Fighting games continue to be popular, with titles in the "Mortal Kombat" and "Street Fighter" franchise earning top billing, and the DC Comics-inspired "Injustice: Gods Among Us" coming next month.
But there's always room for something new.
"Divekick" ― coming to the PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita this summer ― isn't just another fighting game. Instead, it takes a much simpler concept and runs with it ― in a new way that fans of the genre probably weren't expecting.
In “Divekick,” the goal of each match isn't to pummel your opponents until they're out of energy. Rather, it's to hit them first, utilizing a special "diving kick" maneuver that knocks them out. The first player to earn five knockouts wins the match.
Instead of a joystick, the players of the game use a two-button control system. One button launches you into the air, while the other leads you into the dive-kicking attack. You can also hold both buttons down to launch a special move, such as a curved kicking attack or running-backward move, to avoid an incoming strike.
There is some clever strategy to "Divekick." If you manage to kick your opponents directly in the head, they'll have a concussion in the next face-off, limiting their techniques for a few seconds and giving you a chance to get another quick point. [See also: Mortal Kombat For PS Vita Is Bloody Good Fun ]
The game also introduces other fighting components, such as a special energy-storage move that increases your speed and kicking ability, and power-up gems to use certain skills, such as better kicking speed or maximum diving capability. Real fighting pros may want to try the "Man-Mode" combination of two red gems, which gives you ultra strength, but also puts you down four matches out of five ― so you can't afford to lose again.
Right now, "Divekick" features seven characters, but more will be introduced over the next few months, the game’s developer said. The current characters include an interesting mix of oddballs, such as a rapper named "Kick," who drops a microphone after winning his best of five; an overweight man in a jogging suit named Mr. N; and a fighting bear called Redacted. The game also features suggestions from Uncle Sensei, the trainer of the "Divekick" combatants. Mostly for comedic effect, the one-liners include tips like "Don't play this game underwater."
Sony will bring "Divekick" to both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita (with two-player support) this summer. A PC version should be released around the same time. Although pricing hasn't been revealed, it's likely to be around $10 to $15 ― which shouldn't be too hard of a kick in the pants.