Girl Fight – Dead on Arrival?

Girl Fight

This is an article of mine first published on Aussie Game Geek. Thanks to the guys for the great opportunity and for allowing me to reprint my review here.

When I think of games that involve girls fighting, the first three that come to mind are Dead or Alive, Soul Caliber and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

So not a comprehensive range of games but certainly a lot of female negativity embedded in there, especially if you gift Christie the wrong dessert.

And now we arrive to Girl Fight; a game that makes it pretty damned clear from the outset what audience the game is targeting with its scantily clad girls duking it out but unfortunately it’s all been done before.

Even more unfortunate is that it’s also been done a lot better too.

The basic game mode is arcade where you start with the first of the eight fighters, completing eight encounters. As you play through you will unlock the other seven fighters which though it may sound daunting, is not going to be as rough as you may think.

I am not a talented player when it comes to fighting games. In fact I could admit to it being the genre I am worst at playing… especially against live opponents. However here, I was able to blaze through the eight encounters with barely a scratch and no understanding of the controls. The game AI is slow to react and very predictable in play which allows you to get away with murder simply by spamming the punch and kick buttons. I genuinely surprised myself with how effective that turned out to be.

Before the games starts, the player gets to choose PSI powers that act as modifiers during the game and provide offensive and defensive benefits. Seeing as how I spammed my way though using one character on my first turn I don’t know how much difference they truly make.

What it means for players is that they will be quick to play through and unlock everything within the game and likely to score most of the achievements in the process as they are mainly based on totals. Based on scoring during the encounters, credits are allocated allowing you to buy additional costume variations as well as upgraded PSI powers, character portraits and biographies.

Presentation wise, the game is lacklustre – semi-cel shaded characters coupled with very small arenas make for a game that is a throwback to the distant past.

Gameplay wise it’s best described as early Virtua Fighter with its tiny playfield and Dural-like end boss but minus the moves and any AI. That backwards design really impacts the multiplayer side as there is very little here to make players want to choose this over other fighters.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Dead or Alive 4, a game that was available at the time of the Xbox 360’s launch, is still a far more complete fighter in addition to being a visually better game.

Its a pity to see a game like this come about near the end if a console cycle. At a time when there are already numerous stars in the genre available, this has little
to offer as an alternative.

Score: 4/10

Forgettable – a game that does nothing but remind us of how much better other games in the genre are.

– lack of challenge in AI
– character design is more original Xbox than 360
– arenas are tiny
– unlocks offer little to boost interest
+ there’s a MechWarrior reference in one arena

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