Dungeon Fighter Duel
  

 
ABOUT
Developed by Eighting, Neople, and Arc System Works, Dungeon And Fighter Duel (DNF Duel for short) is a 2D fighting game utilizing a 3D graphics engine similar to other modern Arc System Works fighting games likr Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, Granblue Fantasy Versus, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game's high-end anime-style visuals boast large 3D character models and huge super move effects onscreen, all of which cleverly resembling traditional 2D sprites during gameplay. That is... until expressive animations and epic dynamic 3D camera angles kick in during intro cinematics, super moves, and throw techniques. That said, DNF Duel is definitely visually exciting for a "traditional" 1-on-1 2D fighting game!

 

Striker shows off her mastery of the one-inch punch.

  
DNF Duel features 16 playable characters at launch. Instead of having normal names, the characters of Dungeon And Fighter Duel are identified based on their class from the Dungeon Fighter Online series. The visual designs of the characters also inspired by their prior appearances in the series (but are new / updated for this game). Each character has a small selection of normal attacks, specific buttons to unleash MP Moves, and powerful screen-filling Special MP Moves.


Holding directional inputs while pressing Skills or MP Skills can result in different techniques entirely, for some characters. Several characters can also delay or alter their attacks when a player holds down the attack button. Awakening Skill (Supers) are performed with 1 button. Check out Neople's official gameplay system tutorial videos for more details and information about DNF Duel's core mechanics.

 

Exciting 2.5D visuals and simplified special move inputs.



DNF Duel features a classic Health meter with a MP meter directly under it. Players spend MP to unleash MP Special Moves - each which carry their own MP cost based on their power or how powerful the player chooses the move to be. Another main gameplay mechanic is Conversion, where the player spends their own white life HP (damage their previously took) for extra MP. This mechanic is very similar to the Baroque system from Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, which unironically was designed by the same battle system developers.

 
 

Get your SoulCalibur Nightmare vibes on with DNF Duel's Berserker.

 
DNF Duel's online mode includes rollback netcode. The first open beta test for Dungeon And Fighter Duel took place on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 from December 17th-20th. DNF Duel was released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC (Steam) on June 28th, 2022.

 

 
 
                       
 

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Page Updated: August 18th, 2022
Developer(s): Eighting, Neople, Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Nexon
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date(s): June 28th, 2022
Characters Berserker, Inquisitor, Grappler, Striker, Ranger, Hitman, Dragon Knight, Vanguard, Kunoichi, Crusader, Ghostblade, Launcher, Troubleshooter, Swift Master, Enchantress, Lost Warrior
Related Links June 2022: DNF Duel ENGLISH Movelists for All 16 Characters!
June 2022: Dungeon Fighter Duel Online / Local Modes Trailers
May 2022: Dungeon Fighter Duel Story Mode Trailer

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Featured Video:
Related Games: Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, Dragon Ball FighterZ, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Blade Strangers, Battle Fantasia, WeaponLord, Golden Axe: The Duel, Samurai Shodown (2019), Mortal Kombat 11, SFV: Champion Edition, UNIST-CLR, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars, Granblue Fantasy Versus, The King of Fighters XV, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R, Pocket Bravery
  

Gameplay Engine   6.5 / 10
Story / Theme   6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics   7.5 / 10
Animation   8.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects   7.5 / 10
Innovation    6.0 / 10
Art Direction    7.0 / 10
Customization    7.0 / 10
Options / Extras    7.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation    6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun    6.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor    8.0 / 10
Characters    7.0 / 10

BOTTOM LINE

   6.9 / 10

 Review based on PS4 version  

 

Final Words:

Some might say Arc System Works fighting games are all starting to "look the same" these days due to the 2.5D graphics engine shared by most modern titles. But is anyone really complaining? Is it a bad thing? In my opinion... NO. It's the new standard, if anything. (And a game like DNF Duel looks eons more visually compelling than SNK's recent offering with KOF XV, in my opinion.) Like its predecessors, DNF Duel offers flashy anime-inspired visuals, interesting character designs, and intuitive gameplay that's easy to get into for casual and seasoned fighting game players, alike.

DNF Duel uses simple inputs for special moves (with only a few motion inputs), making it very accessible even for players who don't play fighting games. DNF is perhaps most similar to the BlazBlue series, with massive, screen-filling special moves and gimmicks just one button press away. While I personally prefer fighting games with motion inputs (#1 because I grew up with them, and #2 because they make characters and games feel more distinguished and fun), DNF Duel's mechanics are still inviting for new players of any skill level.

However, DNF Duel's simple nature is (predictably) also the game's biggest flaw. The DNF Duel player base dropped off severely in about month's time, after the game's newness wore off. In this day and age of fighting games, that's a problem. Where will the disgruntled Guilty Gear -STRIVE- players go off to now? Obviously, the trend of "simple inputs" still isn't a hit with many in the FGC... and like I've said a thousand times before, "dumbing down" what a fighting game can be kills its longevity, potential, and fun. If there's no risk of dropping your combo, what's the point? Where's the risk / reward? At the least, DNF's simple layout makes it easier to learn this game rather quickly (among others), since there are indeed so many fighting games to play nowadays.

There's definitely a coolness about DNF Duel's visuals, huge special moves, and perhaps most-importantly in this game's case... its character designs. DNF Duel lives and dies by its characters and match-ups. I did find a character that I enjoy using due to her speedy combo style and that's Kunoichi. I used Chipp in -STRIVE- due to his ultra-fast combos and mix-ups, so Kunoichi is the perfect character for me... and that's a perfect example of what to expect from DNF Duel. If you're familiar with how modern anime fighting games usually play, it won't take you very long to find a character that you might enjoy using based on their play-style, let alone their snazzy appearance and sick special move effects.

The ridiculous and massive special moves that completely fill the screen (potentially even at the very start of the round)... gives DNF Duel its unique charm. Alas, characters have access to simple 1-button comeback mechanic supers at the ready when health is low, but conserving the MP gauge to connect big combos, apply crazy chip-damage (comparable to certain assist attacks in MVC2), or connect a super move is the meat and potatoes of DNF Duel. The thrill of throwing huge projectiles or gimmicking your opponent with side switch mix-ups, high-hitting combos, and corner resets immediately feels fun if you spend an hour or so in the lab and learn a character or two.

Characters can only perform basic directional jumps (no super jumps, no short hops). However, some faster characters can double jump. When using slower characters, some players might feel a lack of mobility and a dependence on using certain (repetitive) special moves to get-in and apply pressure. However, faster characters have enough options, alternate normals, and combo-paths to feel "complete" with plenty of mix-up opportunities... but thankfully, nothing too over-the-top in terms of juggles. (I say this being able to hit 45+ hit combos and corner resets with Kunoichi.) Combos with fast characters feel fun and balanced, while slower damage-heavy characters and projectile-type gunner characters have their own stylish path to destroying opponents. There's a DNF character for everyone.

Survival, Arcade, Training, and Online might keep you busy for a while... but DNF Duel's "cut & paste" / mostly-text Story mode doesn't offer anything compelling or worthwhile. On the flipside, the Tutorial is decent and makes it easy to learn the game's fundamentals, at least. However, once the newness wares off, DNF Duel's randomness, easy-confirm combos, and low skill-ceiling inevitably hinders the game competitively. DNF Duel is kind of a rare gem in some ways, but the severe lack of post-launch DLC support will inevitably kill the potential and longevity of this title. My favorite part of the game? The main menu theme. Great tune!

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen
    

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