the most serious I have ever taken a fighting game was Divekick because it did not require me to learn crazy combos. So while I may not be the best one to report on Skullgirls 2nd Encore I will say my lack of skills did not stop me from enjoying my time with the 2D fighter from Lab Zero Games.

The first thing that will make you take notice of this game is the amazing art and animation featured in the game. What Skullgirls is able to do with their animation is impressive with each character having detailed and unique animations that give each character distinct personality. It is a beautiful game to look at in motion.

cerebella_011080 squigly_011159 eliza_01782 beowulf_0159

Now while I am incapable of going into detail on the mechanics of the game due to my lack of fighting game knowledge I can go into what I learned during my brief 30 minute demo. To start things off I went into a match where Earl from Lab Zero Games graciously went easy on me and even let me win a match. During my first match I was shown a neat feature called “sparring mode” and this mode paused the match mid battle and we were able to fight with no health bars and he showed me combos with hit stats. Now while that sounds like no big deal what was a big deal was when he switched out of this mode we were able to resume our match from where we left it. This little feature is huge for someone like me because it allows players to switch from a match to training on the fly. Allowing players the chance to experiment with moves without having to interrupt a match or wasting time quitting a match and loading into the main menu. For example if a friend does a crazy combination and you want to know how, your friend could switch to sparring and do the move again without you having to quit the match or lose further damage trying to recreate the move. It’s a time saver and is done with ease making for a better overall experience.

squigly_011538 squigly_011417 squigly_011188 parasoul_011723

The small stuff counts too in Skullgirls 2nd Encore because other features that caught my attention were the measures taken to prevent accidental pausing during games. We have all been there in the heat of a fight where someone slips and accidentally pauses the game. And in this game that will not be a problem because in order to pause the game you have to hold the button down for a couple of seconds. It’s a small tweak, but something I hope more fighters borrow. Another cool thing is when you pick a random stage the game will continue to randomly pick a stage every time you choose rematch after a fight. So you will not be stuck in the same stage rematch after rematch or have to bounce out of a match to pick a different stage. Again the small stuff can make for a better overall experience. What I saw from my quick 30 minute appointment interested me enough to consider giving another fighting game a chance despite my casual nature with the genre.

Other modes that are included in 2nd Encore include Survival Mode and Challenges. In Survival players will face an endless wave of fighters and will see how long they can last. As for Challenges this mode will have players fight under special circumstances. I had limited time with the game so I did not see these other modes in motion sadly.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore is set to release this Summer for the PlayStation 4 and will be Cross-Buy with a PlayStation Vita version which launches later than the PS4 version.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook