Review by Dimension_Diver

"Yet another reason why Shmups are better then RPGs"

Before I get started with the review, keep in mind that it was submitted on April 26, 2007. This game is updated periodically, and given that nature certain aspects of my review my become null and void in the future.

Maple Story is a Massively Multi-player Role Playing Game (MMORPG from here on out) made by "Nexon" and "Wizet". The game is free to play. Sign up is a chore and there are at least two different areas where you can sign up to the play the game which can become QUITE confusing unless you have someone who has done it before hand help you out and swim through the confusion.

Graphics: 7/10
The game's graphics are 2-D. I'm quite the fan of 2-D and I don't mind this, Your character is big headed, and typically carries a striaght normal face, they'll show emotion when they get hit by a bad guy or if you hit the appropriate F key. Fans of Anime will dig this. Customization options are extremley limited at the onset of the charecter's life, but as time progresses, you score some cash, and gain levels you can deck out your charecter with clothing, armor, weapons and so on. Extra things such as weapons and clothing of legendary warriors like Lu Bu and Guan Yu can be purchased with "NX Cash" (something you buy with real money) to superimpose them on whatever weapon you are using. Clothing is a double edged sword though, as these clothing's look nice they offer no protection, and are merely for show, not go. The backgrounds are different enough to let you know where you are, like a dungeon, an ancient forest, a canyon area and so on. Hit sparks are not very flashy, its easy to see how much damage has been dealt and recieved, and the heads-up display is simple and not retina searing.

Bottom Line:
the graphics gets the job done, if you want to look flashy you're going to have to earn it or buy it.

Sound/Music: 5/10
The music is acceptable in some areas. a few places I think it even sounds nice. The sound effects are a different matter. Your charecter is mute. the most sounds you'll hear will be the cutesy yelps of the cute charecters you just finished smacking or killing.

Bottom Line:
The music ranges from tolerable to nice. The cutesy sound effects get old quickly.

Servers/lag: 7/10
I didnt really lag to badly on my PC, I'd stall once in a while on my laptop for a second, but nothing to the point that would seriously impact my experience. I for one think there are too many servers. Your charecters are also unable to switch servers. So keep this in mind as you decide which server to go to. Each server has multiple channels as well, so its handy if you want to isolate you and your party from everyone else. Changing channels does not require you to log out either. That's a good thing. On a side not Channel one is the trade channel.

Bottom Line:
A good computer and internet connection means you wont have any problems as far as lag. Channels allow for limited isolation. There are too many servers.

Story: 0/10
Define Irony: a game called Maple Story is completly lacking in any kind of Story what so ever. This particular fact confuses me.

Gameplay: 5/10
The game is pretty much a mix of Hack and Slash, Platformer, and RPG. You beat things up, you jump around, you level up, you get better stuff and skills. The bad thing is that they do not have ENOUGH of these three genre's to make the game great.

There are no combos, you simply swing your weapon.

The platformer aspect can get annoying since this game is Keyboard and mouse only. Thankfully there are very few sections that require spot on jumping.

The RPG element is done best here but even then it's lackluster. There are four classes for you to start out as, Warrior, Archer,Mage and Thief, not including the initial class of begginer, each class branches out to two seperate paths upon gaining enough experience. The biggest problem with the classes is the simple fact that just about everyone will have the exact same cookie-cutter build strategy for their charecter, origniality is over-rated, and one must do so if they want their charecter to be as effective as possible. Leveling up becomes a chore past level 25.

Another item of note is the "Fame" system. People who like or dislike you can "Fame you" as they call it. Fame basically says how popular you are. Granted alot of people buy it and sell it. You can fame any one player once a month, and can give or take one fame a day. Certain quests and items actually require a certain amount of fame to take on (for quests) or use.

Bottom Line:
The genre's that have been mixed into this game are minimal touches, they needed to be fleshed out more.

Community 2/10
This right here... is the game's biggest failure.

The game seems to be little more then a popularity contest in some aspects. When it comes to searching for assistance, it has to be something that the person in question WANTS to or NEEDS to do. Otherwise they'll typically demand money...lots of it. Every so often you'll run into a good samaritan who will give you arrows they dont need, spare you a potion or two and the like, but tehy are few and far between. Speaking of money, people love to beg and rip you off, they'll use everything from telling you to hit a certain string of keys to automatically accept a trade or simply over-price things. Remember the previously mentioned "Fame System"? Its hard enough to earn fame, let alone buy it, but I for one have had people walk past me and drop my level of fame FOR NO REASON, worse still is if you happen to cross a guild memeber, they might just call in their buddies to drop your fame massively, or even better repeatedly report you falsely and get you banned. Alot of people like to KS, or KillSteal, which results in them getting most of the experience and leaving you with just a bit of it. Some people also like running up to you and dropping your fame level for no apparent reason. And anyone who is higher level then you by at least five levels will be very eager to brand you a n00b (a derogatory comment indicating lack of skill in a game).

You can keep a buddy list, and a guild list for whatever guild you may be in, but the amount of people you can have on the buddy list is painstakingly small.

Then there's the hackers. Some of them dont really bother you, but the ones that do are the ones that will literally take all the enemies in their vicinity and place them right in front of themselves (or at least out of people's reach and then smack them up, taking all the experience for themselves. Worse still are the ones that "Vaccum" all the items dropped but the enemies and taking it for themselves. The developers and game security handlers release patches every so often, but they're no match for the speed at which the new hacking tools come out.

Bottom Line:
If you have friends outside of the game, play with them, stay with them. Nice players are a dime a dozen, if you find one befriend them. Beware of random jerks and hackers.

Game Masters: 0/10
What Game Masters? They're pretty much non-existent from as far as I have seen. This is bad. They are essential for spotting and dealing with hackers and gamers that are damaging the community atmosphere.

Overall 26/70 or 0.371 (37%) rounded up = 4/10
I honestly gave the game a shot, after a good start, the game got boring quickly, the community raised the level of my annoyance and the only time I seriously enjoyed the game is with my brother and a friend, and even then, it is only because of the fact that we were too busy fooling around,being silly, and cracking jokes.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/07


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