Thursday, February 13, 2014

Skullgirls Encore (PS3): "The Good, The Bad & The Sugar Coated"

If you missed it a couple of years back a developer by the name 'Autumn Games" co-produced a fighter titled, "Skullgirls" with another development team known as 'Lab Zero Games'. Together these two studios got on board with 'Konami' to bring to the fighting game community what was suppsoed to be a fresh, and innovative take on the 2D fighting game genre. The teams working on the game incorporated impressive hand drawn character animations with a somewhat mature theme, and a fighting system that mirrored that of previous MvC (Marvel vs Capcom) offerings. While there were definitely nods to other fighting games via color palettes, and fighting styles the game did one important thing differently. That thing of course was a way to fight back against spammers. This innovative mechanic allowed spam assaulted players to break free of a combo if the player dishing out the attacks repeated the same combo twice. In essence it did work out properly, but in an unfortunate turn of events exploiters found a way to perform infinites despite the applied mechanic, and in turn ruined the game's intended experience.

Fast forward to 2014, and here we are with an updated version of "Skullgirls (aka, Skullgirls Encore)" which has added features that should have been included from the start. Things like PSN IDs shown in online play, and more character options were all welcome, but initially expected features. With that being said though the teams behind the project did good to give us all of the color palettes (21-22) plus, an entirely new character named "Squigly". Revamped story mode panels, and more in-depth plots were also amongst the changes added to the game's restructuring. For sh*ts & giggles the developers also poked fun at us gamers who were complaining about the end boss character's ridiculous nature, and ended up blessing/cursing us with a "Marie 300%" mode hidden within the 'EXTRAS' menu.

Speaking of "Marie" she still is the Uber B*tch that she was in the last version of the game. In fact I spent about 30 frustrating minutes trying to beat her in the story mode just so I could see the updated ending. The word Bullsh*t poured forth from mouth in repetitive verbal assaults as I chose to "Try Again" over, and over. Until now I've not found a proper way to explain how ridiculous Marie's design was, but now that I can express my thoughts properly I will share that very thought with you. Marie is not what you'd call a fighting game character. She's not. She doesn't punch, or kick like the other Skullgirls characters do, and she sure as hell does not pull off fist, and foot combos via her own limbs. Her only attacks come in the form of extremely annoying projectiles making her more like a shmup (Think Space Invaders) boss than a proper fighting game boss. Come to think of it it's as if Autumn Games, and Lab Zero said, "Hey let us mix & match fighting games, and shmups! No one will know the difference!".

As far as "Marie 300%" goes it's just as it sounds. Marie, the current Skullgirl not only has her annoying as !@#$% projectiles, but also has a freaking 300% life bar. Only those glutton for punishment, and hours of sheer nerve racking aggravation need play this BS (Bullsh*t). I should also mention that you can only play as Squigly in this particular mode. If you are not familiar with this undead opera singer then you are SOL (sh*t out of luck).

I know you guys, and gals are probably curious about online as well, so I'll give you the spill. From the handful of online matches that I got into today I can tell you without a doubt that it is the SSDD (same sh*t different day). Online players are still exploiting the infinites, there's significant lag on the red ping connections, and players in general play like sh*t. It's as if the CoD community said, "Hey guys! Look at that game! It looks cool! Let's go troll some fools!". I suppose it should be expected though as every fighting game that has been released thus far has attracted such a crowd. Online gaming is literally going further down the sh*tter thanks to these prepubescent losers who think hacking, and cheating is cool. Let us not forget the console developers who also fail to put into place a proper reporting/banning system as well.

Anyways, that's my two cents worth on the latest "Skullgirls Encore" update. If you have $14.99 to spare it's not a bad game locally, but taking it online can definitely ruin your opinions of it. Currently the patch/full game is only available on the PS3, and on the PC (I Think?). Xbox 360 players will more than likely have to wait a while longer for their update vouchers to arrive. Speaking of which, if you bought the game prior to this release you will be getting a full game code/voucher for "Skullgirls Encore" to replace your past version. Once redeemed you will be prompted to get rid of the old in order to make way for the new. Those looking to keep the Vanilla are SOL. Just a little FYI.

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