DNF Duel, we tested the beta of the new crazy fighting game from Arc System and Eighting

DNF Duel, we tested the beta of the new crazy fighting game from Arc System and Eighting

DNF Duel

After Dragonball FighterZ and Granblue Fantasy VS, the Arc Systems have become the dream of any fighting game fan. For heaven's sake, the Japanese team is not exactly known for the ease of use of its games (although many steps have been taken towards accessibility in recent years), yet the extraordinary level now reached in the technical and artistic field makes any work licensed by this cheerful team, a moving wonder, sometimes even able to surpass the visual quality of the underlying material.

While on the hype, however, the communities of manga and anime lovers desperately ask Santa for a work by the Arc dedicated to historical names such as One Piece, JoJo or other much more obscure works, some companies have moved in the shadows to actually kick off their projects. Among these is Neople, a Korean software house mainly known for the "scrolling" MMO Dungeon & Fighter (known by us as Dungeon Fighter Online), which has recently grabbed a nice fighting game built on the basis of their flagship game .

Now, Dungeon Fighter Online in Asia is a recognizable name to say the least, however in our part it certainly does not boast the same popularity and, in an era however difficult for fighting games, many had decided to ignore this new release, because they have little interest in intellectual property. However, things changed when Arc made available a timed beta of their creature to test the netcode (now strictly rollback). DNF Duel, in fact, differs from the latest projects of the house, given that the reins of the gameplay are the Eighting. And for the uninitiated, we owe the likes of Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Tatsunoko vs Capcom to this team, so it was predictable to have something absolutely hilarious and excessive on their hands. Today, in other words, we just want to confirm one thing: DNF Duel may not be based on the most requested brand in circulation, but it risks being one of the most pleasant surprises of the genre.

We explain why in our tried and tested of the DNF Duel beta.

Gameplay: If you can, put it on

DNF Duel: Anyone who uses the ranger is a horrible person Let's face it: the way Eightings always have had to balance their games is literally Borisiana's "smarmella tutto". This team has always approached balancing by calibrating its entire roster of fighters towards the highest and not caring highly of the limitations that distinguish some of the most valid fighting games in circulation. For some strange reason, however, this approach, which has very little logic and mathematics with them, works and has given rise in the past to products of the highest level. DNF Duel also seems to be part of that winning mix once again, because it is among the most unbalanced games we have ever tried, yet it is impossible not to face every match with a smile on your face.

Starting from the basics, actually , it seems to be initially in front of an emulation of Granblue VS, precisely because the system used has similar characteristics. Even here, in fact, it is possible to perform simplified special moves with the press of a button and basic directions and in general it is a walk to give shape to rather complex combinations of strokes without the need for particular timing and / or precision.

If we analyze the system, however, we are faced with a beast of a completely different type: DNF Duel in fact offers two special keys, which when combined with the directions and the possibility of performing moves in aria are equivalent to as many as ten specials per fighter (with possible continuations that increase the number), for a general variety of objectively remarkable moves in a 2D fighting game with such simplistic controls. The "difficult" here therefore consists in the presence of a resource to be regulated, the mana, which is consumed when using a specific type of these moves. This big blue bar regenerates at great speed, but is consumed just as quickly on the offensive, and considering how absurd the special moves that make use of it are sometimes, its handling often represents the difference between victory and defeat. For the record: it is possible to perform the special even with complex movements (dragon punch and so on), yet this time it does not seem to bring advantages, whereas in Granblue doing it allowed to reload the various moves more quickly.

Now, add to what has been described two easy-to-use normal keys - with very simple combos that serve more to confirm the hit than anything else - a speed of action generally of an Asian fighting game and far from that of titles based generally on footsies, and in closing a mix of characters of impressive variety, and you will get a great chaos capable of meeting the style of any lover of the genre. Yes, because DNF Duel boasts absurd characters like the Crusader, able to control the arena by putting the opponent on the wall with barriers that can make him rebound in the air and powerful single hammer blows, or warriors with a constant offensive like the Hitman, with his "double" hits and combinations with infamous range to say the least. There is seriously something for all tastes: do you love mixups and elaborate strategies? The Dragon Knight with its little dragon (and air mobility) will give you enormous satisfaction; the brutal offensive and the ability to punish those who attack without thinking? The Berserker is for you. Are you horrible people? Ranger.

White life blue life, but life is gone

DNF Duel: don't underestimate the blows of the Berserker This type of variety on the roster is fundamental in a similar game, because strategic diversification in battle depends on the many moves made available rather than on systems. DNF has an immediately understandable foundation after all, where complex maneuvers are a direct counter on parry (which consumes mana and we didn't use it properly during the beta), and an important dodge to avoid certain attacks from illegal range or exploit enemy openings. No aerial dash (excluding some characters who possess it via moves, as mentioned above), no double jumps, no air parries.

If that wasn't enough, here there is also a parade button, not forced - you can also save by holding back - but very important to make side mixups almost useless. To prevent this type of additional block from making things overly geared towards the turtle technique, however, the Arc and Eightings have decided to include a lot of defensive damage called "white damage" in their baby. If you are too guarded your life bar drops quickly under a hail of enemy specials, and when you get to the limit it only takes a few attacks to perish. In addition, this temporary damage does not regenerate over time and must be consumed to cancel the maneuvers, a must for the execution of the most complex combos of the game, to further underline that this is not a negligible thing.

Ah, just to add a little more insanity to it all, Supers seem to regenerate white damage, but these are only usable when you have a small percentage of life left. Another factor that adds even more spice, given that we already imagine games overturned by a well placed super at the last second (the super also have no invulnerability, and must be used during a combo, apart from a few exceptions).

DNF Duel: The striker ready to strike In short, DNF is a game with an immediately understandable combat system, but not without interesting subtleties, much more original than we expected and full of that controlled chaos that distinguishes a lifetime the works of Eighting. A mix that we really liked and we can't wait to try it thoroughly, even if a pinch of extra balance wouldn't hurt (seriously, between endless combos of certain warriors and the aforementioned Crusader we have seen hallucinating things).

Finally, nothing negative to say about netcode and technical sector. The first is rollback to the level of Guilty Gear Strive, but fortunately without its horrible lobbies or waits to enter; the second is also excellent, with the usual black magic of Arc that transforms highly detailed 3D models into a sort of splendid two-dimensional moving anime. We are slightly below the levels seen in Strive, but still head and shoulders above all the competition.

We were initially little interested in DNF Duel, but the situation was completely reversed once we tried the beta. The new fighting game from Arc System and Eighting is full of the madness that distinguishes the works of the house of Marvel vs Capcom 3, and despite huge imbalances of the roster it turned out to be among the funniest titles we have had the opportunity to try recently. An incredibly accessible combat system, combined with a number of brilliant gimmicks, make this game a real surprise, with much more potential than expected. We hope it will be exploited.


Extremely varied Roster Accessible combat system, but hilarious and successful to say the least Technically it is always a bomb Rollback netcode DOUBT To say that it is unbalanced is an understatement How many content will it have at launch? The lobbies, while better than those of Strive, are still far from excellent. Have you noticed any mistakes?

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