Hope everyone enjoyed the April fools day fun! Sadly I didn't get as much time to spend on Redditoid as I would have liked, but I always love the crazy April Fools bits Dtoid puts on. Not sure if anything will ever top last years OKdtoid though!
Glad to have Dtoid back to normal though. As much as I enjoy it when ThinkGeek turns one of their ridiculous fake products into something real, I would hate to see Dtoid pull a Pandarians like Blizzard did and let fervour and excitement pull them into making something exquisitely dumb.
But when it works, when you see a joke thing become real a real thing and it's totally awesome, that is a beautiful moment in time. Take PAX show stopper Divekick, the little two-button fighter that's managed to charm everyone its touched, inside the fighting community and out.
Divekick is doing super well for itself. Starting out as something made in Keit's basement to amuse his friends at EVO. A silly game where the titular pair of characters (Dive and Kick) had a move list solely composed of jumping and kicking (at a radical angle). It didn't just amuse the fighting nuts at EVO, it also tickled a nerve, a real core of competitive fun. Soon there is talk about making it a "real" thing. It develops a bit, adds new characters and mechanics, goes to a cancelled Kickstarter campaign, gets picked up by Dave Lang's IronGalaxy, and does quite well on Steam's Greenlight service. Divekick has gone from a joke to a serious product. So serious they are actually considering making the big goofy two-button "fightpads" seen at events available to fans.
- I love Dave Lang.
A big part of Divekick's success is that it manages to distill all the fun of a fighting game down to the bare minimum. You get all the high speed mind games of prediction, reaction, reading, and adapting of a serious fighting game, but with none of the messy complex systems or hours upon hours of training room practice. Anyone can jump in and have fun with the cool part of a fighting game while skipping all the work. It's brilliant.
If you listen to Keits and Dave Lang talk about the game, that's what they focus on now. Like it there was a master plan for it. Now I don't want to disparage Keits, he is a super smart guy and of course a huge fighting game nut (he runs SRK after all), but I do think it's odd that they really downplay the frankly critical origins of the game.
Divekick was created during a specific period of time when most of the popular fighting games were ruled by characters capable of performing divekicks (you could argue most popular titles are still dominated by divekickers). Games like SSFIV had Rufus, Seth, Yun, and Yang holding down high tier positions on the strength of their funny downward kicks. Wolverine was running rampant on Marvel with his dead angle craziness and other characters like Dr. "FOOTDIVE" Doom are still frequent strong contenders. Even MK9, a series not really known for divekicking shenanigans, was soon dominated by Kung Lao and his decidedly horizontal take on the kick that is also a dive.
Divekicks in a fighting game are often one of the most pesky techniques to deal with. Often very safe for the person throwing it out, and very deadly and hard to crack for the person on the receiving end. Whats worse, several of the characters listed could/can go into devastating combos off a successful divekick, taking out huge chunks of a health bar or even scoring a combo so devastating it could just kill the opponent from full health making the divekick a one-touch win for someone capable of it.
While it's been trimmed down a bit since, when Divekick was initially made, tournaments were swamped with players using the same divekick capable characters and matches were often determined by who could successfully connect with one first.
Now that isn't to say those games sucked or weren't interesting to watch, but Divekick's seeds were planted in a field of criticism. A slightly mean edged joke on the current fighter climate. Distilling a game down to just the characters that mattered (divekickers) and trimming out any distraction or useless fluff (everything else in a fighting game) to focus on scoring that one damn kick that would secure a win.
It's a funny bit that also happened to result in a crazy fun game. But to listen to them now, they tend to downplay that critical edge. Maybe it's because fighting games have moved on a bit (many of those characters have received nerfs in updates or new versions that make them not quite as overwhelmingly good) or maybe it's because they realized they were holding lighting in a bottle and didn't want smarmy commentary distracting from the fun. But to me, the fact that Divekick started as a somewhat barbed in-joke about the FGC only makes it better!
The Divekick guys should be proud of their iconocalstic roots! Punks not dead yet! Whether Divekick was made as a serious fighter clothed in criticitism from the get-go, or a joke that happened to result in a wonderful accident of fun, I think it's beautiful.
Some things don't belong in this world and yet they are conjured time and again by humans that wish to pay them tribute. A video game, book, comic or TV show becomes popular and later becomes adapted to another medium entirely or, worse, a mobile phone spin-off.
Sometimes you get Telltale's The Walking Dead and other times you get Super Mario Bros.: The Movie -- one a great tribute to the comics and TV shows and the other had its soul stolen and made a '90s movie executive's slave.
And here comes another classic game series with hopes of becoming a Netflix hit as I brace myself and hope it doesn't turn out to be a miserable pile of secrets.
Castlevania is a beloved series and with Konami it's sort of a surprise they'd do anything with it at all after running out the people that made their games good and running the franchise into the ground soon after. Yet here we are with an anime series debuting this week and I'm kind of excited for it.
History should leave me a bit more cynical, sure. I remember the Street Fighter live-action movie, the Zelda cartoon and much more, but Mortal Kombat was perfect in its camp and The Witcher games are pretty faithful to their source material. We even have games being adapted into other kinds of games by different developers. Borderlands is now a looter-shooter and a point-and-click adeventure and that works really well, actually.
So for this month's "Bloggers wanted," we want you head over to the community blogs and tell us about your favorite adaptations of games to other mediums or even your favorite adaptation of another medium to games. Use "The Adaptation: [Your game/title here]" in the title and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags.
Enough talk, have at you!
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