Girl Fight Review
Majesco and Kung Fu Factory have released their new fighting game called Girl Fight. As the name suggests, the game features a cast of girls who... well, fight each other. Does this estrogen-infused brawler have enough gumption to take on the likes of Tekken, SoulCalibur and Street Fighter? Or does Girl Fight deserve to be knocked out of the ring into the abyss of obscurity?
Girl Fight is a 3D fighting game in which your fighter can move around a 3D-plane while stringing together complicated combos in order to destroy an opponent. The roster of fighters features girls with names like Chaos, Chrome and Warchild. Each one has a unique character design and fighting style that make for varied combat experiences in the ring.
The story, if you could call it that, centers on a company called The Foundation that has abducted a number of women and stuck them in a virtual world called The Mainframe in order to duke it out in virtual combat. The only way for them to escape The Mainframe is to win a series of matches against one another.
Upon starting the single-player arcade made, you're only given access to one character: Warchild. Right then and there was when I started having a problem with how Girl Fight did things. Now, in fighting games, I love sampling each character and finding how which ones have fighting styles that are fun for me to utilize. Once I have a few favorites, I'll play through their story modes to find out more about their narrative backgrounds and to try and get better at executing their moves and combos.
With Girl Fight's story mode, you have to unlock each subsequent character one at a time. This gets incredibly redundant and makes you question whether or not it's even worth finding out details about your favorite fighter. As cool as Warchild's story might be (it's not), I'm not all that interested in her moveset and would rather spend time furthering another character's story. But once you complete a girl's story, you're not treated with any great endings. Instead, you get a rather risque picture of that girl added to your gallery. So that's cool, I guess.
As for the fighting itself, Girl Fight's combat can feel a little basic. If I had to describe it in a few words, I'd call it "Dead or Alive Lite." It's got the same kinds of grabs, counters and punch-kick combos as Team Ninja's fighter, but without all of the complexity and finesse. You'll string together combos pretty easily and end up laying your opponent flat most of the time. Getting wins is pretty effortless, but once your opponent starts up a combo, you might get stuck in a loop and get grounded for a while. It's no fun getting hit on the ground over and over.
Luckily, you can try and counter mid and high attacks, resulting in a moderately flashy animation that renders your opponent open for more attacks. There are also a few attacks that can stun your opponent briefly, giving you a small window to follow up with a surefire grab or a string of combos to end the match.
One thing unique to Girl Fight is the ability to use Psionic abilities in the middle of a fight. These skills grant temporary buffs that have many different effects, some of which can turn the tide of battle. For example, you could be getting your tush whooped and be down to 25% life while your opponent has a full bar of health. Activating the lifegain Psionic ability will allow you to siphon health from your enemy every time you hit them. Getting a long combo going could mean the difference between defeat and leveling the playing field.
There's a scant selection of Psionic abilities to choose from at the outset and it feels even more limited since you can equip two skills per fight. The way to get more is to unlock them via the in-game store. Here you can buy Psionics using points you acquire from performing moves in fights and doing well in Girl Fight's many different modes. You can also buy customization options for your fighters and unlock their character bios.
At the end of the day, Girl Fight is a decent fighting game with a ludicrous premise, shoddy story elements, tired character designs that hearken back to the early '90s more sexist depictions of video game women, an annoying soundtrack, barebones commentary and a single-player mode that's not for the faint of heart.
It's not the worst fighting game out there, but it's definitely far from the best. If you've got $10 to spend on what's ultimately a mediocre fighter with half-way decent graphics, then go for it. If not, you'll find that your money is better spent on some other gems on the PlayStation Network.
This review was based on a digital copy of Girl Fight for PlayStation 3 that was purchased for review.