Review by ShurikenOfLight

"Epitome of fail? I THINK NOT!"

To write about a PC game to me, seems a bit nerve wrecking, because of the intense detail it could be slammed down upon. Most of the time, I would review games that can't have regular updates, or just regular RPGs (Role-Playing Games), and not MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). Since playing this game since early beta days, the factual updates I have can greatly contribute to my honest opinion, but let's get on to the review!

In the Beginning
This game is a free, 2D game developed by the South Korean company Wizet, and Nexon depending on where it is located in the world. So far, countries that have this game are (in order of release date) Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, North America (Global), Maple S.E.A, Europe, Hong Kong, and Brazil. The plot diagram was to basically open up a free game for people to communicate, and as a hobby to people of all ages.

Unfortunately, this is where the game gets a bit out of hand. This is the part where a game like this turns off most people, because since it's open to everywhere in the United States of America, everyone has biased views of different things, and arguing freely without any will can cause a stirrup of drama. Half of the time, the community is spamming, and shooting everyone's ideas down. But, on the other hand, you get to meet a lot of new people, and can find a lot of help not easily attainable, and gather memories that can last a lifetime. Either way, it depends on your views of people if you like the community or not.

For a role-playing game, this one takes the cake. You can choose any job you would like, and basically do as you please, no matter what the circumstances. Having this sort of free ability shows a strong sense of pride, and can help you with leadership skills. Being able to go from a Rogue to a strong and mighty Night Lord, or from a Magician to a magical Bishop, or even staying a permanent beginner shows the variety you can have with this game!

Just like I stated, you can have as much variety as you really please with this, but the only downfall is that you can only have three characters on one world/country/land and so on. Everyone starts out as a beginner, which is normal/neutral and you can eventually become a Thief, Magician, Archer, Warrior, Pirate, or stay a Beginner, every class is different, and has two other classes of jobs, stemming into a large tree of jobs. For Beginners, you stay the same forever. For Thieves, you can become a Assassin or a Bandit at second job, then Assassins become Hermits and Bandits become Chief Bandits, then hermits become Night Lords, and Chief Bandits become Shadowers, you can even hybrid as a Sindit (assassin/bandit). Warriors can become Fighters, Pages, or Spearmen, and they progress into Crusaders, White Knights, and Dragon Knights, eventually ending with Heroes, Paladins, and Dark Knights, Warriors along with Magicians have the most variety of job choosing. Moving along to Magicians, you can become a Cleric, Fire/Poison Magician, or Ice/Lightning Magician. Next, you stumble upon Priest, Fire/Poison Mage, and Ice/Lightning Mage. Concluding Magician life is Bishop, Fire/Poison Arch Mage, and Ice/Lightning Arch Mage. Bowmen are a whole new story, with bow-slinging and that sort of crazy fun, you can either choose to be a Hunter or a Crossbow(wo)/man, then a Ranger or Sniper, with finally a powerful Bowmaster or Marksman. Ending off the countdown is the new class of Pirates, which have the choice of Infighter or Gunslinger, next is a swash-bucking Buccaneer or sword-slinging Valkyrie, and ending the countdown is the fourth job classes of Viper, and Captain. In any case, a plethora of variety in this category. To advance to jobs, you have to go to specific areas and talk to your job master, warriors are in Perion with "Dances with Balrog", Magicians are in Ellinia with "Grendel the Really Old", Bowman are in Henesys with Athena Pierce, and finally Thieves are in Kerning City with Dark Lord. Pirates are still technically unknown to the U.S.

In the US version of this game, currently we have 9 worlds to play on. They are (in release order) Scania, Bera, Broa, Windia, Khaini, Bellocan, Mardia, Kradia, and the newest Yellonde. You can play on any of these worlds, and play on any maps, which are all the same in these worlds. You can even switch worlds! The only difference is where you play at, and how crowded each world is, which remains top with Scania, and bottom with Yellonde. In the future, more worlds will be released.

Level drop off/Advances=7/10
The level category is something that a lot of people argue about, because most people want to be "reborn" at level one, with all the same equipment, just not the same power, etc. The level drop-off remains at 200, with a whopping 2121276324 experience, and some monsters only give 1 experience point! The job advancements start at level 8 for magicians, because they need the extra points, and 10 for all other jobs, then second job comes at level 30, third job at level 70 and fourth job at lvl 120. Hypothetically speaking, if fifth job was ever released, it would be most likely at level 180. You go through the maple life fighting monsters, questing, meeting new friends, and leveling up! Technically, end game would be level 200, but you can make currently 27 characters in all, 3 per world, or you could delete current ones, or even make new accounts.

Training is something you can do alone, or with a party. Training in this game, is also known as grinding, if you are fighting monsters to level up, or simply pqing (party questing) if you are joining a party quest to level up with a team. Some maps are only available at certain levels, and so are certain quests, and party quests. Each of those categories give off different amounts of experience depending on how you level, where you level, and when you level. It is possible to buy 2xp, or 2 times the regular experience to double your speed, or you could get lucky and buy 2xp while a 2xp event is going on, thus resulting in 4xp or four time the experience. Experience that is doubled, or quadrupled is only for monsters, and quests stay the same no matter what, unless it is changed in one of the updates.

Skills are for the jobs you choose, the list of skills vary depending on class, and etc. Every class has the 5 beginner skills, which are Three Snails, Recovery, Nimble Feet, Legendary Spirit, and Monster Rider, as well as fourth job skill Maple Warrior. As the skills progress for each class, they divide and have alike names and phrases for each skill.

