Skullgirls 2nd Encore - Review

Author: Biagio "Shinx" Etna
Date: 2020-07-30 23:47:56
Skullgirls 2nd Encore, the extravagant Lab Zero Games fighting game, is finally available on Playstation 4, but its path for publication on old gen consoles has been decidedly daring. After a long gestation, in April 2012 Skullgirls landed on PS3 and Xbox 360, peeking out - just over a year later - also on PC. Although distinguished by a strong personality and excellent diversification of the characters, the title has proved rather immature, especially regarding the number of contents. The distribution, then, was decidedly troubled, leading the developers to break with Konami - the then official publisher - and to withdraw the game from the PSN and XBLA portals.

Fortunately, thanks to the crowdfunding that ensued, the game rose from the ashes with a new name: Skullgirls Encore. Downloadable for free by anyone who had purchased the original, the "new" episode began to go up the slope, both by smoothing the playful elements through patches, and gradually adding more and more characters.

Born practically with the fans, who supported its creation not only through vil money, the new fighters benefited from a really well orchestrated distribution policy. Always free for a good period of time since the release, the wrestlers have thus replenished the original roster, reaching the not incredible but satisfactory number of 14 units. Although two fighters share the same aspect, their move-set is totally different, just as all the protagonists of the title appear well-matched and extravagant. As often happens lately, a definitive version has arrived on PS4, bringing with it all the necessary filings, as well as a certainly more fluid and clean technical component. Without going beyond the caption, let's see what are the news of this latest incarnation of the game Lab Zero. All the DLC distributed to date are present at the roll call: we have the various colors, really well done and not the usual brushless ones, and the five additional characters. The latest is Robo Fortune, who while sharing the look with his almost namesake partner, has a completely different set of moves.

The tutorial has been extended to each individual character, with customized challenges for all fighters, in order to better learn the offensive techniques. There is no lack of delicious challenges, tests characterized by modifiers ready to complicate your life (energy that gradually decreases, impossibility of using super moves, opponent's regeneration and so on). Also added Survival Mode, a timeless classic for any self-respecting beat-em-up. Last but not least, the story mode, enriched by a completely new dubbing. The various stories embody a bizarre but fascinating game universe in its being always in the balance between farce and tragedy. In short, a respectable corpus, or at least in line with fierce competition. The main sources of playful inspiration of Skullgirls 2nd Encore will be clear to lovers of the genre. Tag fights bring to mind Marvel vs Capcom 2, in their agitated alternation of assists attacks and the possibility of chaining more super moves. However, the imprint left by Guilty Gear is equally undeniable: in the speed of the protagonists, the succession of infinite combos - mostly aerial - and the need to thoroughly study the response times of all the fighters. The latter aspect, fortunately, is only the smallest doll of a gigantic Matryoshka. The use of the Lab Zero title, in fact, is open to anyone who wants an excellent fighting game: from the Sunday player to the Rain Man of the combos. Whether they are tag matches, from one to three characters (with variable strength and energy depending on the number) or simple 1 vs 1, Skullgirls 2nd Encore is always accessible and fun. The graphic style, then, from character design to animations, is really delicious. That 60s atmosphere, embellished with inevitable dystopian elements, portrays a truly fascinating noir-steampunk world.

Stereotypes are ridden with a great sense of irony, transforming any Japanese / fetishist reference into a light-hearted mockery. So here the plasticity of the movements, the swaying breasts and the panties in plain sight appear cheerful apes, before fan service. But the explosive charisma is almost all in the characterization of the characters, endowed with fighting styles as peculiar as bizarre. Just to name a few, we have Peacock, a semi-robotic girl who seems to have come out of a Betty Boop cartoon. Its peculiarity lies in the remote attacks, through electric trains, sentient bombs and pianos. Big Band is a gigantic cross between Lieutenant Colombo and Inspector Gadget, who uses an entire collection of wind instruments, as well as his size, to knock us out. Then there is Ms. Fortune, capable of taking her head off and exploiting it for independent attacks, and Squiggly, an undead who jumps the rope using a snake demon and can dig the pit (literally) and then rage with a gravestone. In short, a real fun. The title, already remarkable in its previous versions, gains enviable image cleanliness and fluidity, thanks to 1080p on screen and 60fps. The uploads appear significantly reduced and the animations, if it were still worth mentioning, are absolutely splendid. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is not afraid to get involved, elbowing among the many exponents of the sector without any inferiority complex. Indeed, the title exudes so much passion that it could break even in players dedicated only to the cornerstones of the genre. An extravagant, charismatic and over the top videogame caravan, undoubtedly worthy of entering your digital collection.

I downloaded Skullgirls 2nd Encore through a review code provided by the distributor. I finished the campaign mode with all the characters, and having already melted the PS3 version, I focused on the improvements of this conversion. The various modes proposed are fun and complete. The online game is always punctual and never misses a beat, even if it is difficult to make headway among the countless fans of the title. Finally, the future release for PsVita will guarantee cross-play between all three Sony platforms.