Week in Arcade: Skullgirls, The Splatters, World Gone Sour

Three games, $30 total, and one of them is only $5. Yes, the lost 400 MS Point Arcade games do still exist.

Skullgirls

A gorgeously animated 2D fighter with a deeply wound combo system, Skullgirls is a masterpiece of indie design. It’s a labor of love for a genre in resurgence, if not already at the forefront of the industry after a hiatus. Given a showtunes-esque aesthetic, the wacky, bizarre cast brings with memories of Darkstalkers.  It’s just as lighthearted and fresh, although certainly with its own flair. Musically fresh with a mixture of jazz and other styles, not a screen goes by where Skullgirls won’t impress. While moving at a slower clip than most modern brawlers, it accentuates the impact and heightens the strength. It’s for the better.

The Splatters

Feeling like an early XBLA release back in the era of Geometry Wars isn’t a problem for The Splatters. If anything, this focused, simple design now lets it stand out against increasingly broadened competition. Players scoot creatures called Splatters (duh) into objects scattered around single screen maps. If the splat patterns don’t cover what they should in X number of tosses, it’s a do over. Varying mechanisms spring the title to life and will provide the necessary challenge for brain buster fanatics. An unexpected surprise.

World Gone Sour

It’s unclear why this adver-game isn’t free, joining the ranks of Yaris. Maybe because it’s actually decent? Surprisingly offensive with a narrator spewing “your mom” jokes and innuendo, this isn’t always appropriate for the younger set, the ones who most likely eat Sour Patch Kids like they have an addiction. A 2D platformer with slightly unpolished mechanics, there’s enough meat on these sugary bones to consider the gameplay inoffensive, if not the game itself. It’s a passable, basic hop ‘n bopper, without any fresh ideas. It ironically begins in the garbage, and if it was awful, the jokes would write themselves. It’s not, so this writer is disappointed.