Review by spazbutt32

Reviewed: 03/30/05

A phenomenal, fresh look at Korean MMO's. And the best part? It's free!

Maple Story is a Korean MMORPG. You create a character and from then on you can do whatever you choose to.

Music 9/10: This is probably the best part of this game. I'd go as far as to say that the music is what kept me for more than a few days. The music varies widely, from a peaceful wilderness feel to a sharp, ghetto-style beat. It's really something you don't want to miss, only a few of the tunes are repetitive or annoying.

Graphics 10/10: 2D has never looked so good! The requirements for playing aren't very steep by today's standards, and the characters themselves are very well-designed. The backgrounds and objects in the foreground look like they were designed by artists, and have some realism, unlike some other games.

Gameplay 9/10: Moving in general is very simple, and jumping is Mario-esque, not too high but not too far. Sometimes it does feel a bit restricting, though. Attacking enemies is simple; you just press a button to swing your sword/axe/staff/fish. Yes, you can whack things with a fish. The experience system is a bit long, or rather, the learning curve. It seems easy when you can gain a level in twenty kills, but a while later you'll be killing 8,000 enemies to one level. It doesn't really speed up much, but it does, when it does depending on the class you choose to play. Items are also fairly simple, easy to move about and use. It is sometimes annoying when you accidentally use a potion instead of putting it back in its slot, though.

Community 8/10: Possibly the worst part of this game is the player base. The game does look rather childish, so there are some ten year-olds who play it, although they don't detract from the gameplay, sometimes immature jokes bother other players :P A sad thing though is the fact that many people are beggars, when the one thing Maple Story teaches is patience. There are also people who will scam you, or try to, anyway. It's not as bad as it seems, there are some really nice people who play. Compared to some other games I've played, such as.. Gunbound, the players here are rather timid :P

Balance 9/10: Early in the game some characters are better than others, like Warriors dominating before the first job change. A little later the tide seems to turn to Mages, having a high damage ranged spell, so most mages are hated and branded as Kill Stealers, although I'm a mage and I can say for certain that this is not so :) Archers don't come into power until level 40 or so, and Assassins, Bandits and Warriors shine around 45. It's generally balanced but it does run in phases. It will change if you work hard enough though.

Replay Value: Infinity/10: Well it's a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, there are theoretically infinite possibilities :P I suppose you can't really 'replay' it either, but..

In all, this game is one of the newest waves of 'cool' on the internet, and while not being very well-known, it is immensely popular in Asia and growing fast in the rest of the world. It's a new idea and frankly, it's something I'll be playing for at least a year. Yes, it's that good. And it's even free, so you get an awesome experience for absolutely no fees, apart from whatever you/your parents pay for your internet connection. :P

Overall Score: 10/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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