I only ever really played Skullgirls waaaaay back on the Xbox 360. Even with so many fighters releasing over the last 7 years since its launch, it’s been one of the most persistent games in genre. Regular updates, characters, modes, tournaments and more have kept the game afloat and in the eyesight of players. Now, it comes to two more platforms that are aching for more fighting games, the Xbox One and the Switch.
In short: it’s still Skullgirls, and it’s still real good.
Though it’s hopping onto the Xbox One as well, this is the first time the game will appear on a Nintendo platform, where it is sure to find an entirely new audience. At PAX East, I had the chance to try the game on the Switch, and I can report that it feels just as competent as those early days, and likely right there with its siblings on the latest consoles.
Skullgirls: 2nd Encore on the Switch (and XB1) retain all of the features of the series, and includes all of the DLC and updates from the previous versions, bringing the fighter total up to 14. It’s the full 2015 version of the game that appeared on PS4, Vita and PC, so it’s essentially the “definitive” iteration.
Playing the game on the Switch is interesting, as it’s relatively underpowered compared to the PS4 and Xbox. But, grabbing a Pro Controller and diving in, it’s still just as fast as fluid as the versions with more powerful processors. In a game like Skullgirls, which relies so much on its speed, this is extremely welcome news. The developers, Lab Zero Games, and publishers Skybound, found the Switch very easy to port to, as they’ve put the game on several devices already in the leadup to this release. The poppy, bright colors, hand-drawn characters and exquisite soundtrack still hold true.
With the ProCon, it’s still super easy to switch between characters and execute moves, and there was no latency in the controls. In person, on the couch at home, the game looks like it will play great and without any issue. The devs have assured me that they’re fully integrated into Nintendo Online as well, so multiplayer over a network will hold up. Even though the game is being demo’ed on big flat screens, part of me actually just wants to sit down on a bean bag and play in handheld mode, but alas that wasn’t possible at PAX.
If there’s any complaint, it’s not on Lab Zero, Skybound or anyone on the development side. Rather, the world is still waiting for Nintendo to accept the inclusion of real fight sticks and accessories that other platforms already allow. My baseball mitt hands can get a little cramped with some controllers, so a fight stick is always my preferred choice. The Skullgirls team is ready to flip the switch on fight sticks when it does happen, though. Until then, we’ll power through the game when it launches this Spring on the Switch and Xbox One.