Girl Fight Review: Mulvey’s Nightmare

I’m sure that some obnoxious, plaid shirt wearing feminist could easily get their jollies by using Girl Fight as a poster child for everything that’s wrong with videogames.

GirlFight_MasterArt.1024x1024It certainly is that kind of game; its logo is the outline of a woman pulling down her bra straps, the name of the game is pretty self explanatory too, it’s a fighting game with girls in it. I say girls, they’re actually a group of attractive twenty-somethings that fight in high heels, short shorts and bikini tops.

It would be easy for me to jump on the band wagon, ride in on my white horse, armour shining in the noonday sun, and decry Girl Fight as a terrible exercise in sexism and misogyny. But I’m not going to do that either, I feel that white knighting is as misogynistic as objectifying women, if not more so, whether the wankers that do it will ever admit it, their thought process is something a little like; you must defend the fairer sex because they’re not capable of doing it themselves.

Moreover I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with buxom, scantily clad women kicking ten bales of shite out of each other, if that’s what they want to do and how they want to dress that’s their decision. I’m not doing digital slut shaming, I think it’s a disgraceful practice in the real world so I’m not letting it infect my views on the digital world either.

Besides these women are all powerful characters, if you bother reading the unlockable character bios.

No, the problem with Girl Fight isn’t its subject matter or its treatment of women. It’s that it just isn’t a very good fighting game.

In Girl Fight you play as one of eight female characters with shady pasts that have all been captured by an even shadier corporation known as ‘The Foundation’ and locked into some kind of computer simulation in the hopes of using it to train them to become psychic assassins, it’s never properly explained. However the AI that’s controlling the simulation, a Cortana impersonator called Chrome, has gone rogue and has decided to pit the ladies against each other in order to find a suitable host body that she can then use to destroy The Foundation for some reason or another, they probably ceased testing or something. You know how AIs love testing.

Silly enough premise for a fighting game, why not. It does allow for very nice variation in the games stages including ruined cityscapes, futuristic skyscrapers and what can best be described as the battle of Hoth from Empire, complete with ice and giant robots.

I also must admit that the game doesn’t actually look that bad, using a similar cell shaded style to Borderlands and the animation of the characters is relatively fluid

But the charaShogun03cter designs are pretty generic and dull. There’s a ninja, a punk, sorry, I mean a scientist, a spy, a samurai, a business woman, a soldier, and a murderer that looks like a female Adam Ant impersonator.

Girl Fight has similar controls to Dead or Alive and Virtual Fighter, although it has a dedicated throw button as well as punch, kick and block. The problem lies in the fact that none of the characters feel particularly different from one another, all of them having the same inputs there’s no variety in control at all. So the fighters are pretty much interchangeable.

You also can equip two psi powers that provide various buffs for a brief period such as increased defence or attack, or leaching life from your opponent with each attack. You can unlock others as well as more powerful variants by using XP you gain from winning fights but they’re pretty much pointless, which is a shame because they could have given a more tactical edge to proceedings.

Though, the biggest issue with Girl Fight on the PS3 at least, is an incredibly unstable frame rate which makes effectively blocking on coming attacks at higher difficulty levels all but impossible and trying to string attacks together a complete pain in the arse. You’ll also occasionally find yourself caught in a throw from absolutely nowhere.

img0059Along with arcade mode in which you fight the six other buxom test subjects and Chrome twice, once normally and a second time with a random psi power constantly activated, there’s also a rudimentary training mode and online versus play. Well there’s supposed to be online play, but there’s is absolutely no one to fight against. The game has been out for just under a week so I wouldn’t hold out much hope of ever finding an opponent.

As It stands I can’t recommend Girl Fight, it’s a shame too because underneath the technical hitches, dubious script and dull character design there’s a competent fighter with some nice ideas trying to get out. But the fact of the matter is that there are much better alternatives available on PSN. If you want a decent female focused fighting game go and check out either Skull Girls or Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate.



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