DNF Duel (Dungeon N Fighter Duel) 2022 Review

Dungeon N Fighter Duel

It’s difficult to avoid noticing the similarities between DNF Duel (Dungeon N Fighter Duel) and Granblue Fantasy Versus from 2020: they’re both 2D fighters made by Arc System Works, they’re both based on a series that is enormously popular abroad but less well-known in North America (in this case, Dungeon Fighter Online), and most importantly, they’re both deceptively complex.

Special manoeuvres can be executed by pressing a button alone or a button and a direction, however employing the more conventional quarter-circle motions will result in a greater resource recharge. It’s convenient to having the quick option while also receiving rewards for exerting more effort, and the streamlined controls imply that mastering each character’s moveset is key to winning battles.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

The developers of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (ArcSys and 8ing) didn’t introduce guard buttons and simplified controls at the expense of talent. These features might easily spell the end of a truly competitive fighting game. Instead, DNF Duel is a beautiful game that teaches patience, resource management, and innovative problem solving even though it may not be as welcoming to novice players as it should be. DNF Duel joins the expanding list of combat games that use streamlined inputs to make learning their control schemes easier.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel Review

DNF Duel Characters

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Characters

The Striker, for example, is very skilled at applying pressure and frequently deceives opponents into believing they are safe to counterattack when they are actually not because she can chain special strikes together in a manner that other characters cannot. Many characters also feature rapid pokes that may do large amounts of damage, invincible reversals upon awakening, and enormous screen-filling items like the Inquisitor’s colossal wheel or Kunoichi’s fire tornado.

Learning how to counteract these assaults makes up a large portion of the difficulty curve for these characters, who have some pretty absurd skills. Being defeated by one provided me with specific objectives to lab against when in training mode and a great deal of joy when I prevented someone from getting away with it afterwards. But it might be difficult to handle tying up so much of each fight in learning these methods until you know what to do in a certain circumstance.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Granblue Fantasy Versus

In DNF Duel, your MP Skills and Guard Cancels are tied to an MP metre rather than a cooldown like Granblue Fantasy Versus. The most potent screen-clearing attacks frequently use the most MP. The novel aspect of this is the ability to convert white damage, or the transient damage you take by blocking and being struck by weaker attacks, into MP.

When you complete a conversion, your character is also put back in a neutral state, which enables you to chain moves together that otherwise wouldn’t be feasible or to make some dangerous moves safe by enabling you to block when you would otherwise be penalised. I truly appreciated the versatility the system provided; finding inventive methods to use my MP and understanding when to Convert my white damage frequently made the difference between winning and losing.

It also took me a bit to comprehend movement. DNF Duel at first seemed cumbersome and hefty. Despite being an anime fighter, there aren’t any air guards, double leaps, or air dashes present outside a few character-specific moves, keeping the action largely on the ground. The state you enter when your MP runs out and your MP-specific talents stop working is called exhaustion.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Characterss

You have a really difficult on-ramp as you understand the systems and roster when you add it to characters that can lock you down after you’ve spent all your MP and harass you from a full screen away. DNF Duel’s rapid decision-making, however, leads to some incredibly enjoyable and rewarding moments when you may take a huge risk for a bigger payout once you start to get the hang of it and learn what plays to watch out for, when to push a counterattack, and when to gamble it all on Conversion.

Dungeon Fighter Offline

Fortunately, there are a few offline solutions to assist you in learning these complex systems, and DNF Duel includes a number of choices for those who choose to fight alone. The Arcade and Survival modes are typical for fighting games, with Survival enabling you to utilise your earned score to buy upgrades like higher attack strength or health recharges to get past an opponent’s defences.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Dungeon Fighter Offline

Eight one-on-one encounters make up the arcade mode, which on the harshest setting can be rather challenging. It helped me develop my knowledge of the characters and my ability to keep myself out of awkward situations.

Unfortunately, even by fighting game standards, the DNF Duel Story Mode is somewhat uninteresting. Before they are compelled to engage in combat with another character for the weakest justifications imaginable, each of the 15 starting characters has a series of visual novel-like vignettes in which essentially nothing noteworthy occurs.

Each character tale may be finished in approximately 30 minutes, and other than to have a basic understanding of the characters’ personalities and connections, there isn’t much incentive to finish much more than what is required to reveal a hidden character. Each narrative has some amazing unique art to go with it, but you can also buy them in the gallery using the in-game gold you earn by participating in different game types.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Character-specific training

Even if the menus needed some tinkering to configure the circumstances to what I desired each time, the training mode settings at least include a good number of possibilities to make up for this. I found the character-specific training, gaming mechanics analyses, and combination challenges to be helpful as I become familiar with each system.

The information tabs for each character were very fascinating to read because they give helpful context for how the designers planned to employ particular manoeuvres.

Dungeon Fighter Online

I went into DNF Duel expecting it to play incredibly well online, and happily so far it seems to be the truth. Guilty Gear Strive has a superb rollback netcode. Despite occasional rollback frames, the most of the matches I’ve played have seemed fluid, especially those I’ve played against opponents from Asia.

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Dungeon Fighter Offline

For my perspective, Arc System Works’ actual lobby system, which functions similarly to how it does in Dragon Ball FighterZ or Granblue with in-game arcade machines you walk up to in order to join a battle, is a touch too sweet, but entering the Player Match rooms is simple. After purchasing certain choices with in-game cash or unlocking them through particular tasks, you may also select your lobby character, Player Card, slogans, and the information you want shown for some neat customisation.

Once DNF Duel gets going, its snap judgement results in some truly enjoyable and fulfilling moments. You may standby in the Training, Tutorial, Arcade, and Survival modes while waiting for a ranked match, which is often a convenient method to shorten wait times because there isn’t crossplay between the Steam and PlayStation versions of the game.

Although DNF Duel has just recently launched and is already something of a niche product, I haven’t experienced any queue concerns. Hopefully the player base will remain active enough to prevent the absence of crossplay from being a problem.

A Thing of Beauty

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Granblue Fantasy

DNF Duel carries on ArcSys’ tradition of amazing 2.5D art. Both the characters and the levels are very stunning, so if the developer hadn’t already established itself as the market leader with Granblue Fantasy Versus and Guilty Gear Strive, that reputation should be firmly established now. Each member of the cast has a distinctive appearance, making it simple to distinguish them during a fight scene.

This is impressive given how amazing they look while moving, with clothes rustling, bright effects flying around, and supers that are both distinctive and bombastic for their respective skill sets.

Sadly, the music falls short of expectations because it is primarily forgettable rock with sporadic enjoyable moments. But if you pay for them with in-game cash, you may browse through all of the artwork, music, and character voice lines in the gallery mode. There are a tonne of items to go over, and because the art possibilities don’t just include DNF Duel, fans of the original DFO should also find a lot to adore here.

Verdict

Dungeon N Fighter Duel: Final Verdict

Because of its straightforward controls, DNF Duel is a fantastic game for novices to pick up, push a few buttons, and start playing. Even said, once you fully get the intricate physics underlying those inputs and how any two characters interact with one another, it is still a fantastic game to play online.

A fun fighting game with enough hidden depth to hopefully support a player base that thrives on ongoing discovery is on the other side of the grind, where getting from that first point to the second may dissolve into a series of frustrating knowledge checks until you learn the hard way what you can and cannot do.

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