Dungeon Fighter Live Review
Clear the dungeon, collect the loot and repeat.
After successfully running Dungeon Fighter Online as a Free-To-Play PC game, Nexon and NeoPle are bringing it to the Xbox Live Arcade as the non-free-to-play Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall Of Hendon Myre. Personally, I hadn’t played the PC game, but had heard good things about it so I was interested to check it out, and I’m always ready for a new hack and slash loot-fest.
Dungeon Fighter Live is a 2D side-scrolling Action-RPG that tells the story of a mysterious plague that has come over the land of Hendon Myre and it’s up to you to fight through hordes of goblins and other undead creatures to find the source of the plague and stop it. You’ll start off by selecting one of three character classes: the Slayer and his swords, the Fighter and her fists or the Gunner and his, well, guns. My personal favorite was the Slayer with his fast-paced attacks and being able to hit multiple enemies with the swipe of his sword.
Being an Action-RPG, Dungeon Fighter Live features everything you would expect including earning EXP and levelling up, tons of a new abilities to learn, plenty of shops around town to buy, repair and craft items, weapons and armor and of course an enormous amount of loot to collect. Almost every enemy you kill will drop something to pick up, so if you love games with looting then you are going to be busy collecting and sifting through mountains of it here. The problem I had with the looting system is that you have to press X to pick up an item, but X is also used for your main attack so if you aren’t directly over top of the item you will end up in the attacking animation, instead of picking it up. If only they had used another button for picking up loot this problem would cease to exist.
Speaking of problems. The main problem with Dungeon Fighter Live is its repetitiveness, and my god does it get repetitive. The way that the quests work is that you enter a town and accept them from NPC’s, and then you have to enter the dungeon that the quests takes place in. Each dungeon is split in sections on a grid, with a helpful mini-map of the grid and your location in the top right hand corner, with the end goal marked on the map. As you enter each section, you will have to defeat all of the enemies in that area before you can proceed to the next one, which could be to left, right, top or bottom. After you clear out that area, it will stay clear the next time you pass through it, which is one of the few things that doesn’t increase the repetitiveness. After you clear the dungeon and complete your current quest you will unlock a higher difficulty of the same dungeon and head back to the town to the turn in the quest. Where the problem lies is that the next quest could be on the same dungeon, but maybe on a higher difficulty which doesn’t change the layout of the map, but rather just increase the difficulty of the enemies. This causes you to end up playing the same dungeon at least three times before you unlock another one and it quickly gets old.
If the dungeons were randomized, or even had a different layout with different enemies on each difficulty it would have solved this problem very easily, but unfortunately that is not the case. If you can get past this and don’t mind seeing the same areas over and over and over, then it won’t be much of a problem for you as it was for me. It not quite as bad when you aren’t playing by yourself, but we’ll get to that in a bit. There are also some quests that will require you to find certain items in a dungeon, but the items aren’t always there, so you may end up playing through it a few times before you get lucky enough to find it. Those are by far the worst quests and I wish that they didn’t exist.
Another problem I have with the game is how slow your character moves. You can find armor that will increase your movement speed and you can sprint, but neither are the best solution for the turtle like speed at which the characters move. To sprint you have to press the direction you want to move in twice and then your character will run until you let go, but the ideal solution would be to have an option to just always run, or even if you could just hold down a button to sprint would be better than having to press over twice every time you want to run. The other issue with pressing over twice is that it doesn’t always work and sometimes I had to press over three or four times before my Slayer would run, making it even more annoying.
All of the issues I’ve mentioned aside, Nexon and NeoPle did do one thing right by letting us play Dungeon Fighter Live with some friends.
Dungeon Fighter Live is not an MMO like the PC version, but it does feature online and offline co-op, which is definitely the best way to play it. You and up to three friends or random gamers can battle through the campaign together, beating dungeons, leveling up, collecting loot and then take it all that back to your single player campaign as well. You can have multiple characters on the go or use the same one regardless of whether you are online or offline.
The way it works is that when you are in the one of the towns, you are by yourself, but when you enter a dungeon you can select to invite your friends or find some random gamers to play with. After you complete the dungeon you can stick together and battle through another one, or you can go your separate ways and head back to town to make repairs, stock up on items and get some new weapons and armor. Then when you are all ready to play again, you can group back up and head back to another dungeon. It’s a different setup than what we’re used to, but at least we have the option to play together.
If you can get past the repetitive quests that place in the same locations over and over, slow-moving characters with an annoying sprint option and the fact that this version of Dungeon Fighter isn’t free, then you will find a decent Action-RPG that will keep you busy for a while with plenty of quests and tons of loot to collect. Personally, I would recommend trying the demo on the Xbox Live Arcade before spending $10 on it, just to make sure it’s a game for you.