DNF Duel Game Preview: Should You Be Excited

DNF duel featured

Dungeon Fighter Online was a very popular game back in the late 2000s. However, there hasn’t been any indication of it being an active IP for years now. That’s no longer the case though, as DNF Duel is about to be released. Today we’re going to talk about DNF Duel, and what it can show in the Fighting Game genre.


What Is DNF Duel?

Dnf Duel
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DNF Duel is a 2D fighting game based out of Dungeon Fighter Online, an MMO beat ‘em up RPG created and released by Neople. The MMO is pretty popular and has even inspired a few manga and anime adaptations. DNF Duel is the latest adaptation to this and takes some of the game’s characters and classes into its roster. We’ll talk about them later. DNF Duel will be created by Neople, but it’ll be published by Arc System Works.

Anyhow, DNF Duel’s release date is set to be on June 28 this year. At least, that’s what’s said when looking at its Steam Page. The game will release on the PS4 and PS5 consoles. In addition, DNF Duel will also be released on PC.

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DNF Duel Preview

Combat Gameplay


DNF Duel’s combat gameplay is pretty interesting. The game has a unique combat system with each character having their strengths and signature abilities. These are taken up to 11 with their Awakening Effects, which are Super Moves. On the original Dungeon Fighter Online, these Awakenings are usually evolutions of the base classes. Thus, it’ll be interesting to see how Arc System Works and Neople would implement this in the game.

DNF Duel also has an MP Gauge, which is consumed when players want to use special moves. The MP gauge can be replenished by attacking, not using any special moves, or Conversion. Conversion burns a set amount of HP to replenish the MP gauge. This ability can do some pretty crazy combo setups with players that can start with a special move. Followed up by several special attacks, and then using Conversion to burn some HP to do another special move in quick succession.

Do note though that Conversion is a very high risk, but high reward thing to do. Thus, making sure that the risks are worth it when attacking is a good idea. After all, if you can’t finish off the opponent during your extended combo and you used Conversion several times, you’re pretty much screwed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gameplay of DNF Duel by the way. There’s still a lot of extra technical stuff like technical moves that can be done on air or the ground. In addition to dodges and other movement options. All in all, a pretty extensive combat system that looks simple, but has great depth.



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DNF Duel’s characters are pretty unique in that they’re classes from Dungeon Fighter Online. The game’s first trailers only showed 10 when they came out. However, it’s been confirmed that there would be 16 characters when the game releases on June 28. We’ll list all of them below:



DNF duel classes
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  • Berserker: A devastating character whose left arm is possessed by Kazan.
  • Crusader: A priest that wanders the world and spreads the word of God to others
  • Kunoichi: A dark elf who uses Ninpou, a combination of Dark Elf Magic, Nen, and Chakra.
  • Striker: A martial artist who turned her body into a living weapon.
  • Dragon Knight: A Knight with a dragon familiar whose skill with her weapons is considerable. Uses her blade and shield to great effect while her wings allow her to soar to the skies.
  • Ranger: A gunslinger of renown, uses his pistols to shoot his enemies until they’re nothing but holes.
  • Grappler: A martial artist who travels the land. Uses devastating grapples and kicks to defeat his enemies.
  • Vanguard: Cursed with the power of a fallen apostle, Vanguards use their lances to steal the souls of defeated enemies.
  • Hitman: A special agent of the Company, they use an odachi and SMG in tandem to wipe out rivals of the Company.
  • Inquisitor: A holy warrior of the church wielding a massive battle ax and holy fire. Wields her weaponry on those who defy God’s order and light.
  • Ghostblade: Someone with Kazan’s curse, almost died, but was resurrected by a mysterious spirit. Uses his allied spirit and katana to lay waste to his enemies.
  • Enchantress: A young girl with magical powers from another dimension. Specializes in curses.
  • Trouble Shooter: A Company employee whose reputation as a mercenary precedes him. Uses a shotgun, a giant sword, and lots of explosives.
  • Launcher: A gunslinger who prefers heavy firepower over normal guns. Her massive arsenal can wreck even the strongest foes.
  • Swift Master: A powerful mage who swapped his heart with a piece of Abyss. Now harnesses that power to deliver devastating gales and storms.



Story-wise, DNF Duel has a Story Mode for each of the characters in its roster. After every Story Mode fight, the player will see some snippets of the character’s story through comic-style cutscenes and some dialogue. This is pretty similar to other fighting game story modes if we’re being honest. Overall, pretty standard.

There’s also a gallery where players can see various events from the story mode, unlock new images, and information about DNF’s world. For those that want some lore in addition to their fighting game, this is a pretty cool treat.




If you’ve seen an anime fighting game, then you already know the score when it comes to DNF Duel’s graphics. The game’s art style is very anime and is reminiscent of Guilty Gear –Strive-, which makes sense since it’s also published by Arc System Works.

Anyhow, those that like an anime-style aesthetic, they wouldn’t be disappointed with DNF Duel. The flashy moves and attacks are visually stunning and pop every time they’re done.


Game Modes

DNF Duel has several game modes for players to chew on. We already talked about the game’s story mode. However, DNF Duel also has an Arcade Mode, Survival Mode, and Free Battle.

  • Free Battle: Pretty standard game mode where a player goes against a CPU opponent or a 2nd player on another controller.
  • Arcade Mode: Players fight against a preset number of CPU enemies before fighting a Final Boss.
  • Survival Mode: A unique game mode where players fight an increasingly difficult set of enemies without any HP resets when a round starts. However, players can use the points earned after winning a fight to get various buffs to help them survive. These include damage increases as well as HP replenishes.


