Skullgirls is a crazy-cool old-school 2D arcade style fighting game available for download on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

Okay I admit,what first caught my eye and prompted me to check out this game was the sexy character designs. Cute cartoony girls with big thighs are kind of my thing, you see. Hell, cute real girls with big thighs are pretty hot too nowthatithinkaboutit...but I digress.

Cute designs aren't quite enough to reel me in, though. What really prompted me to take the leap and download this game to my Xbox was two-fold: 1) this game clearly understands and loves classic 2D hand drawn animation. As a classically trained animator myself, I can spot good animation (and bad) a mile away, and this game has all the right stuff: squash and stretch, secondary motion, exaggeration etc. etc.

Frank and Ollie would be proud.

And 2) this game plays just like those fighting games I used to love in the arcade: Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom...a joystick and six buttons making countless move variations -

- one player against another, tagging in a teammate when things got rough -

- light, middle and heavy hits and kicks - hit combos - and surprise moves - it's all here!

I also soon discovered that the character designs are cute and sexy...and CRAZY! There's Filia, whose hair is some sort of monster symbiote ala Venom. There's Cerebella, who wears a living weapon hat...

...Ms. Fortune, a cat girl by way of Frankenstein's monster and my favorite...

...Peacock, whose character design truly reveals the game designers' love for classic animation.

Skullgirls is no simple fighting game - I am still working my way through the tutorials (I tried fighting without having done so and got my butt handed to me in no time on the simplest of difficulty settings!) - And I would love to play it on a more 'traditional' joystick/six button layout over the Xbox controller - But I plan on studying the character guide and continuing with the practice levels until I can sufficiently hand back some heavy damage!

In the meantime, check out what one could do were one a little more agile than myself at the moment:

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