Few games scream “please don’t buy me” like Girl Fight. If a pornography company had named their movie about fighting women Girl Fight, at least six people would have been immediately fired for a lack of creativity and writing skills. It sounds like the working title for a game still early in development that never got changed because nobody on staff cared enough to take the ten seconds to come up with something better. A lot about Girl Fight feels that way, and the entire experience seems like an early beta for a game that isn’t quite finished yet, but somehow accidentally got published. This is a derivative version of much better fighters out there, and there are cheaper ways to see half naked women if that is all you are interested in.
This would have been better titled as “Boobs and Also There’s Some Fighting Too: The Game” because that is clearly what the focus is meant to be on. Maybe if I was ten again the promise of videogame breasts would have been enough for me to purchase this out of curiosity, but there isn’t enough else here to grab my attention. And I would have to be ten again, because this would have to be back in 1998 and I would need to be playing the original PlayStation, because these visuals look about one step above the original Tekken. If your main draw in the game is meant to be scantly clad bouncy female characters, you might the visuals to be at the point where it doesn’t look like I’m viewing them through a broken kaleidoscope. These are last generation visuals at best, and the bland, boring environments do nothing to help the presentation in this package.
The story is so insane that I’m still not positive I understand it right. I would best summarize it as a pornographic parody of The Matrix, only without sex, a cohesive narrative, or logic. A shady group known only as “The Foundation” has set out to kidnap buxom, nearly nude women with psionic powers and plugged them into a virtual environment known as The Mainframe. From here, the women must battle each other in order to win their freedom and…I’m sorry. I don’t even know what I’m typing anymore. This story wasn’t as much written as it was put together using a Madlibs filled in by a twelve year old boy. This reeks of porn plot, but even if this was porn plot it would have been set back to the writer for revisions because it lacked any subtlety. The most bizarre thing about this is clearly someone on staff cared enough to write extensive backstory for the characters, because you can unlock various dossiers that cover basically everything about a character’s past that leads up to the game. Some of it is actually kind of dark and mildly interesting, but the game doesn’t really resolve most of these plot threads, opting instead to leave them hanging so they can go Google more pictures of boobs and stick them into the game.
Really. No, I’m totally serious. After you complete a character’s story mode, you get about a two second clip that is basically worthless and then you unlock a picture of that character standing in some stage of undress. The ending for every character is like, “I’m free from this machine! …well, time to take my top off and sit on this jeep!” Sex sells and people love gratuitous side boob, but at least have the decency to finish your plot off. This army woman, for instance, was raised by her father her whole life and he dedicated her to training. Well, it turns out he wasn’t her real father. He was a plant sent there to ensure she developed her powers. And then, get this, (END OF GAME PLOT TWIST SPOILERS) she takes her breasts out and poses for a picture. This story brought to you courtesy of Stanley Kubrick and Hustler. This is the wrong ending. This has to be. It’s like I’m watching the first hour and a half of The Manchurian Candidate and then someone spliced in some footage of women jumping on trampolines at the very end Most of the actual plot is entirely optional and you have to purchase it from the in game store, so you can get through the entire game without any annoying words if you’re just here for the ladies.
And I’m assuming you have to be here for the ladies, because you are definitely not playing the game for the deep, immersive combat system, as this game doesn’t have one. It takes two buttons to jump. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. You can punch, kick, or grapple, and there is an assortment of combos unique to each of the eight fighters. My first couple of fights I actually tried looking through the combos and finding out which were easiest to pull of and which caused the most amount of damage. While the combos themselves are easy to use and the controls seem responsive enough, sometime around my third fight I realized that mashing punch was far more effective than even the best combo and the rest of the matches became nothing more than glorified slap fights. The enemy AI is awful and they can’t seem to figure out how to respond to a barrage of punches even on the hardest difficulty. It’s like they’re trying to use the rope-a-dope technique but forgot the fights are only three rounds long. Either that or the AI is embarrassed about being in Girl Fight and has lost the will the fight back.
There is an attempt to add some diversity here, but variety is sorely lacking. Each character might come with their own assortment of moves, but there is no real distinction in fighting style so it feels like you’re just playing as reskinned versions of the same characters. You can unlock a variety of costumes, but they’re all the same thing just in slightly different colors. The game keeps wanting to present you with some minor choices, but they’re all superficial and regardless of what and who you pick you’ll never need to do more than mash punch. The only sort of unique aspect to the game is the super meter than builds up and allows you to use one of two special moves you can customize from a group of available possibilities. These powers vary from increased defense over a specific amount of time to sucking out your opponent’s health whenever you make contact. It is the game’s one attempt to do something, anything, original, but it manages to botch that. By allowing all characters to select from the same pool of moves, there is even less variation and now all the characters feel exactly the same.
Outside of what the game charitably dubs the “story mode,” but which I dub the “naughty picture at the end mode,” there really isn’t a lot here. This is a bare bones sort of package for a fighting game, giving you the absolute minimum of modes allowed and not wanting to go any further. Even the naughty picture mode doesn’t let you pick your own character, and you are stuck playing through the characters in a specific order. There is a practice mode, but you have no need to practice mashing punch. There is an online versus mode, but nobody else owns this game for you to play with. There is local versus, but any friend you utter the words “want to play Girl Fight?” to will automatically stop being your friend and leave you without a versus partner. There is just nothing here that anyone would want to waste any amount of time on, and while the game technically works, there is nothing that resembles anything close to the human definition of fun.
Girl Fight as a whole just ends up playing out like a dumb version of Dead or Alive. If you’re looking for a fighter with half naked women, you’re better off buying literally any other fighting game on the market. Sexualization and copious cleavage isn’t exactly something that was missing from fighting games, only most of them have an actual combat system built around it. Take Dead or Alive, remove the male half of the roster, dumb down the fighting, and destroy that last shred of dignity you have been clinging to and you have Girl Fight. The only way I could possibly recommend this game to anyone is if you have a blossoming interest in both breasts and fighting games, and are trapped on some sort of desert island with a PS3 that only has Girl Fight on it. Everyone else is going to want to look elsewhere.
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 3 (PSN)