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Hands-on with Divekick's minimalist two-button controller (video)

Nicole Lee, @nicole
03.30.13
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Just a couple days after we got our hands on Tenya Wanya Teen's crazy 16-button arcade stick, we were treated to its polar opposite; Divekick's two-button controller. Created by Iron Galaxy Studios just to show off the game at PAX East, the controller consists of two buttons slightly larger than the palms of our hands; the yellow one denotes a jump or dive, while the blue corresponds to a kick. As a parody of the fighting genre, Divekick's gameplay avoids complicated combo moves, is incredibly simple and immensely enjoyable, if we do say so ourselves.

Unlike traditional fighting games, the health bars are essentially meaningless, as a single power hit can take down your rival. Therefore you're focused on just the most basic movements -- a common one involves jumping in the air, tapping the other button for the downward kick, and then tapping it again to fly backwards. As for moving your character about, a jump and kick combo will get you charging towards your foe. Some characters let you fly when jumping, while others reward pressing buttons simultaneously. From our few minutes mashing the controller, it seems that timing and position are more important than ever with such fundamental mechanics, and ones that we picked up pretty quickly. We especially enjoyed kicking our adversary in the head to make them dazed and vulnerable in the early seconds of the next round.

Gallery: Divekick's two-button controller | 6 Photos

You don't really need the special two-button controller to play this game -- Divekick was designed for most anything you already have. For the PS3 and Vita versions, using the left and right trigger buttons is suggested, but even then the controls can be remapped. Dave Lang, president of Iron Galaxy Studios, even told us they were successfully mapped to a Rock Band drum kit so that beating the drums resulted in leaps and strikes.

Even though the box was designed just for PAX, Lang said they might consider creating a mass-produced version because of its popularity. It's a tricky situation, however, because selling a physical controller for a download-only game might be a tough proposition. Either way, Divekick should be heading to the PS3, Vita and PC this summer for an unknown price, with Steam approval waiting in the wings. While we encourage you to take a peek at the video demo below, we recommend just trying it for yourselves when it arrives.

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