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Fight Club #3 – Dive! Kick! It’s All in the Mind

by on August 28, 2013
 

Before downloading DiveKick I’ve never had so many Steam messages in my life.

That sounds sort of boastful, so let me re-phrase it.

Before downloading DiveKick I’ve never had so many Steam messages openly questioning my choice of interactive entertainment. Dudes, I’m trying to drop-kick a cigar smoking, toxic mutated, saliva factory of a bear, go back to your card farming.

Fortunately for those people I scribbled a lovely, eloquent review detailing the appeal of Iron Galaxy’s two-button scrapper over here. But the dirge of communication questioning the game’s quality highlights a clear issue with the game. And with my (clearly lacking) readership.

So what is it? Why is DiveKick so openly frowned upon? If I had to point to one factor I’d highlight the comedy. As I said in my review, the laughs in DiveKick are somewhat dog tuned, skewed entirely towards the fighting game community, but even the promotion around the game verges on insincere. DiveKick’s adverts comprise entirely of comedy skits designed to get a laugh from the Kickstarters, with most of them failing to embrace the genuine quality of DiveKick and focusing instead on the absurdity of the concept. Even the Steam description leans on the whole ‘first ever two button fighter’ line which might well raise question marks in most minds. For those that don’t get it, these adverts would, again, dissuade more than encourage.

The one place where Iron Galaxy seem ready to talk the game up in a serious manner is on Streams, or at fighting game events. But here we see that problem again, these are the people that are already on board.

What’s more, some of the game’s jokes are more annoying than they need to be. As of right now I’m attempting to play Jefailey, a character widely regarded as being less useful than Batman in a nursery. His ineptitude is derived more from a gag; every round you win causes your head to get bigger, because Jefailey’s ego is easily inflated. So ok, that’s funny, har har, but some characters have a massive advantage over my massive headed champion. If Dr Shoals can land a headshot while Jefailey has a larger than normal noggin then she will find it pretty easy to dominate him over the course of the next five rounds.

Now Jefailey is a largely unique case, no other characters have that sort of clear fallacy in their construction, but it’s a shame that something is added for a chuckle and it can so harshly upends the balance boat. It’s still funny, I just find it frustrating to be undone by it.

It’s as if Iron Galaxy weren’t confident of the concept and felt the only way to justify it was through absurd humour. DiveKick is a lovely game, a wonderful concept for a fighting game that can appeal to a broad range of players, but until people see it for the solid concept it is – the game behind the laughs and the nonsense – then they will continue to ignore it and question my impeccable taste. And as much as I enjoy the popularity, I’d really rather you all just gave the game a chance to impress you rather than just dismissing it on public face alone.

News Burst

Over the last week it was revealed that Killer Instinct would have several pricing models. £3.99 per character, £17.99 for the eight character initial release (six at launch, two soon after) and £34.99 for the Ultra edition that nets you all the cosmetic jazz alongside an arcade port of the original Killer Instinct. The story mode is also included with each character, but that will be launching in early 2014.

Obviously the big thing that’s got everyone raising eyebrows is the character count. Eight characters. Now I get where concerns are coming from but, really, the Marvels of the world are in the minority.

At launch, Skullgirls had eight characters. Yatagarasu had eight. BlazBlue twelve. DiveKick, one of the simplest fighters out there, has launched with thirteen.

Would I rather have more characters? Yes. Am I fine with eight? Knowing that there’s another eight appearing at the tail of 2014, absolutely! Killer Instinct is designed to last and be built upon throughout the entire Xbox One life-cycle, if we let it. The only way that’s going to happen, though, is if we support it, and £17.99 for a game as lavishly designed and high budget as Killer Instinct, looks a bargain.

Also, people will want to buy the characters individually, and £3.99 really doesn’t bust the bank. Just because you don’t want to – or because you think that the cost of a Subway 6 inch meal don’t doesn’t effectively translate to the work and effort of Double Helix’s artists – doesn’t make it a bad pricing structure. The ‘all-in’ prices exist for you, the individual prices exist for people who are only going to play Glacius and poke you to death.

I’ve actually been stating that the F2P model would be great for a fighter for a while, and if handled right (as Killer Instinct appears to be doing, and as Tekken Revolution did not) then it could be the perfect way to get the game into consumer’s hands. All those people that are doubting DiveKick could have a go for a start…

Dala’s Dojo

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