I have been playing fighting games from a very young age: Street Fighter 2 for the SNES is where it started back in 1991. Some of my favourite games have been from the Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat/Tekken series. So I am utterly lost for words when it comes to Divekick. This is a game that is unlike any fighting game I have ever played, and before I mislead you into thinking this statement is oozing positivity, it is quite the opposite. While Divekick is original in its approach and creates new fresh ideas, I believe there is a reason why these ideas have not been done by any other developers.
Divekick is a competitive 2D animated fighting game created by the fairly new One True Game Studios. It requires the player to unsurprisingly “Dive” and “Kick” their way through the game (rather unoriginally there are two characters called “Dive” and “Kick”, no guessing what their special attributes are). Divekick incorporates a previously unused idea of using only 2 buttons. Yes, you did read that right, 2 buttons (the best part is you get to choose your 2 buttons!). These 2 buttons do exactly as the game constantly emphasises: yes, you guessed it, “Dive” and “Kick”.
The Characters Dive and Kick
Don’t expect any directional pad involvement either. That’s right, in order to move in the game you have to… I think you have the idea. This does create one of the positives for the game though, and that makes the game fairly tactical, albeit through a simple idea.
You have the choice of playing a story mode, versus or online much like you would expect from a fighting game. You do have the choice of 13 unique and quite frankly strange characters to battle it out with, each with slightly different attributes and stories. After choosing your character you have the choice of “Gems”, which boost current skills, boosting your “Dive” or your “Kick”. Then you can choose a variation of 5 different “skins” for the character, which usually only deviate in colour.
The Choice in Gems after choosing your character
The story mode starts off with a brief origin story of your character and reasoning for “Divekicking”. Then in usual fighting game style, you are tested in your Divekicking “skill” (?!) in a series of rounds towards the final boss.
Another positive is Divekick never takes itself seriously: it is constantly cracking jokes on the whole premise of the game and its weird and wonderful characters (I mean, there is a guy who wears Wellington Boots on his hands!) While this game is original, fresh and quirky, it doesn’t seem enough to save the limited and somewhat boring gameplay. I welcome any ideas that are new and believe more studios should be attempting originality, but only if they are entertaining enough to keep some kind of longevity. I found the jokes tiring and juvenile, and while I myself can enjoy juvenile jokes (I am a man), they felt overused and didn’t bring about any laugh out loud moments.
I completed a run through of the story mode with the character Redacted (a radioactive skunk bear) on normal difficulty in about 5 minutes, afterwards I felt like I was done with the game and had seen everything it had to offer. For the sake of the review, I gave Divekick some time and racked up a few more gaming hours. Unfortunately after this time my opinion remained unchanged and I felt like I had wasted my time. Valuable hours of my life forever lost.
The game does have some good moments.
Getting a headshot will stun your opponent the next round. Continued Headshots build up a kill streak award.
With the current capabilities of the Xbox One, I expect a lot more from the arcade market (look at the great titles like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood or the upcoming Ori and the Blind Forest). Divekick feels like it should belong back in the days of the Mega Drive and SNES, but then I believe it would still fall short of some phenomenal titles. One being the 23 year old Street Fighter 2.
Although a cheaper alternative to most games on the One being only £7.99, this still feels very overpriced for what you actually get as a game. I honestly had more fun playing the free game Flappy Bird than Divekick. While there might full well be gamers out there who have played this game and love it, I have to send my apologies to One True Game Studios when I say that this game has taken a dive worthy of Cristiano Ronaldo, and is mightily missing the kick.