E3 2013: DiveKick hands-on
Fighting games have never really been my thing. I have no interest in learning all of their moves and studying all of their combos. That doesn’t mention the rosters of characters, each with their own unique style. It’s not enough to know how to perform the moves, but how they work together in conjunction with each other. The threshold a person must break through in order to be any good at a fighting game is higher than I’m usually willing to work towards.
Enter DiveKick. It’s a game about diving and kicking. Kick your opponent first and score a point, earn enough points and win the match. There are only two buttons: Dive, Kick.
“There are only two buttons”Due to the simplicity of the controls everything depends on context, as well as the character you’re playing as. For example, the kick button becomes an alternate jump when you’re on the ground. Hitting both buttons unleashes a special move, and whether you’re in the air or on the ground changes which move you use.
It makes for a simple game that’s surprisingly engaging. It’s fast and frenetic as the two fighters dart past each other in the air. You can only attack off the ground, but it’s also there that you’re most vulnerable. Each kick is a commitment that sends your fighter plowing through the air.
Success in DiveKick requires you to outmaneuver your opponent, to dodge their kicks, and when the timing is just right, to lash out. Like any good fighting game every character handles differently, but remember, this is still DiveKick. Simplicity is key, and because of such it’s fully possible to learn both your moves and your opponents in a single match.
“Capturing the pure essence of the genre”For my first match I chose the Baz. On the ground pressing dive tossed him up, hitting kick made him jump up and back. While in the air tapping kick made for a lightning fast strike downward, but holding the button gave me the ability to aim the kick.
In contrast there was my second match as the pink-clad Doctor Shoals. On the ground pressing kick made for more of a back-step, and in the air her kicks only traveled down on a diagonal. As she bounded about the stage she floated more than fell. It was a subtle shift that forced me to change how I attacked.
If this were any other fighting game I’d likely have to play a few matches with each fighter if I’d expect to even have a general idea how their moves work. DiveKick is minimalist, capturing the pure essence of the genre.