Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre is a sidescrolling brawler RPG developed by Nexon, Neople and Softmax, and published by Microsoft for XBLA. The game is based on Dungeon Fighter Online and takes many elements from it. The game is very much intent on being multiplayer; while it can be played solo, the game is much easier, fun and quicker when played multiplayer either locally, online or both.
The story starts with a priest on the run from a pack of monsters, which he must then fight his way out of for the tutorial. He heads for the lead monster and is defeated by it. The game then turns to the Dungeon Fighters. All three are headed through the woods when monsters attack and they save a girl in the process of fending them off.
Thankful for saving her life she brings you back to a nearby village and fills you in on the local goings on. A plague known as Phantasmalia has been brought upon the residents by hordes of monsters that now invade the region. You now set off to find the source of the plague and defend Hendon Myre from the monsters that threaten its people.
The game lets you chose from three classes: the Fighter, the Slayer and the Gunnar. The Fighter is a quick martial artist that has a reasonable attack and defence. She has many quick combos and multiple special attacks that knock enemies over for crowd control. The Slayer is also the class the priest in the tutorial is, he has many multiple hit attacks that deal straight up damage with little crowd control. Both these classes are close combat specialists and have a ranged special attack, they are also very capable of comboing efficiently due to moving as they attack. This allows then to cut through swathes of enemies without too much trouble, as they stay in the fight.
The Gunnar is the ranged class though his guns and combos are short and often too slow to combo with. He has some of the better special attacks as he gains options like the chain gun and an exploding robot. He is however very tall and his normal attacks will sail over the heads of about 50% of the enemies in game if there is any distance between you and your target. Up close he attacks diagonally downwards to hit the shorter enemies; this does however still have knockback so he will knock them out of range easily as he stands still throughout.
The game is MMO-like in the fact it has all sorts of loot drops, levelling and quests that heavily rely on fetching or killing a number of things. You also have to repair equipment; else it’ll contribute nothing to your statistics. Loot drops are mostly randomised but you will find most items carry the same stats, with the occasional special item that is part of a set. Collecting a set of items grants bonus’ that can outweigh the lack of stats from the individual items themselves. Unfortunately gaining all the items in the set is easier said than done.
Levelling is based on gaining exp from three different routes. You can gain it from killing monsters, completing quests and finishing areas. Finishing areas gives you a rating based on your longest combo and your combo percentage. The difference in exp gained from a high rating in comparison to a low one is pretty large; this makes combos very important and it also means that it will be much harder (at least early on) for the Gunnar. In groups you can combine your attacks with other players to increase combo length making it just that little bit easier to progress in levels.
Enemies are pretty boring in most cases and almost always stupid. Enemies will only engage you if you come within a certain distance of them, sometimes stopping after the distance between you rises above a certain amount. With the number of enemies that can be in a section of the area, this can easily be 8+ enemies following you around. Ranged enemies are a particular problem as en mass their attacks can lock you down completely. Ice and earth attacks will paralyse you, causing you to hammer buttons to free yourself quickly. Fire and poison will (on the lower difficulties at least) do more damage than many of the creatures around you. As there is no really feedback from the damage they do to you; you can quickly find yourself out of health without realising if you aren’t careful.
In earlier levels Bosses tend to be just normal monsters that are tougher and in the next few levels you’ll see them as an average creature to kill. Later on they tend to become more fully fledged Bosses and have some character to them as well as special attacks that only they have. Even on the lower difficulty levels they can dish out some damage but do take it more easily.
As previously said the game is intended as multiplayer; solo is possible but not hugely advised. It is more fun with people, easier and quicker but finding people is much harder than it seems at times. The game isn’t hugely populated and more often than not, people seem to just replay the Master difficulty levels for the areas; even if they are high enough a level to be elsewhere.
Once you complete the game, which takes a fair few hours; King difficulty mode unlocks. Creatures are all above level 20 (the cap for players) and are incredibly difficult to defeat. Multiple players are pretty much a must from this point onwards and luckily it is one of the more populated areas to play through. The game relies very much on you completing the game and then playing your way through King mode afterwards.
The story feels a little bit lost at times mostly because you are just thrown in with little back story to the world you’re in. That aside, it is reasonably interesting and there are a few good plot developments throughout the story.
Presentation and Audio
The characters are designed with a typical anime design and look pretty good on the whole, it does get quite awkward to tell who is who when there are multiple characters of the same class in an instance. Also monsters can hide other monsters on themselves so you can’t always tell how many of them there are all the time. There are also a few stages where visibility is reduced due to environmental graphics and it just makes it awkward to play. The screen doesn’t move too well with the players either; so you’ll often find yourself getting hit by off-screen enemies, more so in multiplayer than singleplayer. The monster sounds can also get quite repetitive but aside from that the music is pretty good.
The is little escape from the grinding of levels for either items or exp, the combo system is not particularly friendly for newcomers and makes some classes much more difficult to level with and can make grinding much more of a pain. Playing solo involves way too much grinding for levels and items to be much fun. If you can find a group to play with it becomes much less “grindy” but you will still need to do multiple playthroughs of the levels as item drops for quests are usually quite scarce; sometimes to a ridiculous level.
The game is full of grinding and the combat is incredibly repetitive to a degree where it can be quite frustrating to play. Many of the major problems can be alleviated by playing the game with more players, unfortunately many of the basic problems will persist even with the extra help. You are much more likely to enjoy the game if you enjoy sidescrolling brawlers, grinding mmos or both.
The game is very much a grindfest, there’s no two ways about it. There will definitely be a following of people who enjoy the game and the game looks to be supported by additional DLC. It is mostly about getting to the end game before just replaying the same stuff over and over again. This means that the Kings road levels are the most populated and it makes it much easier to find games for it.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.