Published on March 8th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
GDC: Girl Fight Hands-On Preview
Grabbing clumps of hair, scratching and even some biting. These may sound like the descriptors of a Discovery Channel altercation, but most commonly they are known as a girl fight. Don’t worry, this presumption doesn’t have anything to do with what Kung Fu Factory had in mind when they were creating its next game title. Well, almost nothing.
Girl Fight is a futuristic fighter with a title made to raise your brow. Although the game may sound like a physics-based boobfest, it is much more than just brawn to its background.
After chatting with one of the designers on the team, Marcus Savino, he laid down the knowledge, as well as the whoopings on all things Girl Fight.
The game’s story line is based somewhere in a distant time, but Marcus couldn’t quite fill in that bit of information for me. In this time in society there are super intelligent females who have been selected to become part of a psychic combat trial. One thing that he did emphasize was their intelligence and that these characters were chosen based on their familiarity with psychic abilities. There are eight characters that have been confirmed for the title, but there is no word if there are more to come.
Although the female fighters are very attractive, edgy, and even brutal, they are not necessarily the real deal. They are characters, inside of characters, inside of a video game. Whoa.
The training facilities in which they are “chipped” in are made to represent battle situations that they may encounter. So, the images of the females that you see on screen are simply their own digital representations of their physical bodies. Wrench or Ghost might look like rebellious scantily-clad females dressed to kick ass, but in real life could very well be mousy brainiacs fighting for their lives.
Wrench is the most brilliant mind the world has ever seen. She entered MIT at the age of 15 and graduated at 19 with a triple major in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics. She changed the world by developing a method for safely fusing atomic nuclei and has advanced almost every field of medicine with advanced surgical inventions.
In 2012, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for her multitude of contributions to the fields of science, energy, medicine, and military transport. However, in order to accomplish so many things by the age of 26, she has sacrificed every other aspect of her life – a decision that she will soon come to regret.
She is entirely unaware that an organization operating from the shadows plans to use one of her own inventions against her…
What would a fighting game be without unlockables, right? During the game players can earn Combits, which is the form of currency used in the game. Players can complete in casual fights, or take on the seemingly endless list of challenges in order to gain more bank-o-bits. Players can complete various challenges which pay out different amounts. The challenges progressively becomes more difficult as more are discovered and unlocked. Players can then use these combits to purchase bio’s, moves, and even psych files about the characters.
Other modes for the competitive include things like the wager system. During these online matches, be prepared to put your Combits where your mouth is by wagering your collection. Some may dislike the idea of unbalancing during fighting games, but there is a great feature in place to help out with this.
The main gameplay mechanic is based around psychic weaponry. These weapons are known in the game as Psi Amps. Many fighting games contain power-ups for balancing and are usually specific to the character you choose. In the case of Girl Fight, any which character choose two Psi Amp powers during combat. This is where the game may vary from other traditional fighters, but still give players the tools to navigate the games combat styles.
The use of these weapons can be defensive or offensive and, as stated before, are universal regardless of who is equipping them. For example, the Flamebody amp turns your character into a human torch. Any hits to an opponent burns them when touched, but it also deteriorates your own health. Other PSI Amps like Steel Skin, allow you to take less damage and acts as armor.
As you land your hits in combat, each connection adds to your bank of amps which are indicated near your health bar. If you think that this may sound too easy, there are also some that can deprive a player of their built up stock of power. As you can see there are many variations of abilities that can accompany each players fighting style as well as your own.
After each match a post fight breakdown is given. Similar to what you might see in Street Fighter IV, a grade is dealt based on combat performance. Kicking the whole match might get you the big ‘W‘, but it sure won’t contribute to giving you more combits that an ‘A’ grade would have paid out.
One thing that I really liked about Girl Fight was the speed. It wasn’t too fast where characters were flying on and off screen, but it wasn’t also to the point where standoffs were interupted by a few combos here and there. Even the run and jump actions were tied in smoothly. Even though the games title might imply a bra-brawler, the gameplay tells another story. After playing games like Blaz Blue, King of Fighters, and of course Street Fighter IV, it is nice to have another added variation to the traditional scene of games in the genre.
With so many positives about the game, the one thing that caught my eye seems like it is the one thing keeping me from being gung-ho about it. To be honest, I’m not really all that jazzed about the game’s name. Yeah, I get it, girls fighting. It seems like the game itself is so much better than that. Why all of a sudden to I sound like an after school special?
There are some interesting elements to the game and the team of deadly vixens are more than just eye candy. They are people too. Well, virtual representations of the people who are dialed into a computer program–but people nonetheless. Although Girl Fight is cool, the psychic abilities, challenges, and other modes might be skipped by people who are turned off by the name.
Girl Fight is set to release on the Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network.