Fighting games are a genre that I don’t play regularly or only a few times per year. I don’t have a fighting game on my smartphone or PC eighter. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in this type of game. But recently, I found a game that caught my interest, and its called Skullgirls 2nd Encore.
Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game with hand-drawn graphics, fast gameplay, and new mechanics. The game got released on the 17th of January in 2018 for android and iOS, but it already launched on the 10th of April 2012. Skullgirls Mobile is the newest version of the game and includes characters from the extension Skullgirls 2nd Encore.
In this review about Skullgirls mobile, I only take a look at the mobile version, since there are differences between PC and mobile.
Is Skullgirls just another fighting game?
Skullgirls comes across with similar mechanics like other well-known fighting games like Street Fighter. However, as it should be playable on smartphones or tablets, Lab Zero Games simplified the controls. Unlike on the PC or console version, you now control your fighter with swipes and taps on your screen.
Luckily, it brings some more features along, so it still feels unique and special. The game offers multiple game modes that you can play; campaign, versus, rift battles, daily events, training, and prize fights. But unfortunately, you cant access all of these modes in the beginning, as they get available by reaching specific levels.
The story mode is a follow up of battles against multiple opponents or bosses, followed up with many cut scenes, that are also hand-drawn. During the campaign, you will follow a story about the skull girl, a powerful being that must be stopped.
I’m wasn’t very interested in this story, to be honest; however, we encounter some weird looking characters (they look cool in their own way! Take a look at the picture below) and some interesting conversations. The battles are also not too easy, and sometimes pretty difficult too, which surprised me.
Note: Playing the campaign also enables you to collect Theonite (in-game currency), canopy coins and more, and level up your fighters. There is also the opportunity to play the campaign in higher difficulties, to earn more exp per fight, and get better rewards. But you cant use fighters all the time, as every match costs energy. However, only fighters you use lose energy, so by having more fighters, you can play longer.
Before entering a match, we can select (in most cases) up to three of your characters what we want to use. Each character has its own and unique attacks, combos, skills or power-ups, and falls into one of five elements. Like in many other games, Skullgirls uses a simple rock-paper-scissor system.
So, having a character that’s effective on your opponent’s fighter can give you the upper hand in a fight. But matches get harder if the opposite happens.
Also, fighters can be customized through a skill tree or changing their moves. Want to go full attack? No problem, specialize your fighter on attack and increased move slots to do full damage. But to prevent spamming the most powerful attacks, each move costs some points to equip (max. 20 points). Blockbuster attacks bost about 6 to 8 points, but there are many other moves that cost less to fill up space on your moveset.
Versus is probably the game mode that you will play for the most time, which gets unlocked by reaching level 10 (can be reached in 1-2 days). Versus contains two modes, competitive fights, and free-for-all (unranked). In free-for-all, you can play with your own fighters to play against other people around the world with a similar fighter score to the team you are using.
In competitive fights, you can choose three characters from a roaster, and equip them with moves (all unlocked). When you are finished with your lineup, I highly recommend going to the settings and set the minimum ping limit to 100 (strongest internet connection). After that, you can search for an opponent.
Please don’t forget this, as if you don’t change the settings, you could face people with a bad internet connection, and thus, the whole match isn’t fun anymore.
The prize-fights game mode is almost the same as competitive versus; however, you only play against your opponent’s lineup (defense), which is controlled by the AI. But don’t underestimate the AI, as it is pretty smart. By winning fights, you increase your ranking and get some Exp for your fighters (unranked) and decent rewards like coins or theonite.
As I played almost no fighting games, I’m not pretty good at ranked versus, or other players in general. However, the mechanics are pretty easy to understand and to learn, as there is the tutorial section too. On PC and consoles, Skullgirls has probably the best tutorial among all fighting games, as it not only teaches you the basics: it also goes more into the details.
However, the tutorial is more simplified for the mobile version. Still, it is a good tutorial.
To make your fighters stronger, you can challenge daily events, to get new moves and canopy coins. By clearing missions on a higher difficulty, you can get better rewards that can make your character much stronger.
Note: There are only 13 characters currently available, but these characters have multiple versions that differ from each other. If you have multiple versions of one character, for example Eliza, you cant use a special move on two Eliza’s at the same time.
Over time, characters will reach their max level, and another option comes into play; evolving characters. By evolving a character, he increases its stats and max level drastically, and also increases its rarity. Ps: even gold fighters can be evolved, which makes them even stronger, but they also require more “fodder” for their evolution.
Looking at all these features of Skullgirls, it offers a lot of content to its players, which differs this game from other fighting games. The mechanics are well-done, fights have a fast pace (but are combo heavy), and there is an option to play other people. In terms of gameplay, there is nothing to complain about, as everything runs smoothly, without any performance issues (I play it on my Huawei P20).
Visuals and effects of Skullgirls:
Skullgirls if one of my favorite games so far, if it comes to visuals and effects. As I already mentioned, most of the game is hand-drawn, which is pretty uncommon nowadays. But this hard work results in a fantastic looking game and very unique character designs. Each move and animation looks perfect.
In the beginning and at the end of each match, characters also do something unique, for example, Peacock, which smokes a cigar. Blockbuster moves also look cool.
But not only does the game look amazing during a match, as menus also look very good (and it’s easy to navigate, thank god). The overall character design strongly reminds me of Cuphead, but thats a good thing. So if you played Cuphead and loved the art style, maybe you should take a look at Skullgirls as well.
How to get new fighters in Skullgirls 2nd Encore?
Having a lot of fighters not only brings variety to the game, but it also enables you to play the game much longer, so how do you get new ones as fast as possible? To get new characters, you have to open relicts that you can get by playing the campaign, completing missions, log-in bonuses, events, and more.
But watch out, as there are different types of relicts. Some give you new fighters, but there are also some that give your parasols or catalysts.
Relics cost 75 to 500 theonite each, but you could also buy 10 and get one as a bonus. On top of that, some relics get unlocked by collecting shards, so you can get a fighter for free.
Theonite can be collected by logging into the game daily, completing daily missions, playing the campaign, or by ranking up in prize-fights. If you think that you don’t have enough theonite, you could spend some money to buy it from the store.
In the store, you can find many different packages and special offers for theonite, coins, and fighters (there is also an option to buy Exp boosters). Currently, there are 5 packages for theonite available, that cost from $4.99, up to $99.99.
Is Skullgirls worth to play?
When we click on the chat icon, we can take a look at other people’s profiles, and what their most powerful fighters are. As this game is now a few years old, there are many people with high ranks out there, but this doesn’t mean we can’t catch up on this.
Skullgirls is a pretty addictive game, as I play it a bit too long every day. But if it comes to playing the game for months (or even years), it can’t catch up to Summoners War or One Piece Treasure Cruise. These games release new things (like characters, or events) multiple times per month, which is not the case for Skullgirls. But the developers announced that a new character releases in 2020, so we can look forward to this.
Despite this fact, the game offers long term potential, as it is a heck load of fun to play, even for newbies like me. Currently, my goal is to level up my fighters, especially my new silver big band.
I can only recommend giving this game a shot and see if the art style and gameplay fits your needs. And if it does, feel free to share your opinion about it down in the comment, even if you played it previously.
|?? Pros of Skullgirls:||?? Cons of Skullgirls:|
|Fun to play||Only 13 characters to play|
|Fantastic art style|
|Easy to learn|