E3 2013 Preview: Divekick
Fighting games were in short supply at E3 2013. Luckily, one fighting game was badass enough to represent the entire fighting game community and then some. That game is Divekick, the one true fighting game, and a release that you should be looking forward to in the near future.
Divekick operates off of two buttons and two buttons only. The Dive button causes you to jump straight up in the air, while the Kick button causes you to kick down at an angle. Get it? Divekick! Pressing Kick on the ground causes you to “kickback” or jump backward, but the only way to move forward is to attack. Landing a Divekick is an instant kill, and that’s what’s beautiful about the game. There is no chip damage or blocking or anything other than positioning, timing, and out thinking your opponent.
Every time you kick, you build up your “kick meter”. You can then use your kick meter to perform special maneuvers. Each character has one special on the ground and one in the air. Many of these are simple, like stalling your ground movement, jumping forward, or running away. Others are more complex, like draining the enemy’s meter or parrying an attack that would otherwise land. They are all subtle ways to change the jump and kick dynamic of the game and introduce deeper strategy into it.
If you manage to fill your kick meter all the way, your character will go into “Kicksfactor.” While in Kickfactor the meter slowly drains but you gain an ongoing benefit while it does. Many characters simply get bonuses to speed or jump height, while some get temporary invincibility or completely new attacks!
That is literally all there is to the game. Just jump, kick, and don’t get hit by your opponent’s jumps and kicks. But these simple rules belie a deep strategy that causes fighting game fans to get incredibly hype. People have already started developing strategies like quickly plinking dive and kick to advance the meter, fake kicking to get someone to jump over them so that they can attack from the other side, and using characters with flight or hover specials to change their trajectory and psyche opponents out when they try to attack.
A huge crowd gathered around the Divekick booth at E3, cheering whenever a hit was landed. People jumped all over each other when someone came back from a long losing streak. It was one of the only booths that actually managed to build up a crowd enough to get them chanting for the people who were demoing it.
If you are going to buy any fighting game this year, buy Divekick. This tiny little indie title will change the way you think about fighting games, or games in general. It’s simple, addictive, and is everything that a game should be: easy to learn, and hard to master.