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Feb 03

Feb 03

Dev Diary: Skullgirls is a Feature-Rich PSN Fighter

Peter Bartholow's Avatar Posted by

CEO, Lab Zero Games

Previously on the PlayStation.Blog, I introduced you to Skullgirls’ story and characters and discussed its unique gameplay systems. Today, with the game racing towards completion, I’m here to shed a little more light on the game’s features.

Even though Skullgirls is a downloadable game for PSN, we’ve got a feature set consistent with a full-priced fighter.

  • Story Mode
  • Arcade Mode
  • Tutorials
  • Practice Room
  • Ranked and Unranked Online Play
  • Custom Soundtracks
  • PS3-exclusive Trophies

Story Mode

The world of Skullgirls is vast and full of colorful characters well beyond the eight playable characters we’ll have in the game. These characters will show up throughout the characters’ stories, which are told with a series of short vignettes, and are told with over 200 pieces of unique art, character portraits and new music.

Check out our new Story mode trailer above, which features Skullgirls’ awesome attract mode and glimpses at some of the characters’ stories.

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

While there is a “true,” canonical story kicking around in creative director Alex Ahad’s head, the Story mode shows a number of “what if” scenarios playing out across alternate timelines. The characters are true to themselves in these altered circumstances, but events are unfolding differently.

Arcade Mode

In Arcade Mode, you get a single player campaign at its purest. You can pick any team size and make-up you like and fight a handful of rounds against the CPU and end with a climactic fight against… oh, I’ve said too much.

Tutorials and Practice Room

When you think about it, fighting games are really the only games left that doesn’t actually teach the basics of how to play them, so we’ve created an extensive series of tutorials.

Not only will these teach you how to play Skullgirls, but they should also help you learn the concepts underlying the fighting game genre as a whole. There are 17 courses explaining basic and advanced concepts, from movement to hit confirmation and advanced tactics, some of which use AI to help you learn. Of particular note, we’ve put a heavy emphasis on teaching defense, something of vital importance that is glossed over in most other games.

Of course, for the most dedicated of players, we’ve got a Practice Room to help you work on your game. In addition to a visual timer to display hit-stun and block-stun to help you learn combos, we’ll also have attack data and hitboxes to help you wring every bit of damage out of your favorite characters.

Skullgirls for PS3 (PSN)

Ranked and Unranked Online Play

Of course no fighter these days is complete without online play, and we’ve got that covered. Skullgirls features ranked and unranked online play using the excellent GGPO networking library.

Custom Soundtrack

We went all out on Skullgirls’ music and signed the legendary composer of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Michiru Yamane, but after hundreds of hours of play even the best soundtrack can wear thin.

One of the first feature requests we had from PlayStation 3 owners was a custom soundtrack option, so I’m happy to announce that we’ll be delivering this surprisingly rare feature with the game.

PS3-exclusive Trophies

Finally… Trophies. Trophies are a requirement for all games these days, but we went the extra mile and created four exclusive Trophies for PlayStation 3 users.

There are a lot of complaints out there about fighting Trophies in fighting games, so we sought out forum feedback before designing ours so we could deliver the most satisfying Trophy-hunting experience possible. We think we’ve come up with a pretty good set.

We’ll be releasing more information about the specific Trophies in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

And that wraps up the features — in the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing the 8th and final character, the release date and price, and… more.

If you like what you see here, visit our website, Twitter @Skullgirls or Liking us on Facebook for the latest on the game! Thanks for reading!

Add Your Own

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Logan22 said:

February 3rd, 10:24 am

Day 1 buy for sure.

Jnooley said:

February 3rd, 10:27 am

Release this game NOW!

If I die before this is released I’m going to be super pissed.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:49 pm

    It won’t be much longer.

    Until then, please refrain from dying!

AguilarX said:

February 3rd, 10:30 am

i’ve been eying this game since first images came around. im glad release seems so close. day one indeed

Psikorps said:

February 3rd, 10:30 am

Any chance this will work with remote-play on the Vita?

Arjmand said:

February 3rd, 10:39 am

Hmmm, I’ve never seen any game like this before. Is there going to be a demo for this? I’d love to try it out before purchasing it

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:50 pm

    Like virtually all multiplatform PSN games, there will be a trial version released alongside the game.

Mister-Nep said:

February 3rd, 10:54 am

Definitely interested in getting this.

