I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Skullgirls looks like the next big thing in fighting games. From its smooth animation and dynamic art, to its developers' constant "gameplay first" creed, I can't see this turning out as anything but an intelligent, tournament-worthy competitive fighter.
However, fighting games present a daunting wall for new players. There's a lot to learn and very few advanced-level players with the patience to actually teach newbies the ropes. Oh, games have tried to do tutorials before, but it's one thing to teach somebody how to block, and another to show them when evasion is better than dodging, and how to do that. In an update to the Skullgirls site, developer Ian Cox talked about the in-game Tutorials and how they'd work.
Much like taking actual martial arts, you'll learn footwork, spacing and defense before you even begin attacking, and as you get better you'll eventually graduate to deeper fighting game techniques like punishing unsafe attacks. One would think the advanced tutorials deal with zoning, footsies, hit confirmation, and how to win with grace and dignity instead of calling everybody else a scrub.
Virtua Fighter 4 and BlazBlue already have very in-depth tutorials, but they're built with experienced fighting game players in mind. By starting brand-new players in a tutorial meant for them that isn't insulting and is actually designed to teach them something, I'm looking forward to a whole new crop of fighting game fans ready to play and learn. I've been playing fighting games since 1992 and I'm still going to be checking these out--what about you?