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Skullgirls 2nd Encore+ is the latest and final version of the 2D tag team fighting game developed by Lab Zero for PS4, PC, and PS3. Since its initial release in 2012, six characters have been added along with many gameplay updates, with the final patch released in 2017. One of the defining traits of the battle design in Skullgirls is how many options it gives to the player in terms of team composition, combos, and setups, while also implementing universal rules that prevent undesirable traits such as infinites, practical teach of death combos, and loopable unblockables. Setups and mixups are very powerful, but there is a strong set of universal defense mechanics as well. During its development, the game took an approach to patching that considered player feedback and discoveries, and the result is a very robust, fine tuned set of mechanics.
- Gameplay traits
- Team game: Assists, DHCs, tags, snapbacks, and recoverable health for characters not in play.
- Custom assist: Choose your assist from any grounded normal or special move in a character's move set.
- Variable team size: Choose your team size of 1, 2, or 3 characters, independent of what the opponent picks. The less characters, the more health you have and the more damage you deal, but less utility provided by team mechanics.
- Infinite protection system (IPS): IPS allows for flexible combos while keeping combo length and damage in check. If certain conditions are met during a combo, the opponent is allowed to burst out. Bursts from IPS, which are ultimately up to the attacker to give the opportunity to the opponent, can be baited to whiff and punished.
- Focus on resets: Resets, where a combo is cut short for a quick mixup, are the primary way to maintain momentum. This is in part due to the lack of invulnerable air recovery, the ability to ground tech left or right on most knockdowns, and how easy it is to restand. The undizzy bar incentivizes doing shorter combos into resets, and makes doing max damage combos into a reset less rewarding.
- Defense mechanics: While offense is very oppressive, there are multiple defense options to help lessen the pressure and turn the tables. Pushblocking is a very strong universal defensive tool not just because it pushes the opponent away, but it’s also tied to two other mechanics: pushblock guard cancel and absolute guard. An alpha counter / guard cancel is also an option for teams of 2 or 3 characters. For character specific tools, all characters have at least some kind of reversal option in their move set. Most characters can combo off their reversal, usually at the cost of 1 bar or a DHC. Some teams can also use DHCs to make reversals safe.
- Character variety: Character archetypes range from relentless rushdown to runaway zoning. Despite their playstyle, all characters have some form of setplay and/or resets. Characters are also varied in their movement options. Dashes vary from normal dashes, to runs, and some have a dash then a run. For air movement, some characters have double jumps, some characters have airdashes. A few have neither, or both, and one character has flight.
- Other features
- Visuals: Each frame of animation is individually hand drawn at a high resolution. They're also shaded in real time, meaning hit effects and different stages will affect the sprites.
- Netcode: Online play uses GGPO rollback netcode, which means 0 frames of additional input delay. In most situations, connections from US coast to coast are playable and sometimes even overseas. If the ping is too high, additional input delay can be added on for smoother gameplay.
- Training mode: The training mode is one of the best in any fighting game, complete with reversal playback, frame data and hitbox display, and frame by frame advancing on the PC version.
- Player friendly: A detailed tutorial mode gets new players up to speed with both general fighting game concepts and Skullgirls specific details. Inputs are generally only as complicated as they need to be, with the majority of special move motions requiring only single quarter circles or dragon punches, and supers being a motion plus any two punches or kicks. Two macro buttons can be mapped to any combination of buttons, as well as analog stick assist macros on top of that for pad players. So, pad players can have two assist macros, plus two other macros of their choice, such as dash or throw.
- UI design: On top of quick and intuitive menus, there's also a tournament mode which forces button config on the character select screen, returns to controller select any time a controller is unplugged, and a longer hold to pause timer.
- Dual audio: Both English and Japanese voices are available, with the option to set the language per character.
|Skullgirls 2nd Encore+|
|Help||FAQ • Controls • Glossary • Reading Frame Data • Reading Hitboxes|
|Characters||Filia • Cerebella • Peacock • Parasoul • Ms. Fortune • Painwheel • Valentine • Double • Squigly • Big Band • Eliza • Fukua • Beowulf • Robo-Fortune|
|Mechanics||Movement • Attacks • Defense • Team Mechanics • Combos • Advanced Mechanics|
|Misc||Community • PC Launch Options • UI/HUD • Training Room • Patch History • Aggregate Frame Data • Extras|