E3 2013: Divekick hands on preview
By: Jeff Rivera
What some people claimed as a total joke and a trolling attempt, Divekick, from Iron Galaxy has transformed into a quality gaming experience. A fighting game that features only two buttons and no directional input, Divekick achieves far more than anybody would ever expect.
Here at E3 2013, Divekick is on the edges of the Sony booth, and it's easy to pass by without stopping for a few moments to see what just might be the most enjoyable fighter here at the show. Yes, even among the likes of Dead or Alive and Killer Instinct, Divekick holds its own for its immediate accessibility, its simple yet satisfying presentation, and its hidden depth.
Again, Divekick only features two inputs, a "dive" button and a "kick" button. Dive is a bit of a misnomer, and Iron Galaxy knows it, but the dive button is actually your jump. The kick button is your attack, and there is quite a bit of variation on how either button will work, depending on which character you choose. Some characters jump quickly, others slowly. Some attacks are more horizontal, while others are more vertical. There are also modifiers to jumps and attacks for double tapping buttons, different timings, or for pressing both buttons together. It's quite a bit of fun to play with different characters and discover what makes them unique.
Divekick is structurally similar to most 2D fighters aside from the fact that there's no health bars. If you get hit one time, it's over. In Divekick, it seems that you have 1 billion hit points, but unfortunately, each kick is so powerful that it does 1 billion and 1 damage. To compensate for quick deaths, each match isn't set up as the standard best of three rounds format, but rather first to win five rounds. Things get pretty intense in the later rounds as each mistake is far more magnified than with other fighting games.
Divekick may look like a joke on the surface, but if you have a friend that can sit down and play with you in person, the game really is a riot. I'm looking forward to the full release so that I can really dig into all the hidden quirks and surprises buried in the game. Divekick is a great example that even simple mechanics can make for a satisfying and compelling gaming experience.