Like a Casual Game for Hardcore Gamers


Someone mentioned to me recently that no new technology was ever responsible for completely killing the technology that preceded it. I wasn't sure at the time that I agreed, but videogaming is one arena where that has certainly proven to be the case. Design and gameplay trends come and go, but rarely does one completely go away. Dungeon Fighter Online was on display from Nexon at E3, and even though this game is somewhat of a throwback, it had no difficulty gathering a large crowd of eager admirers. Simplicity must be a part of this, but it takes more than a minimalist aesthetic to please gamers. What Nexon has captured in Dungeon Fighter Online is a way to deliver maximum fun with minimum ramp-up time or other barriers to entry. It's like a casual game for hardcore gamers...

Imagine a hybrid of Final Fight and Gauntlet, if the latter were transposed into a side-scrolling brawler. Imagine cooler fighting moves, over-the-top action, and well-designed backdrops dripping with character. This is the world of Dungeon Fighter Online, a game that has already made a huge impact in Asia. Imagine having a player-base of millions; not hard to do, considering the popularity of many games today. Now imagine have millions of concurrent users... Partly because of its old-school presentation, Dungeon Fighter Online is able to support a huge number of players concurrently in its world, which is modeled after classic side-scrolling arcade games. The experience of playing is at once completely familiar, and brand new, the sure sign of a successful mashup.

Dungeon Fighter Online is a PC download, but we're already thinking about how much fun this would be if it managed to find its way onto one of the major next-gen consoles. A download of the game gives you full access to play, as is the case with all the games Nexon showed at E3 this year. Unlike its MMO titles, Vindictus and Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online is something that any hardcore gamer will recognize. Walk, run, jump, attack, loot, repeat. Whatever label you assign, this side-scrolling fighting model has been a staple for years and years of classic gaming, and it also works great in this setting. The characters you'll have to choose from represent unique classes, leaning toward magic, fighting with weapons, melee, or healing abilities. You realize quickly that some classes aren't sufficiently equipped for solo play, making them ideal when venturing out with a large group, or party. Party play is where Dungeon Fighter Online really shines, and there's even PvP available once you level up your characters sufficiently.

Nexon wasn't introducing Dungeon Fighter Online at E3 2010, since the game has been out in some form since last year. Considering the rather niche market Nexon occupies internationally, it felt a bit like the international exhibition hall at the show. US gamers that haven't yet jumping into Dungeon Fighter Online would be wise to take a look. The combination of old-school simplicity and MMO sophistication is truly an interesting blend. What Nexon has latched onto is something that we predict will only be getting bigger.

Dungeon Fighter Online
Nexon Interactive