At first blush you could be forgiven for dismissing Girl Fight as a shallow fighting game cashing in on cheesecake but you’d be mistaken, sort of. Girl Fight is definitely cashing in on cheesecake but also offers surprising depth in its all-girl roster of fighters. Each character sports a significant command list of combo chains and moves. As a 3D fighting game, it succeeds in feeling like some of the bigger budget games in the genre. When compared to the likes of Virtua Fighter 5 it comes off feeling a bit light. That said, that I can compare Girl Fight to the likes of Tekken, Virtua Fighter and Dead or Alive is remarkable for a downloadable XBLA/PSN title. Girl Fight feels like it iterates on VF and DoA due to it’s control scheme of Punch, Kick, Guard and Grab.
The controls are tight, which makes the more complicated chains much easier to input once the timing of buffering commands is learned. The fighters have good mobility, moving around each stage in all directions as you would expect, with the ability to quickly roll back onto their feet when knocked to the ground. Each of the 8 fighters feel unique with their individual fighting styles. Combat relies primarily on striking chains as the number of throws in each fighter’s repertoire is fairly limited, however, the Grab button can also be used defensively in the form of counters. With precise timing and the right directional input you can deal damage to your opponent without using any aggression. On top of strikes, throws and counters, Girl Fight adds another level of depth with Psi Amps.
Psi Amps are used much like supers in many 2D fighting games. Successful strikes, throws and counters will fill the Psi meter which is broken into three sections. There are a variety of Psi Amps available, each with their own unique properties. Life Leech will sap health from your opponent to replenish a percentage of your own health meter. Steel Skin provides protection from attacks reducing the damage of landed strikes. There are additional amps that can be unlocked using Combits which is Girl Fight’s in-game currency.
Combits are accrued in fights by completing in-game challenges and winning fights. Combits can be used to purchase new types of Psi Amps and also upgrade Psi Amps to more powerful versions (Ex and Max). Upgraded Amps will use a higher percentage of the Psi Meter but will usually last longer and are more potent. There are also alternate costumes, character artwork as well as dossiers on each of the fighters that can be purchased with Combits. The dossiers help to expand the paper-thin story that Girl Fight presents in Arcade Mode.
Visually, Girl Fight looks really good. The character models are nice with a stylistic and subtle cell-shaded type of finish on the high polygon count models. The fighters movements are smooth and animated nicely. Collision detection is solid as well. The only problem I experienced were frame rate drops that were experienced in Training Mode. Dropped frames are extremely annoying in fighting games because they can break down the entire fight experience. Luckily I can’t recall when or if this problem manifested during an actual fight outside of Training Mode.
The only other gripe I had with Girl Fight is it’s dialogue, or rather lack there of. The only dialogue comes in the form of a silly computer voice monologue in between fights in Arcade Mode. Also, fighters will simply perform a series of grunts in the opening and post fight sequence where there are usually voice-over taunts and celebrations. Those minor complaints aside, the background music is respectable with a predictable yet fitting thumping techno and dubstep inspired soundtrack.
Girl Fight is a solid fighting game for anyone looking for a change of pace or for someone testing the waters to see if they might enjoy getting into the 3D fighting genre. It is a well rounded title and competent from practically every angle. Girl Fight features a significant amount of polish especially when you consider that it is an Arcade/PSN title and not a full $60.00 release.
- Surprising depth for a downloadable title, Girl Fight is a competent fighter.
- Dialogue is extremely corny