Baines (baines) wrote,
Baines
baines

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Dungeon Fighter Meh

Finally tried the demo for Dungeon Fighter Live, the Xbox 360 port of Dungeon Fighter Online.

It was fairly disappointing. Very disappointing, when you consider that DFO felt like it wanted to be a console game. A friend described DFL as a bad SNES game.

Action felt sluggish. Maybe it was because we were in the non-challenging starter area with low level characters that had no skills, but it just felt slow and dull.

The screen felt small, giving the player less room to maneuver. Comparing screenshots of DFL to DFO, they appear similar. I guess the crowded feeling comes from local multiplayer. With DFO, even in a group, your screen only cared about following your actions. With DFL's local multiplayer, a single screen has to keep all the players visible, which means players spend much of their time near an edge. For local multiplayer, it isn't enough to have the camera comparable to DFO's camera. It needs to be pulled back further.

Some things have been streamlined, and menus have been designed to allow four players to do their own management simultaneously, but there are things that still feel clunky. Town has been streamlined to effectively be a single screen menu, but you still have to talk to all the different NPCs to pick up all your quests. Changing equipment seems clunky. Equipment has an optional "scroll text with right stick" function, because the text doesn't fit in its tiny window. We spend several minutes trying to figure out how to break pots, only to find the ability was apparently buried in the skill hotkey assignment tab? When learning skills, you can't immediately see the required character level, you only see the skill point cost. If you want to see when a greyed-out skill becomes available (which you'd want to do to manage your skill points), you have to click on it to get a pop up display.

DFL has only three characters. Neither the Witch nor Female Gunner made it into the game. (Strangely, you appear to get five character slots.)

I didn't notice if it kept DFO's terrible Rank system to unlock higher difficulties. (DFO's Rank system fell apart if you ever managed to out-level an area, and had various other annoyances as well.) I also didn't notice if it kept DFO's multiple Difficulty/Rank-based quests, which eventually got quite annoying for the same reason the Rank unlocking was annoying.

For DFL's various shortcomings, I'm not really sure why it took so long to be released. When they went through such effort to accommodate four player local play, I'm not sure why they didn't just completely overhaul some areas, or at least overhaul them more.

All in all, I'd rather just play the PC version, if I felt like playing at all.
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