Girl Fight is a new arcade style fighting game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, developed by Kung Fu Factory and published by Micropose. It’s a a downloadable budget title, with a price tag of just $11.75. Girl Fight is aptly named, since the game’s main drawcard is the fact that it features an all-female cast, a rarity in the fighting genre. In some ways it feels almost as though the developers were intending to make their own version of a Dead or Alive game, but with a slightly heavier reliance on sex appeal.
The game’s story revolves around a bunch of women who have been abducted by a mysterious science organisation called The Foundation. The Foundation is extremely shady, and with unlimited funding, they’re not afraid to do whatever it takes to gather test subjects. In order to escape, the girls need to beat the crap out of each other in virtual fights. Don’t ask me how that works. Girl Fight features 8 playable characters, all with different fighting styles. We’ve got Warchild, Chaos, Viper, Shogun, Daisy, Chrome, Ghost, and Wrench. They’re a decent bunch of characters, with designs that are reasonably distinctive and interesting to look at. All of the characters are fist fighters though, there’s no weapons at all. Which is odd, because about half of the characters are holding weapons in their in-game artwork. It feels almost as though weapons were originally planned to be in the game, but the idea was scrapped after all the artwork was finished. It may just be a case of the artists trying to make the characters look more interesting though, but it’s still a bit disappointing.
Most of Girl Fight‘s meat can be found in its simple arcade mode. It’s a standard offering, with the usual series of 8 fights to get through. The game’s very light on story, even for a fighting game, with only one or two lines of story injected between fights. It’s very easy to win on the game’s standard difficulty. The opponents were boring me so much that I decided to try and see if I could win by simply mashing the kick button. It worked. In fact, I actually scored a couple of perfect rounds. In stark contrast to that, the last opponent you fight in the arcade mode is bizarrely difficult. It only receives about half the normal amount of damage from attacks. Rather than being legitimately difficult to beat, it’s more of a war of attrition, where the opponent can take so many hits that you eventually run out of health due to incidental attacks that it manages to land on you. It’s not much fun.
You do get a reward when you finally win, however. It’s a piece of artwork featuring the character you just beat the arcade mode with. A rather revealing picture, in fact. So, in case you’d forgotten what this game is all about it, you get a not-so-subtle reminder. When you start the game, only one character (Warchild) is unlocked. You have to complete her arcade mode in order to unlock the next character, and so on. It makes for a decent sense of progression, and it’s a shame that the arcade mode itself isn’t worth paying much attention to.
There’s a decent fighting game here, but unfortunately decent is all it is. It plays a lot like some of the earlier Virtua Fighter games, which would be fine enough if the newer ones didn’t exist. It’s a solid base and all, but the enemy AI ruins it a bit. Blocking feels pointless most of the time, since the AI will simply grab you the instant that you press the block button. The only time that blocking is useful at all is when you’re already being hit. Beaneath the somewhat gaudy exterior, it’s clear that some effort was put into the game’s mechanics, but it’s not enough to make it stand out in any way. There’s no big, flashy moves. No super moves. No charged attacks. No super meter. All of the combos just look like regular attacks. The only interesting feature is the Psi power system. There’s a Psi gauge at the top of the screen that slowly fills up as you land hits or take damage. When the meter is full enough, you can engage Psi powers, which are basically gimmicks that give you an edge during fights. There’s the iron skin that reduces how much damage you take, the health sapper which recovers part of your health when you land a hit, and a few other options. They add a very small amount of spice to the game, but unfortunately they don’t change the actual gameplay in any way. Ultimately, all they mean is that you can take a few more hits than you’d usually be able to, which really isn’t very exciting. You can unlock some more powerful versions of each power in the in-game shop, but they really don’t make much of a difference in the end.
It may be bland from a gameplay perspective, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with Girl Fight on a technical level. It features a perfect frame rate, respectable graphics and animations, and some reasonably interesting stages for the girls to fight in. The audio doesn’t hold up quite so well however, as the only voice acting (other than a few generic grunts) comes from a female narrator with a robotic voice. She’s alright during the very brief bits of story within the arcade mode, but she also provides commentary during the fights. Boring, repetitive commentary. Her near constant shouts of ‘Critical!’, ‘Excellent!’, and other similar lines are enough to get on anyone’s nerves after a few fights.
Overall, Girl Fight simply feels lacklustre. It’s budget title status doesn’t save it from the fact that it fails to distinguish itself from the many other fighters that are currently dominating the market. It’s bland, it’s unimaginitive, and the sex appeal largely falls flat, despite the developers’ best efforts. Girl Fight gets the basics right, but that’s about it.
Gets the basics right | No technical issues
Bland and uninspired | Story doesn't make much sense | Annoying commentary