Review by Xixor_Kasra
"What?! A game based on Maple Syrup?!"
As a matter of fact, it is NOT based on maple syrup. It's actually the name of the beginner's island, the island you start on. As far as I can tell, that is the only thing to do with the word maple in this game. So, if you were thinking about playing this game because it had something to do with a maple something ( maple syrup or maple leaves, that is all I can think of ) , this probably isn't the game for you. BUT, if you are looking for a 2d sidescrolling cartoonish mmorpg, then this is a great game to consider!
1. You will need a PC for this game! Sorry Mac users, there is no mac version for you! I don't recall the specs for this game, but it's nothing special.
2. Internet Connection. Since this is an MMORPG, it requires an internet connection. The game works great with a cable connection, but it lags every once in awhile with a dial up. So go with some kind of cable connection!
3. Not money! This game is free to play! And they promise it will always be! The only thing that costs is the cash shop. But it plays no important role in the game. So you aren't being limited if you don't use the cash shop.
4. Lots and lots of time for this game! If you are planning to level and get really strong really fast, then you are not allowed to have a life! Compared to other games, I thought it takes a great deal longer to level.
5. A comfy chair. You will be sitting a looooong time if you are determined to be at least decent in this game. Let's not get started on if you want to be strong.
You start the game off with what we call a beginner ( original right? ). You are on your way to train and become the greatest and most powerful Maple Citizen there is! Then again, you don't have to do that. You can just get on to talk to people. Or you could......train to become the greatest and most powerful Maple Citizen there is! That is everyone's desire in this game right? Unfortunately, it doesn't work to well for most. There is always some person in a game that defies all logic of sleep and literally plays non-stop to be the strongest. And lucky for them, it pays off.
Wizet did something a lot of companies don't dare to think of anymore. Make a 2d game. And they did it very well! As a whole the game is very smooth ( you know, if you are on a cable connection really. ). The character animation is smooth. There is many different spells that have cool looking visuals. Every item looks different. Sometimes weapons look cheezy, but for the most part, they look very cool. I like it how the background moves at different speeds considering how far you are from that point in the background. That may be something that many sidescrollers have, but they did a great job with it. There wasn't a lot wrong with the visuals at all. The only thing I really caught was the backgrounds could have pixelation problems here and there. But it isnt too noticable so it's ok.
When you first create your character, there are different things you can tweak. There isn't a lot to change though. You can customize your hair style/color, skin tone, look of the face, clothing, and weapon you start with ( sword, axe, and bat I believe ). Throughout the game there is stores where you can change your appearance in various areas. The only ones I can think of is the barber shop for hair style/color. And plastic surgery for the face type. Other than the physical look of your character, there is a lot of clothes to choose from! Each class within the game has their own individual armors and weapons. But there is lots of clothes that don't have class requirements. So, there is a very large variety of clothes you can wear. This game pulled off customization very well. Though the only drag of this whole matter is even though there is a lot to choose from, you end up looking identical to people sometimes. Especially within your own class. But you can definitely tell the different between classes.
There is five classes within the game. The beginner to start with, the warrior, the mage, the archer, and the theif ( or rogue ). You automatically begin with the, you guessed it, the beginner. Once you reach level 10, you can choose from one of the four main classes. But from then on you have to stick with that class. There will be class advancements within each class, so make sure you pick a class you want to stay with. Once you choose, you have it for life. You also have the choice of becoming a mage when you are level 8 for stat reasons. Every other class is pretty easy to advance to, because they all are based off of the strength stat for the most part. Whereas, a mage relies on his intelligence stat for strength. And there isnt any spells in the beginning, so you are stuck with low damaging attacks at the beginning with the mage.
The four main classes were put together nicely. They all have pros and cons. There are times when one class excels over another, but through job advancements, things can change and a different class will excel. They all have their own armors and weapons. For the most part, each class has their own abilities, but there is some abilities that maybe 2 classes hold. Each class has their own preferred monsters to train. For example, clerics excel over undead monsters because they have curative magic. Others may have a high magic defence and low physical defence, so a warrior would better excel than a mage. Then there may be some monsters that have a high attack power, low physical defence, and a high magic def. that an archer would have a better chance dealing with from afar. So the training for each class was put together very well.
