Divekick – Indie Game Review

Games like: Street Fighter 2, World Heroes

TL;DR

Time played: 71 minutes

The competitive fighting community seems to be getting bigger and bigger as the years go on. Don’t get get me wrong, I am a viewer of EVO and Capcom Cup and enjoy going back and watching some of the greatest moments in fighting game history (EVO moment #37 anyone?) And it would make sense as this community increases to see some others take a step into the ring with their own competitive fighting games. One True Game Studios has released Divekick: a 2D, two-button fighting game that birthed from a simple demo, gained much positive feedback, and launched a Kickstarter.

Each character does have a story.

Each character does have a story.

You heard me right: two-button fighter. That’s all you need. Divekick’s presentation takes out all of the Ultras, Supers, chained combos, and juggles to build off the mechanic of the divekick mostly popularized by Capcom fighters. The divekick is a maneuver where a character jumps into the air then does a diving kick with sudden increase in momentum. This is the list of your arsenal of weapons as you join the stage of Divekick. We’ve got story, specials, and some hilarious inside jokes from the fighting community sprinkled on a solid foundation.

Fraud detected.

Fraud detected.

OK, so I wasn’t joking: you’re only going to need two buttons to play this game. Other than moving through menus, you will have a Dive button and a Kick button. The Dive button will launch you into the air, the Kick button brings your kick down. Pressing the Kick button while on the ground will allow you to jump back. When you have filled your shoe (or meter), pressing both buttons at the same time will unleash your special. I opted to use the Xbox 360 controller by adjusting the two buttons in the options menu. But ultimately you can play two players on the same keyboard with little to no restraint. That’s extremely versatile taking other fighters in account. And if you think that just having two buttons would make a fighter extremely boring and lame, well you need to play Divekick!

More inside jokes from the fighting scene.

More inside jokes from the fighting scene.

The roster is comprised of 14 characters, one final boss (who is a huge pain in the ass), and the induction from Saint’s Row fame of Johnny Gat. Each fighter has a very specific fighting style and special. Trying out all of them, like all fighters, is best practice to find one that meets your style. You have your “Ryu and Ken” with the characters “Dive and Kick” whom are fraternal twins and part of the same dojo (hmm.. similarities collide!) There is a story mode although it’s a little loose to be worth following. The game is basically a parody of the fighting genre. But in a good way. Why not make fun of those you love?

Uncle Sensei knows how to fight apparently.

Uncle Sensei knows how to fight apparently.

Divekick can be summarized as being a mix of rock, paper, scissors, and thumb wars. Yeah. With only the one main move (that being the dive kick) you’ll be dancing around your opponent looking to strike. Fights are out of five rounds with one hit kills. Getting a headshot forces the receiver to be dizzy for the next round for a small amount of time. This dizziness slows you down and reduces your jump height. Total pain. Especially if you get knocked twice in a row. It’s a one hit kill. So the one who makes the first move can be at the mercy of recovering before their opponent comes crashing down.

Starting the round dizzy will limit your speed and jump height.

Starting the round dizzy will limit your speed and jump height.

The divekick is also different from character to character. Some are very basic (much like Dive and Kick) where others have variations to the kick. Dr. Shoals initially drops at a 45 degree angle then flies in at a sharper angle. S-Kill (the end boss of the game) is a totally asshole and can teleport his dive when his special is at full which comes off more as a distraction than anything else. All of this tied up with special gems you can slightly adjust your character to your fighting style proves there’s a lot more depth in Divekick than just two buttons.

Johnny Gat from Saint's Row makes a cameo in this edition of the game.

Johnny Gat from Saint’s Row makes a cameo in this edition of the game.

So what do we really have here? Best of 5, 20 second rounds, multiple characters each with their strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing to see something that is so simple on the face yet have so much depth underneath the surface. Divekick takes skill that can be related to a chess game. You can play the laid back fighter waiting for your opponent to over commit and make a mistake. You can be right on the toes of them and hope that your flashy moves put them on the defense which ultimately opens them up for attack or you can bait your opponent into a trap. The back jump is a great move allowing you to avoid danger but it can also prove as a false sense of security to your enemy creating the illusion of having the upper hand. There is a ton of material here and any fighting fan would be remiss for not diving (sorry) into Divekick.

You'll get this a lot.

You’ll get this a lot.

Divekick is a 2D fighter consisting of only two buttons built on a foundation of a simple move popularized by fighting games like the ones from Capcom. Trust me when I said that there is a great amount of depth and strategic gameplay available offering multiple characters to choose from, specials, and enhancements to tailor your fighter to your style. Local multiplayer and story modes are available which offer hours of enjoyment, but prepare to wait in an empty room while trying to connect to an online match.

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