MapleStory - Developer: Wizet / Publisher: NEXON - Please note that this is a review of the MapleStory Global Version
This is MapleStory, some Korean (no, this game is not Canadian) MMORPG that's actually gotten popular enough to have deals signed up with Target, 7-11, CVS Pharmacy, Duane Reade, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy. Plus it's free if you just want to play. Does this make it a good game? Well not necessarily, but, let me explain~
I first started to play this silly little game almost 2 years ago, when it was in quite an early stage. There weren't many maps, quests, enemies, or items to get so the game got really old really fast on me. I ran through some of the maps enough times to where I could probably do it blindfolded (but in reality I'm sure I can't). I took months off from the game to take a break, do school work (although I was in the beginning of my last year of high school at the time), and basically I had plenty of better things to do since at the time I actually had some sense of life. Now it's... Just about the same! Only there's way more (and I do mean WAY more) of maps, items, quests, and enemies. The game-play itself didn't change much but the convenience of it and the amount of it did change greatly.
Character Status Window (Press 'A' to open this in the game).
This is a simple game, which is something I like. I don't like those insanely complex MMORPGs I start and have nothing but a vauge tutorial telling me things in halfway-translated English type of games. This is basically as complicated as the game gets, you have those 4 stats (STR, DEX, INT, and LUK) and you get to add 5 points per level up to them. If you're a warrior it's lots and lots of STR with some DEX, the other way around for Archer, lots of INT with just enough LUK so you can equip armor, and lots of LUK with just enough DEX to equip things for thieves. Do anything else and you end up screwing up the character, which is actually one way this game doesn't shine. If you're looking for character STAT customization you basically don't have it when compared to other games. This is a game about making friends and getting stronger, and playing the market. However...
Cash Shop, press the red shop button in game to enter.
You can't enter if you're in the middle of fighting, wait for a bit after finishing off a foe.
If you're willing to spend a little (just a little, actually) of your real money on gear, you can customize the look of your character to a level that rivals any character appearance system I've ever seen. Forget slider controls! You've got all you need in this Cash Shop. Is it a waste of money? Yes!! Does it help NEXON host the servers? Sort of!! But if you've played for as long as the people on the bottom have, why not?
I really don't want to meet these players in real life.
It's really simple. Those guys and other creatures are your enemy. If it moves and looks either overwhelmingly cute or otherwise creepy, then kill it. There's no story (yes, even though the game is called MapleStory). Enemies at levels 1-30 (which will be a while) will just move around, some fly all over the screen in a very annoying manner, some run and jump all over the place and others move slowly and have lots of armor. As you get past level 30, the enemies start shooting stars and crap, use buffs, curse you, poison you, summon other enemies, make a funny face or sound, stomp the ground, shoot fire, and basically many other things. The game begins to actually get intense and your screen will fill with numbers at the very high levels. Get bored or lost? Use the quests to help yourself decide where to go and what to kill and for what items, ect. It's all platformer action whatever you do, and they even have underwater swimming levels and ice levels just like any platform game (ala. Super Mario Bros.). Face it, most of these MMORPG stories are pretty lame anyway, hehe~
This is what you play for. MMORPGs run on this.
You've got equipment to defend yourself and kill things with and boost your abilities, potions to heal yourself, scrolls to enchant equipment with (just use the scroll on the equipped item, but it must be equipped for you to be able to use the scroll), the only thing under "Set-Up" I ever had was "The Relaxer" chair and some event items, and your Ect. items for quests and materials for crafting things. The cash shop tab is for items you purchased with real money using NX. The currency the game uses is the meso. I have no idea why it's called mesos. It comes in bronze or gold coins with maple leaves, bundles of printed bills with maple leaf prints, or sacks of cash with a maple leaf logo on the bag. You collect it from selling items and killing enemies, use it to buy better equipment and supplies. There's a place called the Free Market where you enter and look around for player-sold items, so the towns aren't cluttered with those annoying stalls.
If you are willing to spend some real money, 22 cents gets you basically one of the 80% of all the items you'll ever find useful in maple which would be either very difficult or nearly impossible to get yourself unless you are very patient. Just press that green "TRADE" button you see at the bottom of the screen. If you're actually going to spend NX cash on this game this is where you spend it, because then you get some real useful things in here. Note these are other players selling, and you yourself can sell rare items for NX cash.
If you're looking not to spend money on the game, this is where you sell very rare things you don't need. It's gotta be rare and worth 22 cents though, and NEXON gets 11 cents worth of NX points back from each item you sell.
Gives you something to do. Sometimes, something fun. Mostly just kill/gather quests though.
There are the quests and there are a ton of them. There's your hunting and gathering quests where you kill monsters and collect their item drops and redeem them for EXP points and good items. There are traveling quests where you travel the world trading items and sometimes having to answer quizzes about anything from the game-play to what color shoes a specific NPC was wearing. Then there are obstacle course quests where you jump and dodge the traps to reach the end. There are party quests where you team up and complete a set of tasks and fight a boss as a party. Basically, you complete quests, get stuff, get stronger, get fame, and hopefully get rich. You see that "Amoria: Beauty or Beast!" quest? Toss the EXP hair coupon, 9 times out of 10 it's a really bad hairstyle and it's just a ploy to get you to buy a good one from the cash shop after the lady messes up your hair. And yes, it's permanent until you change it, so do yourself a favor and toss the coupon when you're done with the quest so your friend doesn't use the coupon on you as a joke.
The Rest of the Review
MapleStory is a "no-nonesense give you game-play right from the get go" sort of game. It's perfect for in between classes while you eat lunch or the like. You can play it as seriously or as casually as you like, it's the kind of game for that. You log in, and smash your way through the maps. While it does it's job of giving you platform action MMORPG game-play without all the appetizers and waiting, it will get dull after a while and won't do it for you for serious game-play unless you don't care about story or immersion. The game is free, which makes quite a good college companion as long as you get your studies done, or for that large lecture hall class where you can afford not to pay attention, go home, and read the book, and get a good grade anyway. The game gets content at a slow rate, but it used to be much slower than it is now. If you like cute things, and pure good old fashioned RPG grinding game-play, this is for you.
Go to http://maplestory.ne...ASPX?PART=/Main to sign up if you're still interested.
All images here of the computer game, MapleStory, belong to NEXON.
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