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"Skullgirls" Puts The Hurt On E3

At PAX East this past year Autumn Games was hosting a preview of Skullgirls, a 2D anime-influenced fighter in the same vein as Street Fighter. There you were able to try out as two of the characters: Filia and Cerebella, Going hands-on with it back then I was drawn in to its visual and fighting style, but I felt that the women lacked a sort of variety, leaving me a bit cautious of this title. At E3 this year Reverge Labs and Autumn Games showcased a third character to the Skullgirls realm, and it was here where I started to find the strong variety this game can showcase.

The new character, Peacock, is a big nod to the classic cartoons of the 1930s and 40s, what with her Victorian-styled attire and slapstick-influenced fighting techniques. While the way she punches and kicks is unique it is the types of combos she can do that really make the character standout. Out of nowhere Peacock will pull out shark-toothed knives, cannons and mallets that she can use to stab, fire and smash her opponents. (She can even throw pies.) Also she has the ability to call out remote control bombs and planes to do her evil bidding, not to mention shoot a massive laser that's been cleverly hidden in her hat. One of her combo attacks also has her beating up her opponent in a cloud of smoke and appendages, quite possibly the biggest of the classic cartoon nods Peacock showcases.

Like PAX East the Skullgirls booth at E3 had a joystick setup for its controls, giving the experience a more classic arcade feel to it. Button-mashing, for some reason, feels more natural in regards to playing the game this way; in fact I feel more comfortable playing a fighting game like this than with my regular controller. I am still curious to see how Skullgirls plays with a regular controller, so hopefully Autumn Games will be able to showcase the playing experience from a true console-playing point-of-view. The animation continues to be stellar, with even the tiniest of details on Peacock eyeballed arms drawn to near-perfection.

With at least five more characters to be showcased in the Skullgirls world I am still wondering what kind of tricks the other characters will be able to pull. With a release for later sometime this year on the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN Skullgirls is looking to kick lots of ass in the fighting genre world, and if we continue to see more unique characters like Peacock then Reverge Labs and Autumn Games will have no problem doing just that.

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Contributing Editor at ESH since 2008, and host of the No Borders No Race podcast show, which began as a humble college radio program in 2006. My passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture is what drives me to give you my all in every article published and every podcast recorded.