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Divekick (pc)

August 24, 2013

divekick_box_ps3Divekick (pc)

What’s good:
-Simple controls and easy to understand mechanics make it easy for a newcomer to hop in and be able to enjoy themselves.
-Diverse roster of increasingly complicated characters.
-GGPO netcode as always, makes online play headache-free.

What’s bad:
-Visuals and sound are lackluster.
-Very limited number of game modes.
-“It’s stupid, therefore it’s funny.” style of humor gets old quickly.

If I were to give it a rating: 3 out of 5

Other thoughts:
In a world where the fighting game genre continues to get more and more complicated, here’s a game which pretty much anyone, regardless of their familiarity with any sort of fighting game, will be able to play well enough to have fun. There are no complex inputs required to pull off special moves. There is no left to right character movement even. All you have to worry about with Divekick are two buttons, one for “Dive”, and one for “Kick”.
Hitting the Dive button will cause your character to “dive” upward into the air. Pressing the Kick button on the ground will cause your character to leap backwards. At any point while your character is in the air,  you can hit the Kick button to throw out a (usually) diagonally downward traveling kicking attack. Each of the game’s characters comes with two unique special moves, one usable while on the ground, and the other in the air; and both of these are performed by pressing both the Dive button and the Kick button at the same time.
The first person to win five rounds wins the match, but to win a round, you only need to get one attack to land. Because of how simple the mechanics are, this makes the game easy to pick up and play, but also lends it to the “mind game” aspect of fighting games. It’s a system that allows for as much investment as you desire out of it, regardless of if you’re playing a quick match at a buddy’s house to have a few laughs, or playing online for leaderboard ranking.

The characters range from very simple to understand and play ones with simple move sets like Dive or Kick, to ones with more complex mechanics, such as The Baz, whose kicks do no damage, but the trails of lightning they leave in their wake do, or S-Kill, who has a SF3: Third Strike-esque counter.

I’m sure the game’s middling looks and sound are part of the joke, but it’s still worth saying that in both the visual and audio departments, you get what you paid for.
I’ll give any development team credit for making a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but as a lot of the jokes in Divekick had either very little effort put behind them, or were related to the inner workings of the fighting game community, a lot of the time I found myself nodding at this game’s quips, and far less time laughing at them. In-jokes are only fun to those involved, and the idea of “It’s funnier if we throw out the laziest gags imaginable” is maybe leaned on a little too much with Divekick.

While fighters aren’t my personal genre of choice,  the two things that make them appealing to me are the creativity in crafting elaborate combos (in games such as Mortal Kombat or Marvel vs. Capcom 3), as well as the more focused, one on one competitive nature of them. While the latter is of course present in Divekick, the former, due to the limited toolset compared to a lot of other fighting games, makes it far less enjoyable to play as a single player experience, or for those seeking something to get better at from an input/execution perspective.
Speaking of the single player experience, Divekick is tough to recommend to someone looking for single player, even at the low, low $10 price-point, as your only game mode options are the Story mode, which is essentially an arcade ladder book-ended by short, comic book-like story scenes, and online play. If you’re buying this game, it’s probably best if you have a group of friends to play it with.

With that being said, I genuinely expect that if you have a group of friends to regularly throw down against, or some sort of party environment, Divekick will lend itself to countless hours of enjoyment. For someone like me, however, without a group of friends interested in fighting games, Divekick isn’t a game worth the price, even if that price is very low compared to the going rate of other console fighting games.
I would not be surprised at all to see this game become wildly popular amongst its community, but as it stands it lacks many of the things that I personally desire from a game in the genre.

From → Games

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