Divekick Preview: Fast-Paced, Foot-to-Face Action

I got to play the 2D fighter Divekick at PAX East today. While initially created as a parody of fighting games, indie developer One True Game Studios’ title rose to prominence in the fighting game community as its popularity rose. Soon after, a successful Kickstarter campaign and a pact with publisher Iron Galaxy resulted in a deal to have the game released on PS3, Vita, and PC.

The game stars two rival fighters, Dive and Kick. Other strange characters such as a cigar-smoking werewolf named Redacted and the fat, red jumpsuit-wearing Mr. N are playable as well, and each character has different stats and special attacks.

What makes the gameplay unique is that it’s only played with two controls: one button to jump, and the other to divekick. Each playable character has varying statistics in speed, jump height, and accuracy, leading to different scuffles every battle. Every hit is an instant KO as well, so rounds are quick and dirty. Furthermore, if you’re taken out by a headshot, you start the next round stunned, which affects your performance.

By hitting both buttons at once, players unleash their special, spending some of their energy pool—which is gained by winning rounds—in the process. Redacted can quickly evade using his special, whereas Mr. N can flap his arms for extra height at the top of a jump to set up a perfect divekick.

Before each fight, players can also choose one stat gem to add to their character to give them a boost during combat. Buffs include increasing your special meter or jump height by ten percent.

Certain characters such as the floaty, pink-haired, double-jumper doctor feel overpowered and unbalanced compared to large, slow characters such as Redacted, but One True Game Studios still has time to polish the game before its release.

Divekick is definitely a unique experience, and its charm and hilarious premise only makes it more enjoyable. While it’s no AAA title, it’s still good for some cheap laughs and distracting fun. Expect a full release of Divekick in the near future.