Review by namedidntfit

"MapleStory, the game with no story."

Hello! I'm sure you've all heard of the MMORPG called MapleStory. It's a 2D (yes that's right it's 2D!) fantasy platformer, meaning you can jump around, attack stuff and gain levels. When you first start off, leveling is really quick and easy, and before you know it, your off the beginner island and your ready to go adventure on the mainland. Here are my scores for each section of the game...

Story - 1/10

Um.. what? How did this game get a 1 out of 10 in Story if the game is called MapleStory? Well, there is absolutely no story in this game. I looked, but it just comes down to this: Your a guy who wants to kill stuff. Well that's pretty cool.

Graphics - 9/10

Since these are 2D graphics, there really isn't anything mind blowing about the graphics. However, the 2D graphics in the game are very nice. The animations are very colorful and fluid (although they do get old pretty quick) and the monsters are very creative and funny. (snails, mushrooms, stop signs, and many other weird and... interesting creatures) Overall, the graphics are very nice and they should run smoothly on most machines. They are very pleasurable to look at, especially when you get to new places with exciting new creatures.

Community - 4/10

This is where a lot of people get turned off by this game... The community in this game is... horrible. When you first start, many of the higher level players will treat you like dirt and many people will call you a noob. This isn't a very hurtful word, but still. After you start gaining levels and improving your look, people will treat you nicely and you will eventually stopped being treated as a nub. But still, the community really needs improvement in this game. Not many people are very helpful.

Gameplay - 6/10

Again, this is also where people get turned off. If you want to get further in the game, you have to gain levels, and you do this by gaining a certain amount of experience, which increases everytime you level up. It can increase to ridiculous amounts and you will find it nearly impossible to level up. You can do quests, which give you small and decent amounts of experience, and they can also give some good items which you may need later on in the game. Then there are party quests, and these require that you gather a minimum of 4 party members and you go into a special area where you must complete certain objectives. (i.e., get a certain amount of tickets dropped by monsters, kill a certain amount of monsters, kill a boss, etc.) Then there is the dreaded grinding. You can just straight up grind through this entire game. You can get to the max level (200) by just killing stuff. This can get EXTREMELY repetitive, and it will make you want to cry sometimes. Since this is a free to play game, the company needs to make money somehow. So then there comes the Cash Shop, a place where people use real money to buy in-game items to make you look cooler, get better drops from monsters, get more experience from monsters, or get items from a vending machine. (yes that's right.) This may sound pretty cool, but outfits for your character can get to $25. Jesus. Seriously, the Cash Shop is really greedy, and although this is a free to play game, if you want to get to a higher level, your going to eventually have to buy the Cash Shop currency (NX Cash) in order to help you level, so really this isn't a free game, you'll eventually have to buy something if you don't want to level extremely slow and so you don't look like a beggar! Phew...

Customer Support - 2/10

I have had many problems with this game, such as files being corrupted, the client not working, the game freezing, and I have never once gotten help from a GM no matter how many queries I send to them. I have never seen a GM in-game, and I have heard that all they do is stand there and do nothing. I have also heard, however, that once in a while they'll do a mass ban on hackers and cheaters. This is good, but overall the customer support is terrible. I had to solve all my in-game problems by myself or with the help of other players. Seriously Nexon, get it together! Your players need you!

Guilds - 10/10

This is probably the best part of this game. A guild is a massive group of people meant to help each other out and to take on challenges otherwise impossible. You can meet many great people in guilds and having a guild makes the game a whole lot more enjoyable. (only if its an active guild, though!) People will help you will your problems and you will have many laughs while in guilds. Trust me, having a guild is mandatory if you don't want to die of boredom while leveling up.

Classes - 9/10

The classes in MapleStory aren't very creative, but they are all balanced and fun. There's the warrior, the archer, the magician, the thief, and the newest addition, the pirate. They are all fairly balanced, but you will probably only find 1 that fits your play style. (mine is the warrior) They all have pretty useful skills and they can all be great fun to try out. The warrior is your basic close-combat class. They have the most HP and the least MP (HP - Health Points MP - Mana Points) out of all of the classes. The archer is the bow user, and they use arrows and bows to increase their attack power. They have standard HP and MP. The Magician is your magic user. They attack from a distance with magic spells. They have the lowest HP out of all the classes, but they also have the highest MP. (I think...) The thief has a choice of 2 things. He can use a dagger or throwing stars. The dagger requires you to attack close-up, so they take more damage, but this way they can take down multiple enemies quickly. The throwing star thief uses a claw and throwing stars. They attack from a distance but if a monster gets close-up, they have to run back in order to attack the monsters otherwise they'll only hit 1's. They both have standard HP and MP. Lastly, we have the pirate. They also have a choice of 2 things. You can be a brawler (uses fist weapons) or a gunslinger. (uses guns from a distance) The brawler is a very strong class with fist and backflip attacks. They use knucklers which are the weapons required in order for them to attack. The gunslinger uses guns and bullets to attack monsters from a distance, but if a monster gets close-up, they have to run back in order to attack the monsters otherwise they'll only hit 1's. They both have standard HP and MP. Overall the classes are pretty balanced and all of them are fun. Try them all out!

Content - 10/10

This game is pretty damn big. You start off on Maple Island, a puny little island floating in the sky. After that you go to Victoria Island, a much bigger island with much more stuff to do. Then there are much bigger worlds out there to explore after Victoria Island, so go and kill stuff! There are many quests to take (although all of them are pretty much the same thing -.-') and many party quests to do. Nexon is always adding more things such as more quests, new islands, new monsters, new items, and more! There are so many maps, monsters, items and people to talk to, that you might never finish. There is only one complaint I have... a lot of these updates are for the Cash Shop. Yep. They add new items and say "Buy them now!!!" I really wish that they would focus on more game content, but other than that this game has a lot to do, and it will take you a long time to reach the max level. (200)

Sound/Music - 7/10

This music in this game is... interesting? The music really does fit the game, and the tunes are very catchy, but after a while you'll probably just turn off the music and listen to some of your own music. The sound effects are pretty good, but again they become repetitive after a while and they will eventually get annoying, so you'll probably end up turning them off, too. It is rather refreshing, however, when you go into a map with music you've never heard before. Some of the music in this game is cool, though.

Controls - 10/10

The controls are completely customizable. You can change them to however you see fit. (except for movement with arrow keys, but this is perfect anyway) You can put your skills anywhere and you can put hotkeys in any place that is comfortable or familiar to you. Since you can pretty much change them however you want, this is not really an issue. The game also plays great, so you won't have much of a problem here.

Closing Comments

MapleStory is a very solid game. There are many things to do and there are lots of people to meet. You can make many friends and this game is going to keep you occupied for a long time. This game could use some work (grinding made a bit more bearable) but overall it's a very fun and time consuming game. If you have time to waste and you want to have some fun and meet new people and discover new places, then play MapleStory. Or go outside.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/14/09

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

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