You can safely bet from the cover art and screenshots to Girl Fight what sort of game you're getting yourself in to. Kung Fu Factory shows no shame in taking what gamers secretly wanted in Dead or Alive all along: remove all of the male fighters and put a strong emphasis on beautiful, digital vixens with odd fashion senses and a refusal to wear a bra. Fighting games are known for over-sexualizing their female characters but have had these claims overlooked because of their deep combat systems and fun gameplay. The same can't be said for Girl Fight which somehow prides itself in being a soulless DoA ripoff with zero replayability. Girl Fight may land a few punches, but in no way is it ready for the big leagues.
Not counting the ugly menu presentation, Girl Fight makes its first big mistake in the Arcade mode. Rather than having all of the fighters available to choose from the start, players are forced to play only as Warchild, and will only unlock the rest one at a time. Modern fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us have created interwoven story-lines that make the single-player campaign feel new and interesting. In comparison, Girl Fight shows its naivety of modern games with a rudimentary and derivative campaign that intentionally tries to bore you.
Each of the eight combatants are barely distinguishable and control almost identically. Whereas other fighting games make an effort to create varied heavy, medium and light characters, Girl Fight has no intention to do any of that except for the traditional costume change. No matter the choice of fighter, there are no discernible story differences or endings, aside from a vague line of dialogue before each match that — we assume — tries to develop a backstory for all of the girls. From what we could piece together of the story during our monotonous playthroughs, an organization known as The Foundation has kidnapped the girls and will only let them escape if they participate in virtually constructed arenas. That means battling each other repeatedly until the final boss, which is nothing but a metallic version of one of the already playable characters. Uh...what? Sure, whatever. We know stories in this genre usually take a back step to the gameplay, but the setup is ripe with plenty of eye-rolling.
"Girl Fight shows its naivety of modern games with a rudimentary and derivative campaign that intentionally tries to bore you"
Girl Fight borrows heavily from Dead or Alive when it comes to its hand-to-hand combat, and somewhere deep down, is a fairly decent fighter. An attempt to spice up the formula arrives in the implementation of Psi-Amps. Psi-Amps are special abilities that are equipped to either the triggers or bumpers that serve a specific purpose during matches. For instance, equipping the Seismic Fist delivers a devastating blow on your opponent when triggered at the right time. A Psi-Amp can build to three levels, indicated by a meter at the top of the screen, which can be unleashed for stronger attacks. Other abilities can make you invisible or regenerate health for a brief amount of time.
We can't help but feel, however, that a few of the power-ups should have been exclusive to specific fighters instead of having them readily available for all of them to use. The character Wrench (who actually has a wrench but never uses it) seems like a more aggressive fighter and could have benefited from having offensive abilities specific to her. This may have accrued some balancing problems but since the special abilities are the only interesting part of the gameplay, we think spending some extra time on them would have made Girl Fight feel less like a half-baked DoA clone.
"At least growing our combit score eased the pain – not from our defeat, but the pain from participating in another tiresome round of this generic fighter."
Throughout each match is a tallying point system based on completing different challenges. You can fling your enemy into the edge of the arena, or trounce your opponent without taking damage, or win a round without using power-ups and so on. Afterwards, these points are converted into the game's currency known as Combits and then used at the Store, where you can spend them on more powerful Psi-Amps, bio-entries for all the girls (police reports explaining what caused them to catch the eye of The Foundation), an alternate costume, and finally — artwork for each of the busty females in provocative poses that range from weird to sexy. No matter how poorly we performed in a match, at least growing our combit score eased the pain – not from our defeat, but the pain from participating in another tiresome round of this generic fighter.
Girl Fight also takes top honors in having some of the dumbest A.I. we've seen in a fighter. Even on normal difficulty, the CPU barely threw a punch or blocked, leaving us to wonder whether we had accidentally entered the training mode. Hard mode is the only one that invokes some sort of challenge and made us use a few continues in the process.
Stages are equally unimpressive with absolutely zero interactivity. You won't find breakable environments or anything of the sort. One stage is set in a bunker with walking mechs in the background that could've offered some element of surprise, but alas, that was asking too much.
Girl Fight simply can't be recommended at all, not even for the price tag. There is a serious lack of engagement here and very little reason to keep playing. The Psi-Amp power-ups are a nice addition but it's novelty fades into repetitiveness far too quickly, even in versus mode with a friend. Overall though, Girl Fight just isn't fun to play for its single-player and online multiplayer. Instead, Girl Fight is a Dead or Alive copycat that will only make you wish you were playing Dead or Alive.