Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre review
When Nexon launched Dungeon Fighter Online for PC a while back, it provided a different kind of MMORPG experience, giving players the chance to battle enemies, but instead of casting spells and letting other minions do the dirty work, it incorporated classic beat-em-up gameplay, similar to the likes of Golden Axe and Final Fight. As a result, combat actually took a turn for the better, and you could level up your character to the point that they became a real powerhouse. (Ideal for the situations that arise later in the game, we think.)
In an attempt to recreate that success on the console front, Nexon has collaborated with Microsoft on Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre, a game that brings the experience of the series, in condensed form, to Xbox Live. It’s a novel idea, and at first, it really seems like it’s getting somewhere. However, over the long term, the game just isn’t the same, as certain limitations keep it from gaining the same unique experiences that PC players have been having.
Dungeon Fighter Live gives you the option to choose between three characters, fighting on an epic quest against an evil sickness and giving you a bit of backstory to work off of. From there, you’ll loot like a bandit as you beat up goblins and other enemies, eventually powering up and becoming more agile in combat. Unfortunately, the level-up system is somewhat restrained, and five characters are missing from the PC game. Our guess? They’ll be added down the road, possibly as DLC. It’s a bit unfair to hold off some of the quality content, especially against those who are expecting something akin to what they played through in the other Dungeon Fighter.
Another problem is that Dungeon Fighter Live doesn’t really give you too much of a challenge the first few hours in. Most of the enemies, save for a huge boss that’s supposed to beat you for the sake of the story, are pushovers, as you can clean them up with a combo attack and loot them afterwards. The later ones do pose a better threat, but whether you’re willing to root through hours of bland combat and repetitive fetch quests to get to that point may be asking a lot.
Thankfully, Dungeon Fighter Live does get some stuff right. The skill and equipment sets really help you excel at certain things, even with level caps, and the trio of characters do offer something different from one another, if you feel like trying something different. On top of that, the co-op isn’t actually half bad, as you can play with three others, and the game doesn’t suffer any sort of noticeable lag. The only downside is that players drop out too often, especially during trading. Jerks.
For a PC-to-Xbox Live port, Dungeon Fighter Live doesn’t look half bad. The animation style is quite genuine, with greatly drawn 2-D sprites and backgrounds that resemble Treasure’s Guardian Heroes, but without the 3D scaling. The camera could use work (sometimes you just take cheap hits) but overall it’s pretty. The music isn’t bad either, nor are the sound effects and voice samples. About on par for a game like this.
One thing, though – and this is really hard to overlook. Who decided that it would be a good idea to put the “pick up item” button on the same function as general attacking? Honestly. Nothing is more unnerving than breaking up a combo because you had to pause and pick up some gold. A better choice could’ve been made here. Way better.
In the end, Dungeon Fighter Live is an interesting experiment, and one that’s bound to get enough of a loyal user base to strive. However, the limitation of content and wrong gameplay choices make it a bitter pill to swallow, even with the general combat set-up. You might want to stick to Guardian Heroes HD instead.