By: Uma Smith
Tired of memorizing the special sequences for pulling off combos when playing fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat? In that case, I suggest giving up and moving on to other activities such as gardening or volunteer work. I’m just kidding (sort of). For a change in pace, Iron Galaxy Studios has introduced a new and simple concept to the fighting genre. Titled Divekick, this game for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita is making a unique change involving just jumping and kicking. Will players get a “kick” of this game or will it simply take a “dive” into obscurity?
In Divekick, there are only two buttons to keep track of: one for jumping and the other for kicking downward while in the air. You don’t have to worry about walking forward or backward, nor will you be able to block. All that matters is your timing and how you position your attacks. While the two-button controls may seem ludicrously easy, it will take some time to get acquainted with executing moves successfully considering how the characters in the game vary in terms of the types of kicks they produce.
Right off the bat, Divekick looks pretty bland on account of its limited color scheme and uninspired backgrounds. On top of that, when the characters move and “fight,” there are only a few frames of animations that are produced. However, I must point out that you do get quite a bit of variation in the character designs. So Divekick is not entirely boring to look at. It’s just not that great overall.
In terms of the audio, you won’t get a lot out of the music while engaging in the fighting action. The soundtrack is not as memorable as Street Fighter’s for example, while the voice acting is a bit silly, especially with the announcer’s accent.
In Divekick, your objective is to knock out your opponent with just a single attack. And that’s it! There’s no need really for a life meter in the first place, but that’s the joke behind the game. You do get a meter that, when filled, allows you to execute a character-specific skill, which could be the ability to hover across the screen or pause the gameplay while the timer runs down. Hence, each character has a unique set of fighting moves even though you only have two buttons to be concerned with.
What gives Divekick its major appeal is the humor. When you have a look at the characters, you can’t help but think of how outrageous they can be. For instance, there’s Baz, who is an old-school fighter with a really bad makeup but gifted with lightning legs, Jefailey, whose head expands for each win he gets, and Uncle Sensei, who is a teacher wearing four pairs of boots! These are just examples of some of the outlandish characters and their particularly unusual quirks that you’ll encounter in Divekick.
The biggest downer for this game is playing on your own during story mode. Amusing though the characters are, they can only go so far as to retaining your interest levels. The charm wears out quickly, though, and all you get essentially are snippets of dialogue between characters since the gameplay action doesn’t really last that long. On the other hand, Divekick becomes absolutely entertaining when you engage in multiplayer. And since a single hit can result in an immediate win or loss, the game becomes exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.
Online play is where the replay value lies since you can always engage in the fun and frenzy with a stranger. Also with the ability to cross-play between the PlayStation 3 and Vita, there’s never a dull moment with Divekick. Either way, there will be plenty of moments of laughter when engaging in competitions. And because the matches usually end quicker than most other fighting games, your moments of frustration tend to be much shorter than usual.
Even though the price of $9.99 gets you both the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions, Divekick won’t be for everyone; even players that enjoy the fighting genre. Still, if you can embrace the core formula you’ll get a “kick” out of the simplistic controls and hilarious antics behind this ambitious title.