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Divekick

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Matthew Maravilla

A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.

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There are games in this world that just surprise me when I see them. From classics like Street Fighter 2 to modern day hits like Skullgirls, fighting games have been one of my go-to genres. That being said, there was one game whose premise definitely made me one happy camper when I first heard about it.

Divekick is a two-button fighting game. There are no run animations, no ducking animations, no blocking animations, no dash animations, and definitely no punching animations. It’s a fighting game of angles, one-hit KO’s, headshots, frauds, chokes, and divekicks (obviously). All you, the player, have to do is kick your opponent with your foot five times to win. If you were one of those people who believes this game is hard, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and question your humanity.

In my opinion, this is one of the most intense fighting games I’ve played if only because of the depth in the simplicity of the game. Each of the 13 characters has their quirks. Kung Pao is great at getting players up close with her kick that aims for the mid-section. Dive jumps faster than Kick, whose kick is faster than Dive. The Baz can’t kick you directly and Dr. Shoals has a double foot dive, making her effective at more obtuse angles. The complexity of the angles and styles that each character uses to take each other out, with nothing but a single kick, is what allows this game to be so fun.

Yes, Divekick is fun. There is humor in the character design, like how Alex Jebailey and pro-gamers like Marn are represented in the game, but that isn’t what contributes most to making Divekick so fun. Divekick is fun because it encompasses what makes fighting games so crazy to watch in the first place, which is those final 20 seconds where everyone’s on their toes. It’s a tense game, and when two players end up in a divekick fest 2-inches away from each other, it isn’t pretty.

I’ve been showing Divekick around because there were people who wanted to play the game. A lot of those people, unsurprisingly, loved Divekick if only because it’s such an easy game for people to get into. The game is complex enough for people to find different matchups and play styles, but simple enough that 2-year-olds and grandmothers can play this and still kick pro-player butt. Some people who tried out the game couldn’t stop testing out the varied cast of characters.

When you lose during Divekick, you know it was your own fault. The only way to win is if you plant your foot in your opponent’s character. If you can do that one divekick, you win. It’s your fault if you didn’t jump fast enough after seeing where your opponent was coming from. It’s your fault when you fall for a fake when you and your opponent are mid-jump. You know what you did wrong each round, which only helps make you a better fighter.

As I mentioned before, Divekick is fun. Actually, it’s stupidly fun. With the right people or at parties, this is one crazy experience to have and share. The characters are unique and funny. The writing is hilarious, with the main characters’ backstories being essentially ripped out of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. There’s a giant wolverine skunk mother thing as well as Seth Killian. The guys at Iron Galaxy knew this game was more or less going to be a parody of the fighting game community but they made it easy for a lot of people to understand through funny text, hectic gameplay, and hilarious animations.

Bottom Line:

Most people who pick up Divekick are going to be the guys and gals who play fighting games and know the community. Would that hinder your experience playing Divekick? Not at all.

Divekick is a well-made game with a lot of depth and personality that will keep you hooked. Actually, I believe that if you know nothing about the community, you’d find it even funnier to find out that most of the characters in the game are actually based off of real people!

A couple words of advice: please oh please play this game with other people. Divekick isn’t as fun unless you’re surrounded by a bunch of people.

You can pick the game up on PlayStation Network or Steam for $10.

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A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.