Review by Spoonzmeister
So six months ago I mentioned to my friend that I was thinking of trying an MMORPG, and she said, "Hey, try MapleStory. It's free and it's really addictive. The graphics are pretty simple, so it won't strain your system so much." So I did.
You start out on Maple Island with the option of going to Tutorial Land, a place full of monsters that can't injure you. Before long, you're thrust into a world full of cute little snails and mushrooms: the basis of all the Maple Universe. Out in the wilds of Maple Island, you begin to learn about the different jobs available and start to collect your first mesos (the currency of the Maple Universe) and items. Eventually you leave the gently-cushioned newb world and enter the real Maple World.
Graphics: 8/10 (Good-looking and easy on the system but boxy)
By this time you'll have already noticed that the graphics are different from your conventional MMO. Cute "chibi" characters and side-scrolling landscapes are what make this world. The graphics are often involved and detailed while at the same time simplistic. This trademark style is used to create anything from a serene town to an eerie cavern to a beautiful forest. MapleStory's graphics invite its users to explore as well as to warn them when they may be going a little too far.
Music: 7/10 (Pleasantly atmospheric but annoying after several hours of play)
MapleStory's music works well with its graphics and characters to define the atmosphere of the land. The bouncy and energetic songs compliment the cute monsters and locales well, but after many long hours of grinding (or incessant training on one particular map), the music may drive you to insanity. After three hours of play, MapleStory begins to present a notice to your client regarding the amount of time you've been playing and suggesting that you take a break; this may be because they know if you play for too long, you'll be hearing the songs in your sleep. The game comes with a mute button, however, that allows you to silence the in-game music and listen to a media player of your choice, but doing so may affect your game's performance.
Community: 3/10 (What can I say, it's an online game...)
As with any MMO, there are are lots of friendly people willing to help you out as a beginner. As with any MMO, for every one of these kind people, there are approximately two dozen noobs: any person who is intentionally rude or annoying, varying from random de-famers to inconsiderate kill stealers (kill stealing refers to a situation in which someone kills a monster that you were targeting, willfully or not). When intending to join MapleStory, it's best to convince friends to join or find out if you already have friends in-game, as having people like yourself to play with from the start will drastically help your Maple experience.
There's a little of something for everyone in MapleStory, whether you want to be the faithful cleric to stick at his or her friends' sides and heal them in a tight spot or to be the assassin on the front lines, leaping around the map with speed and agility throwing blow after blow at the threat below. Some people never quite find the class that works best for them, and some lose years and years of their lives to this game. As the only MMO I've ever played, I can only say that MapleStory is the best that I've played, but undoubtedly there are better MMOs out there with a more involved plot and more enthralling graphics and music. So why do I still play Maple, after all the months lost to leveling up for absolutely no purpose?
It's free. :D
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: MapleStory (US, 11/30/05)
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