Iron Galaxy Studios and One True Game Studios are really onto something with Divekick’s crazily fast pace and brief matches.
The former is no stranger to the fighting genre, having produced the fantastic online editions of Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Marvel vs. Capcom Origins and Darkstalkers Resurrection.
I have been meaning to try my hand at Divekick ever since it caused quite a stir among fighting game fans at PAX East. I stepped on over to the Divekick demo, admittedly glad that there was no intimidating line for it like there was at PAX East, and gave it a whirl against
What followed was an experience that could be best summarized as a fighting game that dismisses the filler of a match in favor of instant gratification.
You’ll only be using two buttons in Divekick. One makes your character jump, or “dive,” the other makes your character hop backwards when on the ground. After diving, pressing the other button makes you kick in the air. It only takes one kick to knock your opponent out, which is why a player will need to win five rounds to come out the victor.
Additionally, you’ve got a shoe meter that fills up as you and your opponent frantically divekick at one another that lets you unleash a special “Kick Factor” move that temporarily gives you faster speed and a better kick angle.
In another example of the ridiculous strategy that this game employs, you can score a headshot to an opponent’s head which will dizzy them in the next round.
At the time of this writing, Divekick currently features twelve characters to choose from, all with their own unique quirks in battle. After picking out your divekicker, you can choose from an assortment of gems that act as modifiers in battle, giving you attributes such as a faster kick or a longer Kick Factor meter.
I knew that one of the first fighters I had to try was S-Kill, who serves as the game’s final boss and is essentially fighting game expert and enthusiast Seth Killian in animated form. Mastering him is no feat (neither is trying to trump him in Street Fighter, for that matter), his trick being that he turns invisible when he jumps. This makes it challenging for both parties to figure out where he is.
For an easier character to get into, there’s Dive and his twin brother Kick, who are like the Ryu and Ken of the game. I preferred Kick for his speedier kicking, but I’m sure tournament players are bound to discover some clever uses of the game’s diverse cast of characters, which include everything from a morbidly obese conman to a pregnant wolverine who was exposed to toxic waste in Canada. I’m not making any of this up.
Like Iron Galaxy Studios’ previous online titles, Divekick will utilize GGPO, which makes online fighting game matches more lag-free and painless. While most will utilize a DualShock 3 or PC keyboard for playing, I used a specially-made arcade-style Divekick controller, but it’s currently uncertain whether Iron Galaxy and Mad Catz will forge some kind of agreement to mass-produce them. I sure hope so.
Expect to divekick with the best of them sometime later this year on PC, PS3 and Vita.
Here’s some footage taken by an attendee during the convention.