Online Functionality

In terms of online functionality, DNF Duel’s pretty sweet. Back in its beta testing, the PS4 and PS5 players were able to play against each other. However, we don’t know as of yet if there’s going to be true crossplay with PlayStation and PC as of yet. We’ll have to wait until the game releases on June 28.

There are, however, a few online game modes for those that want to play against other players online to test their mettle. They can either go against players just for fun or compete in a ranked match to get into the leaderboards. Players choose which character they want to use before they go on a match, before going on the online mode. In addition to all this, they can also look at player profiles and customize their own as well. The player profiles show their current stats as well as win streaks and losses as well as their current rank on the leaderboards.

Last but not least is the Replay Library, where players can see the matches they played previously. From what we can tell, DNF Duel can save up to 100 replays. And it seems to be that the latest replay will be deleted to make room for newer ones.


DNF Duel VS Similar Games

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Now that we’ve talked about DNF Duel, let’s talk about other games like it. We’ll start with Street Fighter 5, followed by Tekken 7, and lastly, Melty Blood: Type Lumina.


Street Fighter 5


Street Fighter 5 is the quintessential Fighting Game, and it’s been a pillar of the Fighting Game community ever since its release. For fans of the series, there are a lot of returning characters like Ryu, Chun Li, Akuma, Cammy, hell, and even Sakura and Poison in the game. It’s pretty much a love letter to Street Fighter fans due to how many characters there are available to play.

In terms of combat, Street Fighter 5 focuses on punishing attacks and flashy, but effective combos. Like DNF Duel, all of the game’s characters have their unique ability and Super Move to turn the tide of a fight. Blocking is also pretty important as it mitigates damage and can lead to some devastating counterattacks. The infamous Daigo parry comes to mind and it’s pretty easy to execute on Street Fighter 5. Provided the player knows how and that they have the cojones to even do it.

One thing to take note of about Street Fighter 5 is the fact that the game’s balance is pretty delicate. There are a lot of things to adjust due to the loads and loads of characters, and some might go by the wayside. After all, there was a time in the previous game in the series when Elena exists. She pretty much broke that game in the last 6 months before Street Fighter 5 came out. Thus, balancing the characters is key to any fighting game, but especially in Street Fighter 5’s case.

The last issue is the fact that it’s a bit hard to get into if you want to go Ranked. There are a lot of really strong players on Street Fighter 5 that played the series for years now, and it’s gonna be an uphill battle for those that start just recently. It can be done, but it’s gonna be hard.


Tekken 7


Next on the list is Tekken 7, another celebrated fighting game and a crowd favorite. After all, you can use a Panda to fight a literal demon with black wings, horns, and laser eyes, what other game has that?

Anyhow, Tekken 7 is a bit more restrained when compared to Street Fighter 5 or even DNF Duel. Compared to those 2 games, Tekken 7 puts more emphasis on player combos and when these combos are executed. After all, if you can do a 1, 2, 3 combo leading to a juggle before kicking the opponent and following up with a grab? That’s when you know you’re kicking ass.

However, don’t think this means players can get 100 to 0’d quickly, oh no. Tekken’s got ways to get back into the game as well. The ability to sidestep, for example, allows players to dodge a lot of combos before counterattacking themselves. In addition to this, when players are at low HP, they go into a rage mode which increases the damage and unlocks powerful special moves. This leads to some very exciting fights in a lot of tournaments, some of them even going on the wire with an awesome finish.

However, like all fighting games, Tekken 7 has a few balance issues that had developers walking on a tightrope. One of the more recent iterations of this was the release of Leroy, which was a doozy of a release. When he came out, he was so overpowered, that the game’s most recent tournament at that point had most of the players playing him. The winner even said to just “Pick Leroy”. Since then though, he was nerfed to the ground and he’s now a decent character, but not as overpowered as before. Still, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Tekken 7 is a great game, and an awesome pick for your fighting game of choice.


Melty Blood: Type Lumina


Last but not least is Melty Blood: Type Lumina, and you can probably tell that a lot of the games on this list are pretty anime. Anyhow, Melty Blood: Type Lumina is the latest release in the Melty Blood series which originates from Type-Moon and is based on Tsukihime Visual Novel. Thus, a lot of the game’s characters are from the very same Visual Novel.

Anyhow, unlike DNF Duel, Melty Blood: Type Lumina focuses a lot on character movement and counterattacks. Any attack a character makes can be neutralized if the opponent hits the attack at a proper time. In addition to this, Counter Shields exist, where blocking at the right moment in an attack can lead to an immediate counterattack with either a frontal, aerial, or back attack. This can lead to some devastating combos that utterly break the opponent’s HP. That can then be countered by using Heat which stops the enemy’s combo at the cost of part of the Magic Circuit bar. They can then use their Moon Drive to increase damage and regain…

Yeah, the counter game of Melty Blood: Type Lumina is pretty vast, as you can probably tell. Combine this with some cool characters with more coming on Character DLC and you have a pretty good fighting game with a dedicated audience.


Should You Be Excited For DNF Duel?

DNF Duel is a pretty interesting fighting game that can give some cool gameplay and mechanics when it releases. The unique combat system has an interesting take on the genre, and the risk/reward mechanics can lead to some clutch games. All in all, DNF Duel should be a game worth buying and playing for a fighting game enthusiast. In addition to being a good game to go for when dipping a foot into the genre.

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