Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dungeon Fighter Online - Review

Already a huge success in Asia territories, Dungeon Fighter Online is currently Nexon’s newest adopted baby in their line of free-to-play online games. The game promises to be a throwback to the good old fashion arcade gaming. With that, it surely does not disappoint.

At first glance, DFO would look like a side scrolling action beat ‘em up/hack ‘n slash in the vein of such classic arcade hits like Final Fight or Golden Axe to the average gamer, and they’d be totally right. What makes this game special is the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) aspect of joining up with other players online. The old school arcade feel is recreated almost perfectly here, with its 16-bit graphic style, pick up and play controls, and even has an arcade token style continue system. It’s all very nostalgia invoking and made me feel like I was back at the old local arcade place playing TMNT4: Turtles in Time and draining my fist full of quarters in the machine all night long.

The character classes are reminiscent of typical classes you would find in MMORPGs, like Slayers being the well round swordsman class for beginners while Gunners fight from a distance like Archers. Each character class, however, has multiple sub-classes you can choose from. Slayers can choose to become blazing fast blade masters or deranged berserkers, and several others. You can join a group that has nothing but Slayers, but each of them can have different subclasses making them unique and play differently from each other. Customization of characters will seem non-existent during character creation, but you’ll able to buy new looks for characters in the game’s cash shop. Even if players don’t want to drop real money into these cosmetic changes, you’ll be able to buy them from other players using in game gold.

Some aspects of the game that may turn players off could be the fatigue system that limits how many dungeon runs you can do each day. I’m guessing the developers thought their game could be additive for some and made the fatigue system to be like the bartender at a tavern telling you “Sorry, you’ve had enough so I’m cutting you off.” It may just be in place just keep the game from feeling too repetitive or to stop players from excessive farming. No matter how you look at it, once your fatigue bar is all used up, there’s not much you can do except partake in the player vs. player modes. Speaking of not having much to do, there’s a severe lack of content once you’ve hit the level cap. The biggest grip I have (and pretty much tons of other players) is the game’s cash shop. The cash shop offers different services to the players to enhance their experience. None of these items or services will give players an huge edge over non-paying players, so there’s no need to worry about being bested by someone that has deep pockets. However, some of the services available just Best example would be the chest upgrade that doubles in price for each upgrade you buy, meaning you’ll have to spend insane amounts of money just to have the chest upgraded in full. The prices for many of the items and extra features are mostly common in free-to-play MMOs, but for a game that’s “taking the arcade fight online”, they’re just too high. Honestly, $25 dollars for a skill reset? No thanks.

Regardless, the game manages to please casual and hardcore gamers alike with classic arcade controls that anyone can pick and play while keeping things deep and engaging. Those looking for a throwback to arcade gaming will probably look past the cons and enjoy themselves as updates for new features and more end-game content becomes available. The player vs. player options alone will keep the hardcore gaming crowd playing for months on end. Nexon has blessed the US gaming market by publishing a handful successful free-to-play online multiplayer PC games with the option to pay for extra features, items, and services. Nexon will definitely continue that success with Dungeon Fighter Online.



Retro styled beat ‘em up with MMORPG aspects
“Easy-to-play, hard-to-master” learning curve
Tons of character sub-classes
Free to download and play


Game limits the amount of dungeons you can play through each day
Severely lacking end game content
Some cash shop items are a bit overpriced.


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