The One True Game:
Originally made as a joke game with only two characters for a fighting game tournament, Divekick is a very unique 1-on-1 fighting game by Iron Galaxy Studios.
What do I mean with unique? Well, it only has two buttons. Yes, you read that correctly, just two. No directional inputs, no macros, none of that. Just a button to jump (Dive) and a button to descend with a kick (Kick). You can also jump backwards if you press kick You even navigate the game menus just by using those two buttons as well. This game is just about diving and kicking, and every hit is an instant K.O. Divekicks, for those who never played fighting games, are a mechanic that some characters have in some already established fighting game franchises, and are usually seen as a great technique for any character who possesses them.
Despite having very simple gameplay mechanics, the game is surprisingly deep and varied, and being just a two button fighter, anyone can get into it easily. Each of the 13 characters, who are parodies of other fighting game characters and personalities from the FGC (Fighting Game Community), has its own jump height and kicking speed and angle. Like most fighting games nowadays, it also has a meter, which can be used in different ways. Each character has a different Ground ability and an Air ability, activated by pressing both buttons in ground and air respectively. Some abilities can even work together, like Kung Pao's Ground ability, which creates a sort of dimensional crack above herself, which she can then use to teleport through using her Air ability. Each ability's cost depends on the character as well, which ends up adding even more variety to this game. Also, when you fill up your meter, Kick Factor automatically activates (if you ever played Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this mechanic might sound familiar to you). Kick Factor basically powers up your character's diving and kicking for a limited period of time. And to add even more variety, before every match you must choose one of 4 gems (a parody of Street Fighter X Tekken's gems), which powers up by 10% either your Dive, your Kick, your Meter gain, or a 30% boost for all 3 of them with the painful cost of beginning the game with 4 rounds already lost.
Like I mentioned before, every hit is a one hit K.O. (each hit does 1 BILLION DAMAGE), so each match is a first to 5 20-second rounds in order for matches to have some length. It has a very creative way to solve timeouts, making a red vertical line appear at a random point in the stage, and when time runs out, the character who is closer to the line wins the round. It has a simple story mode, with a final boss that can be unforgiving even in normal difficulties. Unfortunately I can't comment on the online, but it uses GGPO, so netcode must be good. Being from where I am, finding an opponent in ranked matches has been impossible for me so far XD.
Voice acting is one of the things that I think is unimpressive about this game. I know this isn't a major detail, but some characters' voices are not cool, and can sometimes feel even a bit annoying. Also, if you do not belong to the FGC, you probably won't understand most of the jokes in this game, but maybe that's not a bad thing. If anything, curiosity in those jokes might want you to get into the FGC. I also feel that there's too much FGC-related stuff going on in this game. Some of it is a bit unnecessary in my opinion. All in all, I think this game does not excel in the comedy department. Music is decent as well. Not too complicated tracks for a not too complicated game is a perfect fit the way I see it.
To sum up, Divekick is a unique and very interesting take on the fighting genre, one where anyone can get in and have fun at any moment, while also being a big (sometimes too big) love letter to the FGC. It's no Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, but the depth and variety hidden within its seemingly simple gameplay might surprise you. And with its very low cost, it's a game that can't be missed.
A fighting game that can cater to basically any kind of gamer, in one way or another, is an amazing accomplishment.
This is a fighting game for everyone.
Posted: November 29th, 2013