Review by Kaifta
"Addicting, cutesy, and fun"
Just as a beginning note. This review is made for MapleStory as of January 2010. Any new additions to the game will not be on here.
Gameplay - 8/10
The gameplay overall isn't bad, especially if you like 2-D side scrollers. Getting from levels 1-50 can be done in a little less than a month if you're serious about it. There are three different classes: Adventurer/Explorer, Cygnus Knight, and Aran. Adventurer is the best class for a new player. As it has the best tutorial(Maple Island), however, if you're more of an advanced player you can skip the tutorial and head straight to Victoria Island. The tutorial is simple, and the NPCs will teach you everything you need to know about basic skills and items. However, you've got to ask yourself..."Why is it called MapleStory when there is absolutely no story unless you decide to do every quest you can possibly find?"
Classes - 9.5/10
As earlier stated, there are three classes. Adventurers max level is 200. There are five sub-classes of Adventurer: Warrior, Archer, Magician, Thief, and Pirate. These you can be at level 10, exluding the Magician which you can become at level 8. All of these have at least two second job advancements, which you can get at level 30. Cygnus Knights also have five sub-classes: Dawn Warrior, Wind Archer, Blaze Wizard, Night Walker, and Thunder Breaker. These you can become at level 10. The bad part of Cygnus Knights is their max level is only 120. This is when an Adventurer would be getting their fourth job. Apart from that, Cygnus Knights sub-classes are almost the same as one of the second job advancements in Adventurer. Aran is another case entirely. It is like a Warrior, the difference being, the only weapon it can use, is a polearm. The other difference is that it doesn't get all its skills as soon as you get a job advancement. You have to do quests to get most of your skills. Arans have a max level of 200.
Graphics - 7/10
Unless you're into cutesy graphics, with headachingly bright maps, you shouldn't look at the surrounding area while you play this. The weapons and armors are done with good detail. Most the monsters are too. However, in one particular city, Ludibrium(A.K.A. Legoland), you can't look at the screen without seeing bright yellow, pink, and blue everywhere. Also it's the city of the random hearts on buildings. There are some places that don't seem too bright, Magatia in the Nihil Desert, or Masteria in New Leaf City, but apart from that, everything looks like it's made for a 5-year old's story book.
Sound - 2/10
Horrible. The music itself is mostly annoying, although it tends to match whichever city you're in the general area of. It will stop for a good ten minutes when the music runs all the way through. Then it picks back up with the exact same thing, only to die again when it's over. The sound effects aren't bad, until you've been listening to them for more than ten minutes. Hearing only the slightly annoying sound of your basic attack hitting a monster, then the monster dying, and sounding so pitiful it makes you feel bad that you killed it. I suggest turning the volume down, and listening to your own music.
Community - 5/10
There are some decent people. Most of them just couldn't care that you existed if their life depended on it. Some of them will trade you and beg for mesos(MapleStory's currency). Others will try to find low levels and scam them. Some that trade you and beg for mesos will be level 100+, where as you'll be level 20. There are other people who are just plain jerks, and some that you couldn't understand even if they tried to talk to you, just because their spelling and grammar is too horrible.
Controls - 10/10
The controls are amazing. You can customize them any way you'd like them. If you want a skill on the 9 button, you can have that. There are only a few keys you can't use. And these have something that have to be used in game for a certain purpose, like Enter or Escape. It has the best customization I've found for any MMORPG I've ever played.
Quests - 6/10
There are over 1000 quests. Most of these give basic items or equipment. Sometimes you get mesos or fame(an almost completely pointless number of how popular you are, someone level 15 or higher can fame/defame you.) Certain armor requires a certain amount of fame. Apart from that, I can't think of anything it's actually worth. There are some quests that give scrolls(items you use to upgrade armor and weapons), and you can sell scrolls for mesos to other players. There are class quests(special quests that only your class can do) and these are the only storyline you have in this game. There is almost always a quest you can do, which is better than most other games where you have to grind for an hour just to level and get a new quest. Although after you hit level 70, the quests start to diminish notably.
Party Quests - 5/10
A year ago, I would've given Party Quests a 10/10, but they've added too many, that some party quests are virtually pointless now. There are a few good party quests, depending on your definition of good. If you like the fastest possible leveling, then you should get to level 21, do Kerning Party Quest to level 30, then do Monster Carnival Party Quest to level 51, then Monster Carnival Party Quest to level 71. Then you either grind, or Magatia Party Quest/Pirate Party Quest. If you're looking for more fun value, and less repetitive leveling value. Then you do Kerning Party Quest to 31, grind to 35, Ludibrium Party Quest to 51(you may even get the +1 all stat glasses if you complete this party quest 35 times), then either Pirate Party Quest or Ludibrium Maze Party Quest to either 101 or 71. However, people tend to not do Ludibrium/Maze Party Quests because Monster Carnival/2 levels you faster, if you win. Ludibrium Party Quest is the second best party quest for money. Amoria Party Quest being number one. This, however, requires marriage in-game. Which requires one of the two people getting married to spend real life money, unless you're lucky enough to win some NX cash in one of Nexon's events.
Cash Shop - 4/10
The cash shop is generally good, if you like spending money on a free game. There are some advantages in-game, like marriage, or Free Market shops. Mostly it's just the amazingly large amount of decorative clothes you can wear, or weapons you can have over your real weapon. You can also buy items in the cash shop that can change your eyes(style and color)/hair(style and color)/skin color.
Replay Value - 9/10
There is an incredible amount of replay value in this game. You can have up to five characters on one account, at this current moment. They can all be different genders/classes or have different looks. It's fun to try all the classes, and you can always delete a character if you get bored of it.
Overall - 8/10
It's fun, addicting, and you constantly forget the time while you play. It gets boring on occasion, but then you can just make a new character and rejoin the fun. It's also 100% free to download and play. The downloading is easy and doesn't take as long as some other games I've played. If you play, you'll find yourself spending more time on it than on what you'd normally do. Just remember to take a break on occasion. After three hours, MapleStory will give you a note in your chat bar saying you should take a break, perhaps you can take time from your party questing or grinding to listen to it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/11/10
Game Release: MapleStory (US, 11/30/05)
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