Review by Icycl3

"Tedious, but addicting."

Have you ever played one of the GBA Castlevania games, or Castlevania: Symphony of the night? Maple Story has a lot in common with those games. It is a 2D MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG) that is unique, and refreshing. The question is, how long will the game stay fun, until the monotony sinks in?

Maple Story has hardly any story whatsoever. You are simply cast into the wilderness of Maple Island, with a sword/axe/club in your hand. As a beginner, all you do is whack small things like mushrooms and snails to level up. At level 10 (Or 8 for mages) you can branch off into one of the four job classes: Thief, Bowman, Magician, or Warrior. All have distinct features to them, so you should choose wisely. I'm sure the classes are pretty much self explanatory, so I won't explain the differences between them.

After passing Maple Island, you can roam around the much larger Victoria Island, and level up. It gets much funner here, since there is a nice variety of enemies to fight. At level 30, you can branch off even further. Warriors can become a Fighter, Page, or Spearman. Mages can choose between Fire/Poison, Ice/Lightning and Cleric. Bowmen separate into either a Hunter (Who uses a bow) or Crossbowman. And lastly, Thieves split off into either Bandits or Assassins. Later on, once you're powerful enough, you can head to the last and most dangerous island; Ossyria.

When you start off, enemies damage you by simply walking into you. Not very original, I know, but that doesn't mean you won't get getting hit around a lot. Maple Story has a lot of different enemies, from snails and mushrooms to gollems and balrogs. If you get bored of one area, you could always try a different one.

The leveling system is pretty slow compared to most RPGs. There is a max level of 200, but nobody is even near that yet. Around level 20, it'll start taking 2-3 hours to level up. I am a level 31 Hunter myself, and it takes me about 6 hours to level up.

The graphics aren't good, nor bad. Since Maple Story is 2D, I don't think graphics should be too important, but the backgrounds, character animations, and character sprites are smooth and nice to look at. I'd just leave the graphics as "expected", since when a game is 2D you can't expect much. The backgrounds ARE detailed and colorful, though, as are the foreground and characters.

The music is pretty bland. There isn't much to say other then that. If you plan to play Maple Story for a long period of time, be sure to grab your Ipod/CD player or pop in a CD into the computer, because hearing the same noises over and over gets old quickly.

The worst thing about Maple Story is the community. No, not everybody is an arrogant, rude jerk, but the majority sure is. "Noob", and all iterations/synonyms of the word are thrown around more than feces in a cage full of dirty stinkin' apes. A lot of people will probably try to KS you (KS stands for kill steal; it's when people kill monsters you are trying to fight, therefore stealing your EXP) which can get very annoying, and hinder leveling a lot. There is also a horrible fame system, which was implemented poorly, and causes a lot of whining little kids to drop your fame.

Buy or Rent?
Well, technically you can't buy OR rent Maple Story; it's completely free to download and play. Supposedly, later this summer, there will be a cash shop where you can buy *optional* items with real money, but you don't need to if you don't want to. To download Maple Story, head over to www.mapleglobal.com.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/05


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