Divekick is a love letter to fans of fighting games and the fighting game community. About 85 to 90% of the game are references to famous or infamous moments in fighting game culture. Many characters are inspired by or complete copies of real life fighting game champions. Mr. N is based on real-life player Marn, and Jefailey is a direct copy of Jebailey. Let’s not forget S-Kill, who is modeled after former Capcom and current Sony employee Seth Killian (which means Seth is now the boss of TWO different fighting games). This sounds like Divekick would be an incredibly difficult game to get into and understand, like many others of its ilk. Not the case: I can safely say Divekick is the easiest fighting game to learn that’s ever been made.
Divekick’s simplicity stems from its use of just two buttons: Press Dive to jump into the air, and press Kick to descend down and forward at an angle. There are a few more mechanics, actually: pressing Kick on the ground makes you jump back, and pressing Dive and Kick at the same time does a character’s special attack. That’s actually the extent of the game system. The rules of the game are easy, too: One hit ends a round, and you need to win five rounds to win a match. Each of the twelve playable characters all dive and kick a little bit differently, and each have their own special techniques. but it’s not hard to find a character you’ll enjoy.
Because things like combos, execution, and memorization have been stripped away, the game simply comes down to first hit wins, and mind games take over. “What’s my opponent going to do? What does he think I’m going to do?” These questions are the essence of all fighting games, and Divekick brings them to the forefront. Watching the Divekick demo station at E3, it was fun to see people of all skill levels get excited over this game. There’s so many close calls, and it’s a very fun game to watch.
At past demos, there have been stamps. If someone loses five rounds to nothing, they get a stamp on their hand that says they are a “Fraud”. I was disappointed that the stamps didn’t make it to E3, but given the general skill levels of most game journalists, I would have frauded all of them.
At any rate, I frauded David Jaffe.
Divekick will launch on not only PS3 and PC, but also the Vita. The Vita version will be able to support 2 players on one Vita using the D-Pad for one player and the buttons for the other. Divekick will hopefully be out by the end of summer.