Review by Plinkochip

Reviewed: 04/28/10

THE arcade game for next gen.

Gaming has always been about one thing. Having fun. Gaming developers around the world have worked for years, attempting to come up with the most "fun" game that a person could experience.

What Dungeon Fighter Online has done is mix the greatest elements from classic gaming and fuse it with the modern day obsessions of online gaming, but with a hint of nostalgia. The magic health fairies that you can find to restore your hp, ala zelda. The side-scrolling beat'em up influences of D&D:shadows of mystaria, among a plethora more nostalgic features.

With this review I intend to investigate the features of this gaming experience, with as little bias as possible. I will be looking at;

- Story
- Controls
- Graphics
- Music
- Online
- Replayability
- Overall Score

Story

The story of DFO is one that is never plainly visible. It is one which is generally bland and boring to the average player. What many people have yet to discover though, is that there IS quite an interesting storyline to the game.

Without getting into too much depth, the game revolves around the teleportation of powerful demons from another dimension (the other dimension is actually earth, from the distant future) known as "Terra"/"Pandemonium". These powerful beings are known as the apostles. They are incredibly powerful beings, considered deities by some. The apostles are the main bosses of the DFO storyline.

8/10

Controls

The controls in DFO are some of the most responsive and finely tuned in the gaming industry.

Attack skills have more than just "cooldowns", like most MMO games implore. They have a special sort of timing and distance that they can be used at to maximize effectiveness. For example, using them at the opportune times in combo attacks for higher damage. How many MMORPG's out there let you cancel skills out of your basic attacks?

Movement is done using the arrow keys, skills are used with the ASDFGH keys, as well as the F1 - F6 keys. Players looking for more of a retro control scheme will be relieved to discover that all of the controls and hotkeys can be set in the options ingame, allowing joystick/gamepad support.

10/10

Graphics

DFO's graphics are reminiscent of the glory days of 2d fighters and beat'em ups. Players with fond memories of the old ninja turtles arcade games will be having nostalgia dripping from their eyes.

It's simply beautiful, seeing the spirit of your childhood living on in the heart of a new shell. It's definitely a perfect fit for the style of game. Players that want a 3D experience should look elsewhere.

10/10

Music

While some tracks in the game are dull and bland, (the forest theme, some of the town themes) others are absolutely amazing. (the dragonoid tower, vilmark)

The game suffers from having some repetitive, loud music. (pvp themes) Players that do not like this have the option of muting the games music from the options menu, or even replacing the .oggs in the music folder with their own....

8/10

Online

Online interaction in DFO is straightforward and simple. You press the ] key to while in a town setting to open up the party seeking/party creation window. From here you can create or join a party of up to 4 people.

Partying in dungeons is great fun. Many of the character classes in the game have very good synergy between skills, and you can create some truly catastrophic combination's with some strategy.

The biggest deficit of partying in dungeons is the method that NeoPle has coded the network infrastructure. The game runs on a P2P network, which means that you will have absolutely random lag for no reason at all. Even players playing beside each other can experience this lag.

Fortunately, 90% of the time this lag is not an issue.

By pressing P while in a town environment, players at or above level 10 can enter the PVP arenas. PVP is wonderful, many players love to whine about every other class in the game being unfair, which is wonderful proof of just how balanced PVP is. The only classes that DO have some balancing issues are the mechanic (too strong) and the crusader (too weak).

9/10

Replayability

DFO features 5 character classes. Each with 4 subclasses, with only the priest having 3. Every one of these classes has a distinct playstyle. For example, all of the fighter classes involve fist fighting, obviously. But, with the accomplishment of hitting level 18 and changing your subclass, you are presented with the option to change not only your class title, but your very core fighting tactics. This creates a large amount of replayability. You will want to try every class in this game.

To give an example for the fighters subclasses;
Brawlers focus on control and domination using nets, needles, and poisons. Nen Masters focus on controlling the battlefield itself by erecting spirit clones, spirit barriers, huge ki projectiles, and amazing buffs. Strikers continue to focus on hand-to-hand speed and power, creating the fastest damage dealers in the entire game, while finally grapplers learn to focus on controlling the enemies themselves, with the abilities to pin them down and toss them around in the air.

And these are only the fighter subclasses. Wow.

10/10

Overall Score

- Story 8/10
- Controls 10/10
- Graphics 10/10
- Music 8/10
- Online 9/10
- Replayability 10/10
- Overall 8.5/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Dungeon Fighter Online (US, 09/22/09)

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