tl;dr -> In Dustforce DX you play as a master warrior-janitor on a never-ending quest to rid the world of all dirt and dirt-spreading creatures while listening to a fantastic electronic soundtrack.
I got this game in a bundle, and was really excited to try it because of all the technical gameplay mechanics - like the complex executions you have to use in order to make your run look as seamless as possible. I had watched a few speedruns on YouTube and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of experience provided by Dustforce DX.
If you like cleaning, artsy and smooth platforming gameplay, a stellar electronic soundtrack, chaining combos, score attacks, and challenging mechanics, then you will really enjoy this game.
The aesthetics are great - the detail in the different levels is very high and well-done. The music and sound effects are awesome, and I will provide a link to the OST here because it is that good; I think the only other game OST I ever linked in my review was NEOTOKYO's.Dustforce DX OST
The controls are a bit tricky to learn, but the tutorials are very helpful and will ensure you get a firm grasp on the game's mechanics before you start your janitorial runs. You can try using a controller, but the keyboard bindings work just as well. The learning curve is minimal to moderate - one of the most difficult elements of the game is combining the different actions in order to achieve a smooth run. Combos are also essential for reaching many areas in each level and progressing deeper into the game. For example, you may have to wall run upward, double/wall jump several times, and hit a dustball/enemy at the top in order to reach a higher level (and if you do everything except hitting the object at the top, you will not be able to make the climb). Practising and repeating levels will really hone your skills.
Overall, the gameplay is very quick and technical - chaining the proper actions is critical. Once you can achieve a seamless run, the visual aesthetics are so satisfying and rewarding. The main hub will allow you to access the options and all the levels, however, you must unlock new levels by completing preceding ones. There are a good number of levels available for you to test your skills, and the game offers a lot of time value if you are really into speedruns and 100% completion. During your playthrough, you must complete each level in a set amount of time, while maintaining a smooth (finesse) run. If you can finish the stage within the time limit and maintain a good combo bar, then you will achieve a double S rank (best possible score).
For the achievement junkies, there is only one to collect, and this requires you to complete every level by performing the most perfect possible run. I really, really love this type of achievement system in a game, and not the stupid, meaningless artificial-game-lengthener types found in games like Lucius (which I will be reviewing soon) - where you need 20 and 40 game hours when the game takes ~10 hours to complete. No, in Dustforce DX there's just one, challenging achievement that involves you spending quite a bit of time refining your skills and experience so you can obtain those perfect runs.
The game can get a bit repetitive once you've invested a large amount of time, however, the variety in level layout and different enemy types adds lots of playability. There are also different characters with slightly different attributes, allowing for a unique playstyle depending on who you select (ex: one character has quicker drops and longer jump range).
If you like challenging platformers with an emphasis on finesse and score attacks, then you must give this game a try.
DJSF @DJSF's Rogue Reviews