With the amazing collaboration of Hidden Variable Studios and Autumn Games comes Skullgirls Mobile. Skullgirls mobile is packed with everything we love from the PC and console release in a way that will work on your phone. The story, the animation, the art, most importantly the gameplay, it’s all there and it’s all well done.
The graphics are, as you would expect, amazing. I wasn’t sure if the game and characters would transfer to smaller screens well, but the characters are detailed and it doesn’t feel cramped. The scene backgrounds are still incredibly detailed like in the original. I was also pleasantly surprised that the quality of animation hasn’t deteriorated, it’s still smooth and easy on the eye like on PC. Talking about smooth and easy on the eye animations, the soft-body physics (you know exactly what I mean) are still there, don’t worry.
Gameplay was surprisingly well adjusted for mobile. I was worried the screen would be covered with virtual sticks and buttons making it unplayable, but there’s nothing covering the screen. Instead, you have buttons for special moves and blockbusters in the bottom of the screen, hold the screen with both fingers to block, tap to attack, swipe up for knock-ups and so on.
In case you’re new to the genre, there is a fight assist mode that will attack for you, leaving you to time blocks, power attacks and blockbusters. As you get better, there is advanced training to help you learn some harder combos and tactics. The game was made for both newer and more experienced players so that anyone can enjoy it.
The game offers a few different game modes.
The first being story mode, where you fight the AI. You play through different chapters with bosses at the end. Another part of the story mode are the origin stories which focus on the main cast. You have to play them with the appropriate character in your team, but there are no restrictions on additional characters. You get nicely rewarded for finishing chapters.
In case you feel it was too easy after you finish a chapter, you can replay it again on advanced mode and if you want an even bigger challenge, you can play in on expert after that. The difficulty goes up noticeably but so do the rewards.
Next up are prize fights, an attack/defend mode. In defense, you set up a team and in the attack part, you fight other people's defense teams. You get rewarded based on milestones and final placement. Possible events are character fights that focus on characters from the main cast, elemental fights that have insanely strong modifiers and are the hardest due to that and Medici fights with different modifiers, schedules and durations that award the top 100 players with a generous amount of coins.
Finally, we have rift battles, a sort of ranked mode. You select 20 of your strongest characters to make your base and use them to fight others. During the season your base is attacked by other players and you attack other bases, using one character per fight and not being able to use him again. You get points for successfully defending your base and winning against others. The ranked season lasts 1 week and when it ends you get your ranking and rewards.
Another thing that I was worried about was the character cards. Nobody wants their favorite character to be locked behind paywalls or RNG. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be because you get relics very often and you get coins regularly. The characters are divided into bronze, silver, gold and recently diamond level characters. It’s the original 8 characters, but with different skins based on tier. Don’t worry, a lot of fights require using specific tier characters, so you’re not going to get ran into the ground by someone who spends a lot of money. Another thing that’s nice, you get great daily rewards.
There is an added RPG element to the game. Each of your characters can be leveled up, upgraded and have a large skill tree to work through. You can upgrade the characters health, damage, number of attacks in a combo, amount of power attacks you can use. Not only can you upgrade the characters, but you can also upgrade the power attacks and blockbusters, of which all of them have an additional effect attached. It’s not a painfully slow grind, but it’s not too fast, you actually have to work for it and you feel good for building your characters.
When it comes to final opinions Skullgirls is a complete package, the audio, the video, the gameplay. Nothing feels left out and it’s a really good game. If you already love Skullgirls, you’ll love the mobile version, if you love fighting games, you’ll love it, if you just need a new game to try, you’ll love it. I’d even put it on the same level as Mortal Kombat X if not higher.