One thing I really like about Maple Story is the great customization features. Not only with the look of your character, but the button config also! If you don't like certain things in the default setup with the config, you can change it to what you like. No problem. You can also hotkey spells and abilities any way you like! One thing I look for in a game is customization with the button config. And they do this very nicely!Bravo!
There is a lot to do within the game. You can, of course, go fight monsters and train to become stronger. Or if that isn't your cup of tea, there is (or will be at least) mini games you can play also. They haven't been released yet, so I can't write about them. Apart from that, there is many quests you can do. Such as jump quests. Really all it they are is quests that require you to test your jumping skills through some obstacle courses. They can be really challenging at times, but nothing impossible. There is also party quests. Well, A party quest. Where you can join up with three other people to solve puzzles and fight monsters as a team. And there is quests where you have to walk around and find things for people.
Fighting is the main part of the game. I like it how they designed the combat. It is all done in real time combat. Meaning you don't have time to think out a strategy. You just run in and fight non-stop until the monster is dead. Since it's done in real time, the battles are fought fairly quickly, but the game isn't very generous with experience points. It takes a LONG time to level up. It isn't very long at the beginning, but just wait. It goes downhill from the beginning. Once you do level up although, for the most part it can be rewarding. There is always something to look forward to with leveling up. Maybe you need just one more level to use your new weapon. Or maybe you need just one more for your brand new armor. Maybe that new ability? How about the next job advancement? Like I said, there is always something you are looking foward to in the next 2 or 3 levels.
I liked the music in Maple Story. You could easily catch on to the tune. There wasn't any tunes that were really annoying. The music did a good job with fitting into the enviroment. All around, the music was good. There isn't much to really say about the music except that is was good. Nothing awe-inspiring, but good nonetheless.
There was a large variety of sounds in the game. Every monster had their own sounds I believe. Every spell and ability had their own sound effect. There was occasionally a sound in the background ( such as the sky boat thing that goes to ossyria ), but not a lot of them. Sometimes the sounds a monster would make would get annoying after awhile. Especially when you are training, and you kill over 2000 of the same monster. Rah! But it's nothing too bad. Good thing Wizet was good at configuration and you can just turn down the sound! hehe.
Difficulty (depends on what you are doing really)
You can't really place a difficulty on this game. There are times when a monster is a pain in the butt to fight. But then again, there is monsters that are a cinch to fight. The quests vary in difficulty as well. Some are more challenging ( some jump quests ), others are really easy ( the beginner quests ).
Replayability ( not really one )
There really isn't a way to replay the game. Since the game never really ends. Though you might be tempted to go start another character and try a new class. The only other reason I could think of restarting is because you messed up stats. Or you hit the max level and finished everything. But if you accomplish that, I would have to brand you "one with no life whatsoever!" ^_^
Content and community?
If you are worried about the content of the game, no worries. It's a very clean game. There isn't any mature themes or any adult content within the game. But I'm only talking about the game. In all online game communities, there is always going to be jerks. There are some very irritating people on the servers. Some people get a big head and find themselves better than everyone else. Even though Wizet censored many many words, people find ways to get around it so they can "express" themselves with innappropriate words and ways. Then there is few people who are perverted and harrass people. But even though there are bad people in the community, there is a share of nice and clean people too. If you ask nicely, there will be people that will be more than happy to help you.
Should you play this game?
From my own opinion, If you enjoy mmorpg's, then you should definitely check this out. It is a fun game, and can kill many many hours ( lets not mention the number of brain cells you'll kill too ^_^ ) playing it. But don't take my word for it. See what you think of the game from this review.
All in all I very much so enjoy this game. Everything was nicely designed and created. The combat is fun, a little repetative, but fun anyways. There was many other things to do than just fight fight fight! And you can make new friends all at the same time! And maybe a few new enemies too.
There is a lot that I didn't cover in this review. There is way to much to do so. And keep in mind, for the most part, this was not an opinion based review. This review was mainly based on what the game strived for, and how they faired doing so. I hope this review helped you in some way. Whether I saved you many hours of your life, or if I single handedly convinced you to throw your life away, I hope I did good. Have fun!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/29/05
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