Review by sironyx
"Some strengths, some serious weaknesses."
In this review I want to bring out some strengths and weaknesses I believe are present in the game, should you want to invest time and play it seriously.
There is NO story in Maple Story. No background info, no idea why you are fighting, no cut scenes, no plot twists, no character depth, very little dialogue and the whole game can best be described as "shallow."
The main motivation to play MS is to level. The only way to level is to hack and slash indefinitely. It is very tedious. You simply become obsessed with getting to the next level and calling others below you NOOBZ. It is mindless, requires no strategy, and relies heavily on fast hands.
The quests are repetitious and uninteresting. There are two main types of quests I have encountered so far: Item gathering and obstacle. The obstacle quests become infuriating. If you are not good at platform jumping games you will find this terribly frustrating. Item gathering quests require you to kill more enemies to gain items, or buy them from others. Your rewards often are worth less than what you paid to buy the items for. It is best to check the Quest FAQ and determine on your own which quests are worth doing based on what reward you get. Some quests require you to get just one item, but it is EXTREMELY rare. And example of this is the Glass Shoe. It is dropped by a Fire Boar. People I have talked to spend weeks trying to find one. Another is called Blackbull's Deed.
Kill stealing. There is no penalty for killing a monster someone else is attacking. There should be. The best defense is to get on an empty channel and find a room to train alone. If you want to play with others, be prepared to be KSed, especially by Mages (and especially if you are a short range Warrior like me.)
Equipment. For some reason, armor and weapons never match the time period. When I reach level 30 for instance, I'd have a Roman Centurian helmet, and Arabic scimitar, and medieval chainmail armor. It looks RIDICULOUS. You are also very limited as to what you can make your character look like without buying items from the Cash Shop, which requires real dough. This is where Wizet makes its money. As of the fall 2005, it is STILL unreleased.
Admin. This troubles me the most. Wizet has done a great thing to make this game free, but they rarely get things right when it comes to living up to what they tell their players regarding server checks, patch releases, and so on. To make it short, they rarely deliver what they promise. They do not respond to emails, not even auto responses, and account problems have been notorious. There are not enough Game Masters, no server monitoring, nada. They establish "overly strict" rules in order to play the game, but none are enforced. The curse filter is easily sidestepped. Also there are a slew of spelling and grammar errors still present in the commercial release. You get the feeling that 14 year olds are in charge. No offense to any 14 year olds that are responsible. All 7 of you. That brings me to my next point:
Young players. I'm an older player, so if you are like me be prepared to be overrun by 8-13 year olds asking for FREE STUFFZ PLZ PLZ PLZ over and over. Random defaming, racial slurs, profanity, kill stealing, text in all CAPS, and a general sense of hatred and nastiness can be found in the game.
The graphics are well done for a 2d game. The characters are superdeformed (huge head, tiny body, think Final Fantasy VI) which is not my cup o' tea, and they are very "cutsey", but done well.
There are many many many types of items and equips, and while some seem to serve no purpose, it is fun to collect and trade them.
Seasonal events and items. Excellent idea to add some new content and break up the monotony of training.
When you die you do lose some EXP, but you get to keep all items, money, and never drop a level. No one can steal your items unless you are STUPID enough to play "drop games" or let someone "borrow" an item. Trust no one. People claim to have been "hacked" in order to try and guilt you into giving them items. Don't fall for it.
Only monsters can hurt you, not other players.
You have different job classes (think Final Fantasy V) and those jobs will split off into more powerful subcategories as you reach certain levels (Think Vandal Hearts.) Each have their own abilities and equips. This IMHO is the best feature of this game.
Being that this is a commercial released MMORPG, you get expansions and new items from time to time. Although again, Wizet can never release anything on time, not even remotely. However, the game world is vast with many areas and many types of enemies, hidden rooms and different ways to get where you want to go.
Oh and, ITS FREE.
Overall 6/10. Maple Away.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/05/05
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