Kchow23 said:

February 3rd, 10:55 am

Since the cast is only 8 characters.. wouldn’t that make the story mode really short? Will there be a demo? I’ve been really interested in the game and hopefully it is as good as I’ve heard it is. Female characters having nice “assets” is almost part of every fighting game now.. don’t see why everyone complains about it.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:51 pm

    The story modes aren’t particularly long, but we’ve put a lot of work into making them interesting and full of nice art to look at. And of course you can replay them at harder difficulty levels, if you like.

    And there will be a demo! Like many PSN games, it will be released as a trial / unlock.

Hinatalover85 said:

February 3rd, 10:56 am

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! My PS3 Needs Service But I’ll Be Back 4 this Game ^_^ Believe IT!!!!!!! To All My Frinds On My List And My Fellow PS3 Brothers & Sisters Long Live Play Rest Assured I Will Return PS3 Plus PSN=EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shadow_Kamui said:

February 3rd, 11:09 am

I relay like this game
its look nice the story mode i really enjoy the art
I wonder if will be playable on Vita

BTW thanks for the Custom Soundtrack

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:53 pm

    There aren’t any plans for a Vita port or any others at the moment, but I’m definitely letting our publisher know that a LOT of people are asking for one.

    And you’re welcome!

Kchow23 said:

February 3rd, 11:14 am

If there are DLC characters will they also have their own story, when you play as them?

P.S Would be awesome if Skullgirls was also playable on PS Vita, but I know that you guys have a lot on your plate already.


February 3rd, 11:21 am

Thanks for taking the time to actually implement a custom soundtrack option! I really wish more PS3 developers would do the same.

Major_Hoare said:

February 3rd, 11:33 am

“After hundreds of hours of play even the best soundtrack can wear thin.”

Every developer working on games for the ps3 should read that quote as TRUTH.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:53 pm


    …I hear it an awful lot, and I’m still not tired of our soundtrack, though.

angelbless45 said:

February 3rd, 11:39 am

You got my attention with this game!…….Now please give me a release date and take my money :P

JLP_M said:

February 3rd, 11:45 am

Please, oh please! Give us Avatars based off the game! I’d buy them! Can’t wait for this game!!

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:55 pm

    Working on them!

    Er, can’t reply here, but if you head to the forums on Shoryuken, Dustloop or NeoGAF I’d love feedback on what kind of things you’d like to see as avatars.

    Personally, I want one of Peacock’s 8-bombs.

HyperViperKO said:

February 3rd, 11:50 am

Can’t wait for the day…

cosmis_chaos said:

February 3rd, 12:04 pm

Painwheel is the biggest fighting game freak I have seen in a long time. Seriously, i have never seen some one so messed up in my life. Anyway, 8 characters are good for now but I hope you guys have more characters in the works for DLC.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:56 pm

    We’ll keep making DLC characters as long as our publisher keeps paying us to!

    Seriously, Alex has like 40 characters he wants to make… some of which were in that trailer, in fact.


February 3rd, 12:13 pm

YES! I will be buying this game, the DLC, and the PSN Avatars day-one! I am extremely excited for Skullgirls! I love the art and animation in Skullgirls!

PublicSudoku said:

February 3rd, 12:37 pm

Skullgirls looks more and more awesome each time I see it. But I have to disagree that Yamane’s soundtracks can ever wear thin!

demoncrono said:

February 3rd, 12:45 pm

I bought a psn card over a year ago when I first heard it was being released on psn. I’m still waiting to cash in those points!

JumpMan33 said:

February 3rd, 12:50 pm

Any word on the price range?

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:57 pm

    Various first party policies prevent me from announcing a solid dollar figure, but… “It should cost what new downloadable games pretty much always cost these days.”

ReptileHand said:

February 3rd, 12:59 pm

Day 1 buy!

snakeeyes211 said:

February 3rd, 1:00 pm

Wow nice

Logan22 said:

February 3rd, 1:18 pm

Its been getting lots of great coverage and praise from the tournaments scenes, so you already know its gonna be awesome from that alone ;)

No need for a demo

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 3:57 pm

    Well, there will be a demo anyway!

adray69 said:

February 3rd, 1:19 pm

Any word on psn games that are ps3/vita compaitable. I know i’d buy a lot more games on psn if they were more like that. Thats the main reason i have like 40 ps1 classics even though i own most of them in disc form.

RurouniSaiya-jin said:

February 3rd, 3:28 pm

Wow. Really nice story mode trailer. I didn’t even know the game was going to ship with a story mode until now. Thanks for giving the full list of features. I look forward to the final character and release date reveal.

