Review by Darksun45230

"The worst game you'll ever play, but love it."

How can one explain why I call this one thing and rate it another? MapleStory is an MMORPG, which stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. If you have ever played another MMORPG besides MapleStory you'll notice the 3D field and the fact you have to click to get around.

MapleStory offers a different approached altogether, you choose your character and immerse yourself in a 2D world where elements are simultaneously mashed together to create an experience like to other. What attracts a person to playing is the cute miniature anime people, nah, it's the gameplay. However despite its looks MapleStory is not meant for the child, nor the child at heart. MapleStory is so screamingly addictive from the moment you begin its impossible to break free. Some love it and almost everyone that plays it hates it. It's hard to understand what keeps a person playing; MapleStory is a test of endurance. It is not difficulty; it is not about flashy moves. MapleStory is about enduring throughout the levels until one master the ranks.

Gameplay - 10/10
The playing field is 2D, two dimensional. From the very moment you choose your character you could screw up your entire game. Stats must be applied by rolling an annoying dice which could take a few minutes to get what you want. There are four starter classes which go on to more advance and powerful ones. Warrior, Magician, Rouge, and Archer, however every character starts out as a Beginner.

Before you start you need to go online and research the stats the character you plan to be, because if you don't your ruined from the very moment you step into the game. Many, and I mean it, many people have made this very mistake (including me.) After you apply the proper stats using the dice, whether it is to STR, DEX, INT, LUK you choose your character and what he might look like. It's very limited, but don't pout yet, you can change it in Cash Shop.

Battling monsters, unlike other games, is genuinely exciting. There's no twirling screen, no turn based system, the commands are sitting on the keyboard and as soon as you press them they attack. At first as a beginner you start on snails, green snails. You get your feet wet levels 1-10 on Maple Isle, which is to say that you stay on that island. As a beginner you might meet a community of lowly people such as yourself that is why they created Channels.

Channels allow the player to travel to a different part of the server to a less occupied area. Now you are set, you can either level up by killing snails or do some of the quests. Quests alone won't level you up to level 10; also, most of the quests you will receive in this game require you to kill enough of a certain monster. A lot of quests in this game are unrewarding but there are a few that stand to make a good sum of EXP, or Mesos.

Mesos are general currency in MapleStory; you use it like you would regular money. As you move on in the game you will need Mesos to buy the best equipment for your character. Equipment in this game has a class limit and a level limit so make sure you have the right equipment before you buy. Equipment for almost any character is ugly as heck, but at least it shows up when you wear it.

When you finally reach level 10 you can leave Maple Isle and for lord's sakes please do. Make sure you know where to go and head to one of the cities where you can enhance your class. In Kerning the Dark Lord can make you into a Rouge, in Perion Dances with Balrog can make you into a Warrior, in Henesys you can become an Archer, and in Ellinia you can become a Magician.

Another great thing is the classes in this game, because without them MapleStory wouldn't be worth that much. Classes differ from what skills they obtain to the range of their damage. Rouges have the ability to be very fast when attacking and very fast when using their skills, what they lack in attack power they make up for with evenly ranged damage. They have the ability from the beginning to serious damage and rise through the ranks. However at higher levels the Rouge can become either a good long range Assassin or a very evasive Bandit that can hit the enemy six times per attack.

Warriors can become Pages, Fighters, and Spearman. Warriors have generally bad ranged damage but often deal the greatest amount to the enemy making them very popular. You can only choose one and the debate on which one is the better will go on forever.

Magicians become Wizards that can either choose to wield fire and the very useless poison, or lightening and ice which both are incredibly versatile but less strong then Fire Wizards. The third and most popular option is the Priest; they start out as Clerics, healing deals damage to undead monsters and revitalize the health of your party members. Clerics spend a lot more time training and as a result get a lot more mesos.

Archers, the seldom picked class. With the most popular class being Dragon Knights (Level 70 Spearman and up) and Hermits (Level 70 Assassins) Archers are left to pick up the dust. Truthfully, and many may object but a 2D world is not Archers. Their arrows get in the way a lot their skills tend to lack until the 3rd job. And their damage range is deplorable even a little demeaning. Unlike Assassin's where they can jump in order to avoid enemies from nearing them, Archers are constantly in need to knock back the enemy so they can fire. Archer's do get some credit though, as an unpopular class prices around the Free Market are generally low.

