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Skullgirls Encore: Eliza First Impressions in the Beta
Skullgirls Encore’s newest character, Eliza, finally is available for people to fiddle around with on the Endless Beta version of Skullgirls: Encore, so I figured I would give her a swing and see what makes her tick and let everyone know what she’s about. Bear in mind things such as properties of moves or whole new moves can be changed from the time of this article. This is a just a beta where they test out current builds, after all.
Eliza is an Egyptian themed night-club singer who has come to join the Skullgirls roster and is bringing some new things to the table that the game hasn’t seen yet. Pretty much everything of hers is Egyptian themed, from her blockbuster attacks where she transforms and drops you from the sky to low attacks where she looks like the Sphinx. She uses some mid-range pokes and alright damage to make for a good spacing character. In addition, she can summon her two bodyguards for certain attacks as well to mix things up and to beat her opponent down. It also is going to bring up an interesting dynamic for the character, since it will be her guards who perform certain attacks like divekicks or charges similar to Parasoul’s tagout. Hopefully they won’t be able to be abused or on the other end of the spectrum and be completely worthless due to an insane amount of recovery time.
In addition to being able to summon her guards, Eliza offers something a bit different than the norm when it comes to fighting games: Sekhmet. For those who are unaware, Eliza can basically enter a different stance by pressing a certain combination of buttons and she summons Sekhmet, or rather Sekhmet comes out of her to fight. Eliza is in a weird position, because I wonder how much we are supposed to use Sekhmet. During this time, the player loses control of Eliza and only controls Sekhmet, who is a great deal faster and hits a hell of a lot more than her counterpart Eliza. It sounds all well and good and an interesting way to spice up a stance character right? Let’s give them a secondary mode with a lot of bonuses to make up for what the normal mode the character has lacks. Well, that’s not completely accurate when it comes to Sekhmet. When summoned, the player begins to lose meter immediately so long as Sekhmet is out. This gives players a sense of urgency in needing to either use Sekhmet just in combos themselves as a finisher to the combo or possibly using Sekhmet as a means to get in and break through an opponent’s defense due to the greater speed Sekhmet has.
That’s not to say the second stance is infinitely better in every way. You lose range as well as strong single hit damage in exchange for that speed, but it seems like it will be up to the individual player how much they are going to want to use Sekhmet when playing Eliza. Right now, considering the amount of meter that Sekhmet can consume really quickly, I feel like Eliza’s secondary stance should be used as a combo finisher moreso than being used as a tool to close distance, or maining that stance and using Eliza as a secondary. Additionally, it will be interesting, considering how fast Sekhmet consumes that super meter, just how much attention she will get.
So far, Eliza has three blockbuster specials as well, which each seem to serve a different purpose for the character. The first of her specials can only be performed in the air. During the attack, Eliza dives down after turning her arms into wings and grabs the opponent with her feet before taking off into the sky and dropping them from a high distance. Since it is only usable in the air, it will probably serve as a finisher to air combos if Eliza ends up not having any ground reset combos that are worth the effort for the reward. Her second special calls Sekhmet out to perform a brutal combo and keeps Sekhmet out after it completes so it will have some use as a combo end that gives momentum since it allows the switch. The last special is Eliza’s level three, where she takes off into the sky before turning and then turning one more time before landing again and crushing anything that is in front of her during the flight. Since its a level three, it may not see an absolute ton of usage right away until people kind of figure out a bit more about it, but it feels like a more damaging combo finisher so it definitely feels like it will have its place.
All in all Eliza feels a little bit slower in her base form because of her longer range pokes, knockdowns, and respectable damage (especially so with the level 5 granted via her taunt). She makes up for that apparent slowness with her secondary stance using Sekhmet at the cost of meter being consumed, and it makes for a fun dynamic from what I played. My only real concern about Eliza is whether her guards and Sekhmet will be able to be abused to great effect and make pressure very easy for her. Right now though, she feels pretty smooth, so I’m curious to see what the finished product is going to look like when everything has finally been ironed out.