Updates are nothing special, except for a chance for the Administrators to add in new material, and give more chances for playtime as well as interactions.

Guilds are basically small groups of people that pay in game money known as Mesos to name their own group. They can go on special Guild Quests, and can even have alliances with other guilds. This is a great way to meet new people, and have fun while you play this magnificent game!

Non Playable Characters (NPCs)
Non-playable characters, also known as NPCs are basically characters that stand there with idol conversations, and can embark you on different quests. These NPCs reside in different maps, including Lith Harbor, Henesys, Ellinia, Kerning City, Perion, Sleepywood, El Nath, Orbis, Ludibrium, Aqua Road, Omega Sector, Mushroom Shrine, Amoria, Korean Folk Town, Showa, New Leaf City, Herb Town, Mu Lung, and finally the desert town of Ariant. You can also buy medicines, equip items, and etcetera items from these NPCs.

Cash Shop/Pets=7/10
In the cash shop, which is a feature that has been in every MapleStory thus far, you can buy items for yourself to get advanced like Gachapon which can help you get items not easily attainable, or just for money reasons alone. You can also go to the Beauty Parlor, and get different colored hair and eyes, as well as many accessories and you can even buy pets that can loot items off the ground, and mesos!

Mesos are the money system in MapleStory, the minimum is zero, and the maximum is 2.147 billion mesos. With mesos, you can buy things out of shops, and you can also buy equipment from other players. People usually gather this type of money from Gachapon, only accessible from Cash Shop.

Fame is just a international thing, and has no significance except for the fact that you need a certain amount to wear specific equipment, and you need certain amounts to do quests. Fame can be used to show how well known you are among all players, or just for the fun of it. You can have a maximum of 30,000 fame and a minimum of -30,000 as well.

Play Time/Replayability=7.5/10
This game has no set playtime; you just play for fun until you want to quit, or if you want to restart on a new world. If you play as every different class, who knows what you can end up with! End game is considered level 200, but you can always start new.

Dexterity, Strength, Luck, Intelligence!?
These four things are what determine your class most of the time, the amount of hp and mp you have, and your power. Luck or Luk is usually for Magicians and Thieves, Strength or Str is for Warriors or Strength Bandits, Intelligence or Int is also for Magicians, and Dexterity or Dex is usually for Bowman and Thieves. Broken down into categories for classes are Thieves=Luk/Dex/Str, Warriors=Str/Dex, Magicians=Luk/Int, Bowmans/Pirates=Dex/Str/Luk.

Events are something the Administrators add in to get the community together and have fun. Within these events, you can have experience events, certain new quests, and most of the time special deals that have to do with holidays and cash shop!

Since this game really has no storyline, I don't give it a high score, but since it has numerous amounts of variety, it does have that, which has to do with the story.

The controls can be arranged however you want, and you can set the way you move anyway on your keyboard, and you also use your mouse. It's possible to use a controller as well, giving you more mobility to do as you wish with it. Basically, you get to do anything you want with it!

The music in this game most of the time is very lonely, and boring. It changes in most of the towns, which gives it a few points. It has a low amount of variety, and is straight instrumental. Certain bosses have their own music, and that is how it is with towns as well.

Quests can be done in 3 different ways. First off is regular quests, which are according to job, fame, and level, these are done on your own to get special items and experience. Second, are party quests, which can be done in various towns like Kerning City, Henesys, Orbis, Ariant, and any map with Spiegelmann. The final way is Guild Quest, which is another form of party quest, but with the guild, and it is accessible from Perion. All of these give off special items, and experience. You can do certain party quests according to level only, and can't do guild quest unless you're in a guild.

Items/Weapons/Item Synthesis/Scrolls=8/10
The items in the game give it a lot of variety as well. The different categories are Equipment, Use-able, Set-up, Etcetera, and Cash Shop. In the equipment, you can equip your equips, which can be basically everything including shoes, hats, weapons, accessories, mouth-pieces, gloves, earrings, tops, bottoms, overalls, and sometimes glasses. The use-able items are potions for hp and mp, and to improve strength and such, and bows for bowman and stars for thieves. In the set-up are items for holidays like letters for trees, and chairs to sit in and restore horse and mana power (hp and mp). In the etcetera category, you have items you can get from bosses, and regular maple monsters, to sell or for quests. Finally, cash shop has all your cash shop items, including pets, gachapon, clothes, and beauty shop supplies.

Monsters are from levels 1-200 and usually mobbed according to level. Higher leveled monsters stick with higher levels, and lower with lower. The bosses are usually the monsters leveled 100+, and most of the time requires a party to take it down. All monsters have HP and MP, and you beat them by depleting their HP source. Some monsters are elemental weak, which is where Magicians alike come in to play. There are hundreds of different monsters, and bosses, and some of these bosses are only fight-able through quests.

Overall score=8/10
I give this game a overall score of 8/10 mostly because of the keyword which is variety. You can basically roam around and do whatever fancies you the whole time throughout your maple life. No one is bossing you around or telling you what to do, and the policies are pretty lenient for being banned.

I conclude this review with my overall views on this game. I think it has a certain type of taste that you can't get with any other computer game, and it is like nothing I've ever experienced. I don't have that much to say about my conclusion, except for that this game is great, and Wizet/Nexon did an amazing job producing it.

Ending Statements
I thank GameFAQS for hosting this game for reviewing, and I thank Wizet and Nexon for developing the game, as well as all of the producers who kept it up and running.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/25/08

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

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