Dungeon Fighter Online: Side Scrolling Beat em' Up
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Nowadays a lot of the MMOs tend to be played simply by pointing and clicking. There is a lot of emphasis on skill towards combat as there is on time spent grinding and deriving optimal builds. Dungeon Fighter Online is different from other MMOs because you must be skilled in the art of combat or you will fail.
Dungeon Fighter which was developed by Neople and picked up by Nexon and brought to North America to offer MMO players alternatives to the simple point and click MMOs. I am not bashing on point and click games; I have had a lot of fun playing point and click MMOs. It is just nice to see twitch and skill based MMOs diversifying the market.
DFO plays like a 2D side scrolling beat em' up game. The mouse is seldom used and the keyboard be will your weapon of war. While the game is a 2D side scroller, your character can still move in or out of the map which creates some depth to areas. Enemies can be upfront or behind and you must line up with them to land attacks. This can take some time to get used to but it is very easy to pickup.
Maintaining high ranks can be hard for inexperienced players
Although it is a 2D side scroller, the graphics are not very bad. They may not look very realistic but the art style is quite attractive. When playing in windowed mode the characters and spells look great but the very low resolution (640 x 480) causes the graphics to stretch a lot when playing in full screen. A future update offering higher resolutions would greatly improve the graphics of DFO.
Having low graphics does have its pros. Any computer unless very outdated will be able to run this game with ease. Some younger gamers do not have the blessing of playing on gaming computers but will be able to enjoy DFO without any lag.
Nexon loves their EXP events
When the game initially launched, there were many complaints about the fatigue system. This system limited the amount of dungeons players could run in a day and allowed casual players to keep up with avid gamers.
Nexon listened to the players and replaced this system with the new Blitz Points system. Instead of limiting the amount of dungeons you can run, this system rewards players for running more dungeons! As you run more dungeons you will gain an experience boost but will have to pay more to maintain your equips. As you spend more blitz points your equipment's durability will decrease at a faster rate and repair costs will also go up.
DFO offers players the choice between many different classes. The NA version currently features the following classes: thief, female gunner, slayer, fighter, male gunner, mage and priest. A male fighter will be added in a coming update.
Every class has a different play style and performs better in certain situations. Every gamer has their own unique style of play; DFO's variety of classes helps gamers play to their liking. The classes can be built and trained into various trees each focusing on different roles. Since skills are leveled using skill points that are obtained by gaining experience, players must plan out their skill trees as not all skills can be maxed.
While the characters' skills and items can be customized to your liking, your appearance is unchangeable without the cash shop. The cash shop allows players to purchase cosmetic items to alter their character model. Normal equips will not change how your character looks. I was rather disappointed by not being able to visually show off my new equips but the game must have some restrictions on free to play players. The best thing about the cash shop is that it does not make its users overpowered. Free to play players can still compete with power users if they invest enough time. Since the game requires player skill and not just items, acquiring overpowered cash shop items will not allow players to simply mow down dungeons.
Cash shop items can also be purchased from players using the in game currency.
The dungeons are very fun to run through the first couple of times but tend to get repetitive after running them multiple times. There are multiple difficulty levels which feature different monsters and dungeons randomize their layouts every run, but you are still fighting the same types of enemies every run.
Alongside multiple dungeons, DFO offers a huge list of quests. During the early stages of the game completing every quest given to you is worthwhile but as you progress through the game the quests tend to get very repetitive and are no longer worth your time.
Fortunately quests are divided into general quests and epic quests. My experienced friends mentioned that later on you should only really worry about completing Epic Quests.
The questing system is very easy in DFO because you are told of all available quests and guided through the entire quest. It even goes as far as label the dungeons with icons that go towards completing your current quests. Even the map is marked to show a quest’s NPCs. The quests help prevent this game from feeling like too much of a grind fest.
Running dungeons at max level
My favourite feature of Dungeon Fighter Online besides the fact that it requires skill would be the PvP. Since every player's combat abilities rely on their skill to combo abilities together, PvP can be a blast. You will never feel that you lost solely because of your newbie equips but because your opponent was the better player. This really makes the PvP competitive as you want to take revenge on your opponent and prove you are the better player.
To participate in PvP players must join a room in the arena. Rooms are hosted the same way as rooms in first person shooters and offer multiple game modes including brawl (free for all), team (1 v 1 to 4 v 4) and elimination mode (1 v 1).
The arena is not just to get your mind off of grinding dungeons. You gain PvP experience which goes towards raising your Arena rank and Victory points which can be redeemed for PvP items from vendors.
PvP can be frustrating for new players because one mistake and you will be locked in combos by experienced players. You never know what is going to happen in PvP because every player fights with their own style.
Like most MMOs, certain classes are stronger at PvP than others which means that to be a fully effective player killer you must build your character correctly. The same goes for the PvE part of Dungeon Fighter Online.
I really love games that require skill to play because you will always feel accomplished after finishing every task. It is great to see an MMO that offers combat not solely relying on equips and skill builds.
While DFO was very fun to play and review, I got tired of running repetitive dungeons one after another. I encounter this problem with all instanced action MMOs because I love games that are dynamic.
I can see myself playing DFO casually every now and then but it is not the type of game to play hours on end every day. I definitely recommend checking out DFO. Getting a friend to tag along will easily double your fun.