Digital Delivery: Skullgirls Encore & Divekick

May 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

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Are you tough enough? Are you a bad enough dude to save the President? Can you kick and punch your way out of not only a wet paper bag, but two plastic bags? Well maybe you’re tough enough to handle this week’s Digital Delivery, where we’re talking about fighting games.

Yeah, you heard us. We’re talking about a pair of fighting games that allow you to, at the very least, jump and kick. One of them even lets you do other moves, but I can’t guarantee that. This week, we’re going to prove that kicking and punching isn’t just in the mind, but it’s also in the feet and hands and the face of your opponent.

The evolution of fighting games is something special. While a long-time staple of the genre is the Street Fighter series that began with several hundred thousand versions of Street Fighter II, the genre has evolved in tons of fascinating ways, and the games we’re showcasing this week are examples of the evolution of the fighting genre. Our first game is currently free (at least in May 2014) for PS Plus subscribers, but it’s still worth your pennies even if you aren’t a paid subscriber… for whatever justifiable reason you may have for that.

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SKULLGIRLS: ENCORE
Available Now (PS3)

Ah, Skullgirls. As the name implies, it’s a fighting game that pits a variety of female fighters against one another within a fictional realm called Canopy Kingdom. Each fighter is on the hunt for something called the ‘skull heart’ which grants the wish of one woman every seven years. The trick behind it all is that the skull heart creates some demented, twisted results – Skullgirls.

The interesting part about Skullgirls is that the drama isn’t just isolated to the game itself. The original version of the game, aptly titled Skullgirls, launched in April 2012 and has been incredibly popular since. However, once the game and the original development team, Reverge Labs, cut ties with the original publisher Konami, the game underwent a dose of crowdfunding, name changing, and even a brief stint where the title was pulled from PSN entirely.

Well, it has made a successful and triumphant return as Skullgirls Encore under the development of Lab Zero Games and published by Autumn Games, and it also includes several improvements over its predecessor. Additionally, anyone who purchased the original Skullgirls can download the new upgrade for free.

When it comes to improvements, the new game now boasts a roster of 13 characters, which is an increase over the original 8 with the additional 5 fighters being gradually implemented over time. The battlefield has been a little more finely-tuned to accommodate for a much more balanced roster of fighters, and while it’s still relatively easy, the tweaks and changes should be welcomed by more advanced fighting game players. However, if you’re a newbie, there is an incredibly in-depth tutorial that will ease in players of any caliber.

At the end of the day, the art style is charming, the music reminds me of Cowboy Bebop-style Jazz, and the game is free for PS Plus members until the end of May – and only $15 otherwise. So what’re you waiting for?

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DIVEKICK: ADDITION EDITION
Available Now (PS3, PS Vita)
Coming Soon (PS4)

Are you sick and tired of fighting games where you have to memorize an encyclopedia full of moves just to be able to win a match? Are you tired of having to use three or more buttons just to play a game? Are you angry at games that make you hit someone more than once just to beat them in a round?

Well look no further, Jack. This is Divekick, and the way to win? Divekick.

The concept doesn’t get much easier than this. In Divekick, you have two buttons beyond your control stick: jump and divekick. The only move that matters is divekick. The only move that works is divekick. The only move that there is, is DIVEKICK. And how powerful is it?

All powerful.

One divekick means victory, as long as you don’t miss. Land a divekick, win the round. Win five rounds, win the match. But I know what you’re thinking. How can a game about just divekicking be fun or even require any skill? Well, it’s easy, junior.

The game may only be about divekicks, but learning when and how to time your divekicks legitimately adds a significant element of skill to an otherwise simplistic control scheme. The timing of jumps, kicks, and taunts to lure your opponent off-guard and force a kick can give you the upperhand you need to win the match. Not to mention that Divekick is loaded with clever characters, great dialogue, and enough strategy to offer up a host of competitive leagues for the title.

So dive(kick) in today, pick it up for $9.99 on PSN for PS3 and Vita, or wait until later this year for Divekick on PS4. If you act now, you’ll also get the Additive Edition of the game, including improved characters and the introduction of Saint’s Row’s Johnny Gat.

So there you have it, folks. Why are you still reading this? You should be off fighting, punching, divekicking, and doing all the other sweet Kung Fu moves you know! Go put your skills to practice and I’ll see you out there. We’ll be back next week, same time, same place, more digital-only games.