Crap, man! What the hell happened since I was here last? By my counting, the last time I legitimately played Maplestory was in the early 2000s. HOW many servers do they have up now? HOW much more fun has it gotten? The answer to both: loads. I’ll touch bases on the basics, then get on with the new stuff. If you’re a Maple veteran, you’ll probably be disappointed by my lack of information regarding the newer content. I apologize for that, but I’m just offering my honest opinion on what I’ve seen.
First and foremost, Maplestory is a 2D platformer MMORPG. It looks so incredibly retro that its fanbase must be pretty small, right? What was that? Several million active accounts? Well, damn. Considering the money that goes into the game through the optional and not necessary-to-win Cash Shop, I’m not really surprised. So we’ve established the type of game and the popularity. What’s next?
Classes. Everyone looks at classes first, just to see if the game can be played in their own individual style. That’s totally reasonable. Maplestory started with four classes and two to three different job branches from level 30, and then another set of potentials at level 70. Now, they’ve got four factions into which around sixteen unique classes are evenly divided. Considering each of these has its own advancements and branches, you’re probably collecting you recently dropped jaw after realizing just how much fricken content that is. Yeah, I’m with you. Thieves, Mages, Paladins, Warriors, Archers, Clerics, Wizards, Demon Hunters, permutations upon permutations of all the standard classes! You can even be a Pirate! You know, if that’s your cup of tea. Er, rum.
Grind. That’s actually something I’d quite like to discuss. Why would ANY MMORPG veteran want to talk about grinding? It’s no fun, right? Especially when it’s early on and prevents you from being able to truly get into the game. No worries, weary traveler! I played for a few hours today, and I’m already above level 20. The surplus of quests, the generosity of XP gain, and the incredibly under-friendly UI were all to thank for that. Not even kissing up here, bro. I love what they did to their game. The way it is now, the no-fun noob state is null and void. You may worry, “Is leveling at all satisfying, then?”
Of course it is. You put forth the effort, you are rewarded. Each quest is a step forward. Each period of grinding is a sumptuous feast of XP. Since Maplestory has grown to the size it is now, it no longer needs to, shall we say, “entice” players to buy from the Cash Shop compulsively. They’re set. Play the game the way you want, toss a few bucks in if you feel like saying thanks and getting yourself all prettied up.
A few other handy additions they’ve plugged in since my early plays are the increase in drop rate and the implementation of Familiars. Kill a monster, get its familiar card, summon it, and viola! Instant perks! Gather as many as you can to see what possible benefits they could have for you. The only perks I’ve seen thus far are slows and mana regens, but I’ve no doubt there are countless more. After all, I’m only a few hours in.
And since I’m only a few hours in, that’s where I’m going to cut the review off. I don’t want to be spouting off about old bugs or benefits that got patched. Hell, for all I know, they remade Maplestory into a true online masterpiece. It certainly feels that way.
MMOBomb has a second opinion on Maplestory, calling it addicting in a positive light. Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. Addicting is a term that in this context means too overwhelmingly fun to put down. Could get unhealthy. Judging by the sheer number of positive Maplestory reviews, I daresay I’m not alone in putting the old-to-new-school 2D platformer in a positive light. Seriously. So many fricken reviews. I should link three! But here’s the one from MMOBomb, to show a bit of self-control. http://www.mmobomb.com/review/maplestory