It goes against usual fighting convention…but that's a good thing.
Fighting games follow a typical design, where players can master certain kinds of characters, then dominate opponents with them. It's become so infatuating that actual tournaments, like the yearly EVO 2K event, have been devoted to testing the best of the best.
However, what if there was a game that defied said convention, clearing the playing field and presenting a gameplay set-up where you didn't necessarily have to be a master to win at it? That's exactly what Iron Galaxy has done with DiveKick, a game that has become an overnight sensation since its introduction earlier this year at PAX East. Now that the final game is here, I can safely say that it's lived up to most of the hype – despite a couple of mild problems.
You can select from a number of characters within the game – a werewolf, an overweight jogging master, a masked doctor, and even a member of the Mad Catz community – as you duke it out. However, you don't use typical fighting controls. Instead, you can jump – and you can kick. There's also slight defensive maneuvers, like jumping backwards real quick, but that's really the extent of the control scheme.
And you know what? It's not bad. There are some things you'll need to get used to in terms of movement – the joystick doesn't equate whatsoever – but it's a sweet system, one that's sure to draw in a horde of fighting fans and casual players who just want to kick butt.
Matches don't really last long at all, as the first player to land a kick wins the round. Win the most rounds and you move on to the next opponent. It's cut and dry, like most fighting games, but its appeal manages to stick around better than most cookie-cutter brawlers. That's saying something.