Review by Coyerre

"Great game; bad players"

First off, I have only played Maple Story for a short while, but already seem to feel the need to review it (plus I'm resting :P.) For those who don't know; Maple Story combines RPG elements onto a 2D platforming level structure. It uses cute anime-style graphics with colourful monsters like tree stumps and snails (and eventually giant blue blobs that fly on clocks o_0.) I rate the game highly; all apart from its one extremely disappointing feature... the players.

Graphics: 9/10
Graphics are amazing. They are interesting and really help to express yourself in the world. From the magnificent background to the emotions that are expressible to the wondrous ranges of monsters to the amazing ranges of armours, weapons, accessories and more. The only problem is they can cause lag, and turning down the quality on them makes them look terrible. But the levels (if on full quality view) are drawn magnificently; moving backgrounds showing trees or totem poles or clouds of swirling dust. And the reason I used in order to convince to someone to join: Any game where you can kill a giant mushroom with a face must be good. The variety of each area and monster is stunning, with each place sectored up with similar terrain and monsters that fit into the environment. The entire graphics engine just fits with everything else; even the characters don't seem out of place. The artists behind the game should pat themselves on the back; they've done a very good job.

Sounds/Music: 8/10
Personally, I think the music is great and really fits with the themes and layouts of each separate level. I have heard many reviews saying how horrible and unvaried the music is, so it's very down to your personal taste. The sounds are interesting to say the least. There are some great sounds, some really horrible sounds and some sounds that make you laugh and wonder what the hell the sound people were thinking. Lots of air-filled/slime-based monsters seem to make fart-like noises which can really make everything far more interesting. While there are very few sounds for skills, jumps etc, there are plenty of different sounds for the monsters dying.

Gameplay: 7/10
Not great. Your best idea before starting is get a few friends to join you in your adventures and make sure you build your character PERFECT! Otherwise very soon you will either give up due to lack of interest, or realise that your character does far less damage than everyone at lower levels. The main reason for having friends is it is an easy way to party and partying is one of the few ways to keep interest. This game can become extremely repetitive, so if you feel the leveling pace is slowing down too much for your liking, just say "Well I'll play for 1 hour every night, so I should hopefully be level 26 by Saturday." Some people, like me, do not really mind the repetitiveness of it, especially as it is not just click, wait, click, wait as many online games seem to be. This game also has a very unique still of strategy. You can run into a pile of monsters, slash away, then run out unharmed if you are skilled about it. Very nicely made.

Story: 3/10
Basically, the only story is your own. You train and level up. Woohoo! There are quests that occasionally seem to follow a mild storyline, but like many online games there lacks a real story to follow. This does allow easy expression over how and where you want to train. As long as you can kill the stuff there, away you go!

Game System: 7/10
The monsters and items and armours and classes, mostly made very well. Monsters are inventive and original; not in many other games could you battle with a walking clock. Size seems to mostly relate to strength, with a few exceptions, but otherwise it is a good system to follow. The armours for all classes are suitable and are not horrible. There could be more variance other than just colour and some armours do look terrible. The only real way to make yourself look normal is to pay real money. The items in the game fall into a few sections; useable i.e. food, potions; drops i.e. skins and heads (bleurgh!); and quest items. Most drops are used in quests, or in the manufacture of weapons and armour. Now the class system: not particularly great. Each class gets a selection of skills and every level you can distribute points to them. Not overly exciting until you hit new classes. As of yet you can only get to the third job in each class, meaning you can only get a maximum level so far of 130. Not that most people are likely to reach this, just informing you it's there. But the game system is acceptable.

Community: 1/10
The real letdown. Once a week a mildly nice person may walk up and say "hi" and you say "hi" back. If you weren't friends with people before, don't expect to make friends ingame until you reach ridiculously high levels. The people who play this game: 90% are horrible n00bs. There is an annoying feature called Fame; required for some quests and armour. People use this as a chance for them to punish you for anything. People will defame you for being a class they don't like, for not being there, for training near them, because they're angry, because they want to make you angry, because they're bored; basically you will get randomly defamed a lot. Most people would suggest just ignoring it or just reporting them. I normally feel this isn't enough, as the GMs rarely do anything to help stop the n00bs ruining the game. So my usual approach is to get as many people as I can to mass defame them, get them to report them, I defame them and report them, then ask why they did such a thing, and mither them until they tell me. This may be over the top, but it is probably the only way they will learn.

Overall; this game is very good and addictive, just don't expect anyone on the game to be nice and look out for you. Occasionally you will meet the odd nice person, but they are the minority. Just a warning.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/04/06

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