Overall gameplay sates the taste of what you are searching for, an amazing level of customization for such a basic looking game. A simplistic 2D battle system that requires no clicking of the mouse unless you are talking to an NPC. You can literally play this game using a joystick (excluding the fact you need a keyboard to talk to friends.) A basic and easy to learn skill system that allows the player to further enhance his or her own experience.

Community- 1/10
If you are unfamiliar with this term it basically means the other people that play MapleStory with you. I can't lie when writing a review; the community is garbage, crap, people who have nothing better to do with their lives abuse their accounts as much as they can. There is a myriad of people that beg you for mesos (beggars), try to scam you (scammers), and try to defame you for no reason (jerks/N00bz/bored people.) This is the result of MapleStory being popular and a free online game.

There is nothing anyone can do to stop these people as the people known as GM's (Game Masters) are usually seldom heard from and when they are they are only after hackers. Hackers are people who violate the terms and conditions that the company behind MapleStory, Nexon, has set down. Hackers are those characters you see pulling those monsters in that secluded corner of the world towards them and destroying them. They can use cheats to the point where it becomes heavily unfair toward legitimate players (legits.)

Among the people a forced social interaction takes place. I mention it's forced because it is, and well the results can turn quite nasty. Party quests, starting from level 20 you can participate in these events and form a party. The experience received can technically be better then regular training but it needs to be in bulk. For example, if a party only does a PQ once it can be less effective then regular training, if however you got in tow or three times in a row then your set in a good general direction.

Guilds are buddy lists with fangs. The overall experience of being in one can in fact affect you no way whatsoever. Only players with a lot mesos can start a guild, it takes a lot to upgrade a guild which the members always seem to demand of their leader because it does not come from their pocket. I say they are fangs because usually the less then mature types like to wreck havoc. If it is you and a few friends you know in real life and trust it can be a rewarding experience overall.

Partying, never do it at least not without a Priest in the party. Partying slows down training, even with bonus experience you get the leveling is generally slow and no one is looking for a slow grind. Leveling in general is hard enough; just don't get caught in a party. Though it is an effective tool to making friends (even with this bad of a community there are some decent souls.)

Even for people like me who tolerate bad communities you can see that online fees on other MMORPG's thins out the bratty types. The community of MapleStory could use some improvement 100% on that.

Try not being discouraged from playing though; there are people like guild leaders that have to filter these people in and out constantly. Though
oddly rare, there are still adults in the world of MapleStory.

Connections 9/10
A connection section is to test the overall sever amount, and overall with a good DSL modem players can go smoothly throughout the game. There are moments though especially with a DSL modem that crashes the game because of the 'lag.' Players try to cope with this by using pets with Meso Magnet and Item Pouches found in Cash Shop.
A few complaints here and there but sever has endured remarkably well over time and hopes to continue its smooth sailing.

Graphics and Sound: 4/10
If you are looking for a great environment with enchanted fields of magic...then go play Fable. You will not play this game for the sounds and graphics, because quite frankly they suck. If you have a low grade computer like most do, you can turn down the background for a speedier campaign. Otherwise the background is alright but not moderately impressive.

Elevator music, horrible, resounding bits of tunes put together to make the background music. Maybe I'm just a music snob, but to me, personally, I turn off the music when I play. Sound effects are even worse, I turn off that too. Almost all the time I found myself making my own play lists to listen to.

I will say this again, you will not play this game for the graphics and sound.
Overall, I just can't get enough of the game. I have been playing since ver. 04 and ever since I haven't been able to stop. There were times, many times, where I quit for one reason or another but I find a reason to come back. MapleStory is the epitome of MMORPG's, there is no other explanation.

I also hate this game; I hate the people that play. I hate the hackers that make this game even harder, I especially hate the fact that people on this board complain about everything from hackers to party quest glitches. With a unique system of battle that can really test you MapleStory is truly a test of endurance and patience.
Got to go I'm going to play MapleStory!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/09/07

Game Release: MapleStory (US, 11/30/05)

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