Nexon’s Dungeon Fighter Online is one of those sleeper hits in the MMO world. It’s a 2-D side-scrolling platforming hack n slash that you first poo-poohed then found it a pure addictive fun when you finally tried it out. It already had a large following in China and Korea before being launched in June 2010 in the US and gained a large following here as well.
Now we are at the brink of the launch of a sequel to DF Online, but this time a game to be launched on the Xbox Live network as a co-op Action-RPG, Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre. DF Online was originally created by Neople and published by Nexon. This sequel is developed by Neople in collaboration with Softmax, a company specializing in developing for consoles and of course, Microsoft Studios is the co-publisher.
Players familiar with the genre will find the game familiar and the controls intuitive. As a sequel to DF Online, DF Live is a mixture of the same but improved content with the HD graphics of the Xbox 360. In short, it’s bigger, better and prettier.
As with the previous title, DF Live allows up to four players in a party but now there is an offline version. Loot and equipment syncs up when you next go online. The game looks remarkably like DF Online, so much so that it prompted someone to ask during the press event, if it re-used graphics. Not so. With this many more pixels that could be utilized, everything had to be recreated from scratch, but the same style and color was retained, giving it the retro-look (without the pixilation) of the original. A new feature is the drop-in dungeon, which allow your friends to jump in with you when they find you online and there’s space in your party.
The classes are also the same: Slayer, Fighter and Gunman (check), each with about 15 hours of play time before hitting the max level of 20 (as shipped). Dungeons have four level difficulties – Normal, Master, Expert and King’s Road, the final rank is only unlocked when characters hit level 20. The loot system remains unchanged which is to say it remains free for all. You can even assign a character to your pesky baby sister to just trail along the dungeon and pick up everything that drops there is no back spawn in Dungeon Fighter. A dungeon level is cleared by killing every monster before the next level unlocks.
There will greater costume choice, greater customization and more weapons in DF Live, and equipment can be upgraded. As befits a 2-D platformer, item crafting is not super complicated. It comprises of an item dissembling system – so you can pick up all those weapons and armor bits that drop to use here, an item crafting system as well as an item reinforcing system. All this is accomplished by visiting an NPC. Item trading between players is also possible through the lobby.
The story is also more fleshed out, with the subtitle “Fall of Hendon Myre” being the underlying quest line. Hendon Myre and the Elven Guard has been hit by debilitating epidemic. The healthy are resistant but the young, the old and the infirm succumb with fatal results. Rumor and suspicion say that the disease is being deliberately spread and monsters may be carriers. Priest Grandis is traveling the lands to investigate and recruits adventurers to help. This is where you come in. Unlocking the story as you fight through dungeons, discovering clues and information.
Playing through the story and the dungeons will eventually lead you to the end level, the Floating Gardens. In this dungeon, healing items may not be used and a limited amount of HP/MP will be recovered when the users each map. Consisting of 50 map layers, the difficulty continues until players reach the final epic boss. A party of well equipped friends at the top of their game is highly recommended.
Dungeon Fighter Live will be available for 800 Microsoft Points and in 8 languages, including including English, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Italian. In game micro-transaction purchases will also be available and this will consist of cosmetic items as well as certain convenience items such as resurrection points to get you quickly back into the dungeon and potions. Launch date was still TBA at E3, but for those looking for a lite version of Dungeon Fighter to play on their couch, keep your eyes on this one.