A fighting game that pushes the envelope on the genre by its unapologetic simplicity. Divekick has one of the more well known histories; from apperances at PAX to competitive events, to a Kickstarter campaign that was eventually canceled due to Iron Galaxy taking over publishing rights of the project itself, Divekick has certainly been on the radar of many people for some time now. The very term "Divekick" is a reference to the mechanic seen in many fighting games (particularly made by Capcom) in which characters jump in the air and swoop down with an increase in momentum. It only seems fitting that there would be a game revolving around those two moves.
As there are only two moves, two buttons are assigned, a Dive button and a Kick button. Pressing the Dive button will cause your character to perform a vertical leap and can perform a kick afterwards. The Kick button on the ground will perform a hopkick which can be used to evade, build meter, or dodge entirely. Two special moves are given to the characters by pressing both buttons simultaneously, one activated on the ground, the other while airborne. There is also a health bar for the characters, however, it is there for comical and stlyistic purposes since the player dies in one hit.
Some of the other mechanics in this game also are parodies of well known fighters of the past. Kick Factor is your dedicated meter and revolves around your constant diving & kicking. So the faster your dives and kicks, the faster your Kick Factor increases. Once your Kick Factor has maxed out, you become more faster in your diving & kicking offering a somewhat wider angle to your kick and increased jump height. There are also gems in the game offering a slight increase to your Dive, Kick or Meter gain. In earlier builds, there was a unselectable joke DLC gem which would buff your character exponentially as a reference to Capcom's Street FIghter x Tekken and the company's contraversial strategy of forcing users to buy DLC that is already writted on the game's disc. The gem was later removed.
The game features a story mode, local multiplayer, and online as well using the seamless GGPO netcode, which is slowly becoming a standard for many downloadable fighters. Divekick's story mode provides its own share of comedy. There are 13 playable characters and their appearance, stance, & animations all are parodies of well known characters in other fighters who have a divekick move. They all vary in speed, jump height, and kick angle which makes for some very tricky & interesting matchups. They are well represented in their respective story modes which gives brief backgrounds of them as well as funny, corny dialogue with rival characters in the game.
The Fighting Game Community is a huge contributor to the majority of Divekick's humor so for those who aren't familar with the inside jokes that the community in particular provides it might be a challenge to fully appreciate them for what they are. However, the game is simple enough for newcomers to become interested in more complex fighter down the road.
Divekick is a deep and approachable tournament fighter with the right amount of balance and humor to match. The two button configuration may come off as mere gimmick but when played brakes down the ongoing barrier that all fighting games unanimously have had for years. As most fighters go, the single-player is ultimately uneventful but it also resembles the magic of classic arcade fighters. The pacing is perfect, the matches are quick and timing is everything. There is the cross-play function for PS3 & Vita players who own the game to play together. Two players can even fight each other on one Vita. All players can and will enjoy this $10 experience that parodies what they already know and love and change the respective genre of fighters noticably.
As a fighting game, Divekick really harkens back to what made arcade classics so timeless and enjoyable. Everyone could play them and they loved playing them. I feel that Divekick as a fighter can have that same magic with its humor, accessibility, & diversity. For those who aren't familiar with fighting genre because of the hopeless barriers of 4-6 button layouts and constant memorization of inputs and combos so mashing becomes necessary, this is your game.