Some video games have exploding heads. That evokes criticism. Other games have giant breasts and panty shots. Likewise, people get upset. Skullgirls developer Reverge Labs is here to pass out the chill pills.
Skullgirls is an all girl-on-girl 2D fighting game. Skullgirls roster features characters like Valentine, a nurse ninja; the demon-haired Filia; a girl who wears hulking arms for a hat, Cerebella; and zombie cutie Squigly.
"Our characters are strong, powerful women who happen to be attractive," Reverge lead designer Peter Bartholow told Eurogamer. "None of the characters use their sexuality in any aggressive way. It's just a thing they happen to be."
As previously posted, Skullgirls is the work of Reverge Labs and the spawn of artist Alex Ahad and programmer Mike Zaimont. Zaimont, or Mike Z as he's known in fighting game circles, is a tournament competitor, well versed in the 2D fighting styles of BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.
The issue of the character's appearance has followed the game. Bartholow recalled an incident at this year's Gamescom in Germany in which a gamer came up to him, only to call the Skullgirls sexist. "I'm like, did you know our lead animator is a woman? Then he's like, that's amazing," the designer said. "It's like I gave him the excuse to think it was okay all of a sudden, or to admit he liked it."
According to Bartholow, the animator "intentionally lavishes attention on the breasts herself because she thinks it's cool."
The panty flashes, he added, are the result of short skirts. Naturally, if girls were fighting in skimpy duds, they'd show their underpants. What's more, if they were fighting other girls, they probably wouldn't care about showing their underwear.
"All the people who seem bothered by it are guys," he continued. "It's a weird chivalry intent thing that's sort of misplaced and maybe shallow, even, because they see breasts and panty flashes and they go, that's sexist, but I've yet to meet a woman who has complained about it. They're over-thinking it."
Skullgirls will be out next year, high kicks and all.