Kchow23 said:

February 3rd, 4:14 pm

Would love to see both static and dynamic themes for Skullgirls alongside avatars! Are the cutscenes of the story voice acted or are they only text? Trailer may have given me the wrong impression.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 3rd, 9:07 pm

    The cutscenes are only text at the moment.

mister1337 said:

February 3rd, 4:50 pm

The longer you make me wait, the less interested I become…

Aegis_high said:

February 3rd, 5:06 pm

Waiting for this game. If you guys are goingto sell avatars for ths PS3, make new art for them , don’t just use the ingame portraits of the charaters to made them.

shogun00 said:

February 3rd, 5:18 pm

I’m really looking forward to this game. Hopefully the game will come out by April.

KingzJuster said:

February 3rd, 5:26 pm

Will there be voices to go along with the text dialogue in the story mode like there is in Blazblue or will it just show the text with no voices?

Heavenly_king said:

February 3rd, 5:36 pm

This game reminds me of Battle Beast (PC)……soooooo I think I wont get this :|

Heavenly_king said:

February 3rd, 5:44 pm


Considering this is a PSN game, I wont cost $60 like Blazblue, so I REALLY DOUBT the game will feature voice acting.

Heavenly_king said:

February 3rd, 5:44 pm

*it wont cost

KingzJuster said:

February 3rd, 7:09 pm

Just asking, bud. Just asking. A guy can hope, after all.

Titus8705 said:

February 3rd, 7:20 pm

Is there going to be a tag/team mode that allows for local and/or online co-op? While competitive matches are great, I almost always have more fun if it is myself and a friend against AI.

jackelbeaver said:

February 3rd, 7:33 pm

gaw hurry up and announce the 8th skullgirl so we can obsess.
i mean theres process of elimination but still.
(everyone already knows that its going to be tankbuster. obviously. not like it could be anyone else, thats just poppycock.)

BuchNasty said:

February 3rd, 7:53 pm

Your publisher should really let you guys put this on the vita. LOTS OF MONEY would be made if this was a near launch vita DLC game.

Xeno_Incognito said:

February 3rd, 8:21 pm

Will the story mode cut scenes be full voiced as well?

Logan22 said:

February 3rd, 8:24 pm

Yeah tell your publishers to port it over to VITA asap digitally; don’t even bother trying to update it or add Vita specific features and watch it sell like crazy.

Logan22 said:

February 3rd, 8:28 pm

Vita is the handheld quickly becoming the home for fighting games right on launch. BlazBlue, SF X Tekken, Ultimate Marvel, MK, Reality Fighters, etc. All its really missing is Soul Calibur and Tekken to complete all the current heavy weights.

Logan22 said:

February 3rd, 8:30 pm

Cross Platform fighting though you could probably throw into the Vita version easily enough since its a PSN title. Imagine that, GGPO going across platforms o_O

DragonWolfJD said:

February 3rd, 8:49 pm

The moment I read custom soundtracks my enthusiasm jumped nothing better than a fighter mixed with heavy metal.

sNsKid said:

February 3rd, 9:44 pm

Only 8 characters is kind of weak and GGPO is fail. I think I’m skipping this one.

DarkOne_PR said:

February 3rd, 9:59 pm

it would have been better if instead of partial nudity it had full nudity… XD

DarkOne_PR said:

February 3rd, 10:01 pm

and for the ppl asking this game should be in the $$$ 9.99 to 14.99

BuchNasty said:

February 4th, 2:42 am

I’d like to give my applause to this developer for not going with the boring realistic “Brown shooter” generic art style going around commonly seen in our call of duties, skyrim, and etc. I love this non realistic FUN art design. Wtf is a point of a game if it’s just going to look and feel real? Games started out being a crazy expression of imagination and these guys are helping solidify that foundation. Day one purchase.

Sum-Mischief said:

February 4th, 5:48 am

Normally I dont like these types of games …. But , I must say I will snatch this one up.

FireDragonGod said:

February 4th, 3:50 pm

Dis Looks Cool, I Hope It’ll Also B Available 4 The Vita 2

SPOOKULA209 said:

February 4th, 5:20 pm

Looks nice

NeoKurow said:

February 4th, 7:10 pm

The release date for this game is months away or weeks away?… They said Early 2012 but we are almost at the middle of February and you still do not have a clear release date. Please give us a clear answer.

    Peter Bartholow's Avatar

    Peter Bartholow said:

    February 6th, 10:25 am

    As much as I would love to give you a firm release date, first party policies prevent me from doing so.

    The rules are different for downloadable games, which is why a lot of downloadable games only get release dates a few weeks before they’re released.

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