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2013 Fighting Game of the Year

/ Jan 21st, 2014 No Comments

Divekick

Fighting games have slowly dropped in popularity as arcades have closed all over the world. But with the recent success of fighting games like Street Fighter IV and acceptable online play thanks to intelligent net code, fighters have come back in a big way. This year did not have any revolutionary titles like Street Fighter II, but a handful of interesting ideas made their way onto the fighting scene.

The Nominees

Killer Instinct – Killer Instinct has received a ton of attention not only as Microsoft’s next-gen fighter, but also for its free-to-play model. Pay for the characters you want, ignore the ones you don’t. Complaints targeted the small roster and the amount of content locked behind paywalls, but the core gameplay was almost universally loved. The free-form combo system and combo breakers keep each player in check, and the risk-reward of it all makes it a blast to play.
 

Every game needs the announcer from KI. Every. Single. One.

Every game needs the announcer from KI. Every. Single. One.

Divekick – Trying to explain why Divekick is so fun to play is like trying to explain why a rainbow is beautiful or why pictures of cats are so popular on the Internet. Sure there are scientific explanations and analyses that can be used to reveal the mystery but it’s so much better to just shut up and play. Divekick is at once both the easiest fighting game to play and the most difficult game to win. When rounds are decided on first contact and there are only two buttons to use, the fact that the game exists is beyond comprehension. Until you play it. Then there is no going back. The humor is great. The fact that it makes fun of other fighting games, the people who made those games, Divekick itself and the people who made Divekick put it in a class all its own.
 

Divekick

His head gets bigger every time he wins. Seriously.

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Combining franchises that have almost nothing to do with each other is a dangerous game, but somehow Injustice works rather well. With a favorable reception from both critics and fans alike, the unlikely pairing becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Making DC a little more violent and toning Mortal Kombat down a bit seems like a recipe for disaster, but everything runs smoothly and seems as if it is as it should be. A respectable roster, bolstered with some DLC kept fans coming back for more, and the later release on PS4 make it an amazing package. In a world without the Arkham games, it would probably be the best Batman game too.
 

I guess Robin turns into a badass. Hmm.

Apparently, Robin turns into a badass. Hmm.

The Winner – Divekick

The worst fighting game is also the best. Don’t understand? Go play it. Don’t believe me? Go play it. It can’t be explained. One-hit kills and dumb fighting scene inside jokes aside, getting a ton of drunk friends in one room and making an inpromptu Divekick tournament was one of the best decisions I made all year. Only four people knew how to play it beforehand and only two had actually done so, but after only one match, the entire room was invested and hanging on every jump. I mean dive. Wait.
  

Chance Asue

Chance Asue

Associate Editor & Multimedia Specialist at Gaming Illustrated
Chance Asue is a self-taught computer builder and hardware junkie. His favorite game franchises include Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. He is Gaming Illustrated's Multimedia Specialist and reviews the latest hardware tech.
Chance Asue

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