I’ve played a multitude of MMOs throughout the years, most of them Free to Play. The first of these was “FlyFF”, which I played for about a month before getting bored. From there I tried a handful of others, but every time I quickly abandoned them. They were all empty shells, not having a lot to offer. Then one day I discovered one that was different, one that I actually enjoyed and have continued to come back to over the years.
That game is Dungeon Fighter Online and today I want to take a look over it!
Dungeon Fighter Online takes place primarily on the continent of Arad, which is part of a larger fantasy world. Arad has recently undergone a great crisis called the Metastasis, which has greatly raped its terrain and turned many of its formerly peaceful inhabitants hostile. As such you the player, as one of the titular Dungeon Fighters, must venture across Arad in search of answers as to just what is going on. Each of the Dungeon Fighters you can choose from has there own backstory. These backstories however play little role in the overarching scheme of things and in most cases hardly touched on outside of the first few quest.
Overall the plot and characters are DFO weakest point. The story itself, presented to the player largely through unvoiced text boxes is largely inconsequential. There is a lot of jargon and references to events the player will have little clue about, leaving you lost as to the “why” of what you’re doing at any given moment. Things are only made more complicated by the fact that being an MMO, new story events and elements are constantly being added or changed.
However none of that really matters. DFO isn’t about the story, that’s only there for things to feel like they have some sense of purpose to them. No, the real reason one plays Dungeon Fighter Online is for what I’m going to talk about next.
I can say without a doubt in my mind that gameplay is what Dungeon Fighter Online does best. It’s what it does better than basically every other MMO I know of and it does it in a very simple way. It lets a player, well, play. There’s no clicking on something and waiting here. Instead it gives you the gameplay of old fighting games and lets you run wild! You move and attack with the keyboard, using your various different skills to perform combos, clear dungeons and leveling up. Its fast, flashy and utterly satisfying!
The gameplay also comes in a wide variety, changing depending on your character. Want to fight up close and personal, suplexing a monsters two times the size of you? You can as a Fighter. Prefer hanging back and decimating foes with a gatling gun? Gunner has got you covered! Or maybe you’re someone who’s always wanted to both heal and kill? Priest is your man. This variety is even further expanded once you reach level 15, where you are giving the chance to pick a specializations that fits your preferred playstyle.
On the interface side however, things are a tad messy. There are a lot of different menus and icons, which can be overwhelming for a new player. However once one figures out what different toolbars are for, and with a little tweaking, it becomes workable. I should also note that this game does allow you to freely configure buttons and is controller friendly. I strongly suggest considering using the latter, as it makes playing a fair bit easier.
The animations of DFO are a love letter to the 2D games of yesteryear. Each of the many characters has a wide variety of solid sprite work. This ranges from unique idle and running animations, to a wide variety of flashy moves for their various skills. As for the dungeons, they have a wide diversity in terms of their setting and design, all with fluidly parallaxing backgrounds. One can see the amount of time and effort put into this game’s visuals, and it pays off immensely. The amount of beautiful sprite work given here only makes the excellent gameplay all the more satisfying!
However the folks that made this game didn’t just stop at the gameplay and animation. Oh no, they also put in an absolutely kickass soundtrack! The songs are energetic and alive with a mix of jamming guitars and electronic beats, making one truly get into the fight at hand. These tracks are the wonderful icing on this already amazing cake and I often find myself rocking out to them as I play!
Dungeon Fighter Online easily has my recommendation, being a game I’ve come back to again and again. I suggest checking it out, especially if you like MMOs or fighting games! I can’t say it’s for everyone, but it’s definitely an excellent example of what can be created when one steps away from general MMO design thinking. So if you want to give it a try, you can download it off its official webpage or get it on Steam, both free of charge!
And with that, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments and check EhTaku out on Twitter! I would love to hear your feedback mates!