Skullgirls: 2nd Encore
Top Critic Average
It all shapes up to the definitive, and maybe final version of one of the most beautiful, detailed, and passionately developed fighting games in recent memory.
It hasn't been the easiest journey for Skullgirls to the PlayStation 4, but with 2nd Encore, Lab Zero have turned in the definitive edition of a high-quality fighting game that not only has bags of character but matches it with both technical and enjoyable action.
Skullgirls: 2nd Encore is a good buy for anyone looking to get into fighting games, but it's far from a perfect one. After picking up a lot of good knowledge from the tutorials, you may want to move to a less intricate and combo-centric game with a less intimidating online crowd. If you haven't tried Skullgirls yet, this is this best place to start, but if you've already played it, there's not much reason to switch to this version for now.
For $25, you get a fine fighting game that plays great and looks pretty amazing. Players who own the first iteration and the DLC may need to think extra hard if they really want to double dip, but fighting game fans that are looking for a flashy, complex, and fun fighting game and haven't tried this game out yet need to pick it up. Review copy of game provided by publisher.
The best 2D fighter on PS4 with superb cross-buy and cross-play functionality.
While by no means unimpressive – fighting game enthusiasts should have plenty of fun with the game, especially when played with friends – Skullgirls often feels like the wrapping is in danger of out-pricing the gift.
If you're looking for a new fighting game experience and you've somehow managed to avoid Skullgirls over the last seven years, then Skullgirls 2nd Encore is as good as any opportunity to do so. It doesn't bring anything new to the table to distinguish it from the other iterations of the update that dropped back in 2016 – and some new characters would have really helped sell its arrival on Switch – but with its catchy jazzy soundtrack and memorable character animations, it's still one of the most underrated fighters to emerge in recent generations.
The original Skullgirls featured a fantastic fighting system, great characters and music — but not much more. With very little in the way of a single player suite, virtually nothing to unlock or explore and so few features that it was difficult to recommend to anyone except hardcore genre fans content to do nothing but duke it out in versus mode endlessly. Skullgirls 2nd Encore has complimented the meat with potatoes and given the title some substance. Now you get that stellar fighting with lots of modes to explore and plenty to unlock. This is the best version of the one of the most original fighters we've seen in the last decade. So go get it.
Not as light on content as its predecessors, the core mechanics of Skullgirls continues to work beautifully on almost every level. Staggeringly good animation dolls up its unforgiving control scheme, while the bonkers roster provides innumerable strategies and play styles. It's brutish welcome is certain to dissuade many newcomers with unrelenting AI and unnecessarily obscure move lists, but those that make it past the opening trials will be rewarded with one of the most unique and charming 2D fighters in a long time.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore loses some visual luster, but that's about it. Besides the disappointing graphical downgrade, players are getting an identical experience to the console version. Considering it's cross-buy, there's a lot to like here.