Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Girl Fight

A videogame like Girl Fight is hard to defend for many reasons, most of which could easily be deduced from the no-holds-barred title. The hope would be that underneath all of the misogynistic character design and pandering to the most basic of human desires a […]
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Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageA videogame like Girl Fight is hard to defend for many reasons, most of which could easily be deduced from the no-holds-barred title. The hope would be that underneath all of the misogynistic character design and pandering to the most basic of human desires a solid fighting system lies. This is where Dead or Alive manages to stay relevant despite frequently pushing the boundaries of taste and decency, with Girl Fight however the line is less delicately walked.

And it’s the success of the aforementioned genre defining franchise from Team NINJA which Girl Fight tries to replicate. From the split-second breaking impact of each blow to the impact based arenas and personally crafted combos the fighting system provides, Girl Fight lives-and-breathes the lessons taught by Dead or Alive’s progressiveElectronic Theatre Image mechanics. Sadly, it’s far clunkier than Dead or Alive has ever been, and in the face of Dead or Alive 5 Majesco Entertainment’s Girl Fight simply feels outdated. It has a few interesting ideas that supplement the fighting system, but on the face of it there’s nothing here to recommend over the recently released Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, especially given the surprisingly narrow price difference between the digital and retail releases.

The core addition Girl Fight offers to the standard genre formula is that of its Psi meter. The player can choose two Psi abilities prior to starting each fight, and as they land blows their Psi meter will build. Psi abilities are performed using the left or right trigger and can range from increasing your defence to draining the opponents life, from a single high-damage attack to boosting your Psi meter for subsequent ability use. The abilities are not limited by character and new abilities can be unlocked viaElectronic Theatre Image in-game currency. It’s not a particularly elegant system but it is the most enduring aspect of Girl Fight: you will continue to unlock new Psi abilities simply to see what it is that they can do.

The visual design of Girl Fight isn’t remotely appealing. Despite it’s premise the videogame makes no effort to create interesting characters from it’s cast, instead opting for the predictable ‘badass bitches’ stereotype with military, gothic, oriental and cyborg women filling the roster. Even the interestingly presented Arcade mode – which forces you to complete the tree with each girl in order – does little to expand on these paperthin personalities, simply giving them an inconsequential reason to be fighting and a lewd image as a reward fro being victorious. Girl Fight couldElectronic Theatre Image easily have fought back against its inevitable detractors had it made the effort to present some unique, interesting female protagonists, but instead it chooses to play right into their hands.

There’s no easy recommendation for Girl Fight. Its single-player gameplay is short-lived and it’s nigh-on impossible to find a match online, even this shortly after release. The fighting system is little better than average and the unique ideas that Girl Fight brings are simply not enough to warrant investing in the nuances of its tug-of-war combat. Girl Fight is an unashamed cash-in on the resurgence in popularity of the beat-‘em-up genre with an aesthetic quality design to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It does exactly what that title suggests, then, and sadly not a thing more.

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