By Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
Maple Story is a 2D side scrolling MMO from Nexon, the company that brought games like Audition, Sugar Rush, Mabinogi and Combat Arms to the MMO industry.
In Maple Story you take a role of as a brave adventurer protecting the Maple World and you have five job paths to choose from, you can opt to become a warrior, magician, bowman, thief and the newly added job class, the pirate.
Each job class would branch off to their own set of second job class. Some job class like the bowman, thief and pirate only have two choices while the magician and warrior are given more second job options.
Maple Storys controls is what sets this MMORPG apart from the conventional point-and-click gameplay. Your keyboard is your primary movement tool while the mouse only serves as the interface tool. Think of it as playing an old school arcade game in your PC.
At first glance, it may seem weird that an MMO is using this kind of system but the controls really suit Maple Story. The game is 2D and that it would be more awkward if you play it with the mouse.
Maple Story Is more action oriented, but, the game is still heavily influenced by RPG elements such as stats. Your attacks wont be always successful even if you hit a monster. If your accuracy is way below 100% youll see a big fat violet MISS as you hit monsters who have higher evasion rate than your hit rate.
Maple Storys gameplay is not its ace in the hole though, the cuteness of the game sprites and the ability to customize your character as you want are the main reasons why a lot of people play Maple Story.
Monsters in Maple story range from the cute mushrooms and blobs to the weird walking one-eyed tree stumps. Even the supposedly hideous monsters have their own cute charms. I think the best way to describe the cuteness of the monster in Maple Story is imagining that you are inside a Digimon game or television series.
Furthermore, the game also enables you to see what you equip to your character. If you equip armor to your warrior you get to actually see your character wear that armor you bought. The customization feature in Maple Story is one of the good things the game has. You can actually say that the character you have is yours and that could make you keep on coming back.
The community in Maple Story is also huge. With players ranging from kids to adults playing, you can actually go to a map and have it full of players. Dont be afraid though, yes a community this big would have cliques and (as I have experienced) in games with such a following, there are groups who are not newbie friendly. That problem also applies to Maple Story, still there are still a lot of players who would welcome you even if you are new.
Maple Story has a lot of things going even if you are playing it for a while now. You can make your own little home in-game and make it as your goal for playing.
The Cute Factor
Maple Story is an MMO where the mixture of cuteness and a serious RPG feel has harmoniously mixed itself into one interesting game.
The cuteness factor of Maple Story is the games strength and its weakness. How? Well, it is true that the mix of your characters cuteness can attract people, those who have more of a serious taste when it comes to MMOs would surely be turned off by it.
Still one must not judge only with looks alone. Maple Story has not survived this long if its only cuteness without any solid gameplay. In fact Maple Story has one of the most solid gameplays in the MMO scene to date. There is a balance between the difficulty of the levels and your capabilities as you play along the game. You dont sweat bullets as you begin your journey into the Maple World.
Also, there is always something to do in Maple Story, though this remains to be seen in your higher levels. Players who are more into leveling, pvping and just getting to the top level tier can get bored with the game easily. Maple Storys more community oriented even if its an action MMORPG.
Another good thing about Maple Story is that the game doesnt impose you on what to do in the game. Though the story line of Maple Story does in fact say that you are supposed to be a protector of the Maple World, anything goes when you plunge yourself into the game.
The apparent lack of linear gameplay helps you enjoy the game in your own way and in your own pace. Also the game can encourage you to play more and even at a higher level you can in fact enjoy the game just by chilling inside it. You can create your own home in Maple Story and even have your friends hang out in it.
Besides taking care of your in-game home, you wont get tired on trying to customize your character. As I mentioned before, you can see what your character wears so trying to make your character look good can be one of your reason why you continue on playing Maple Story.
Maple Story has created a niche for itself in the MMO market and those who are into the online gaming scene would know the game even if they havent played it. Thats how big Maple Story has become. True the game can be too kiddy with its cute character and monster sprites but behind it is one solid MMO.
Maple Story is a prime example that a game doesnt have to be 3d or must have an engaging storyline. All it needed was to be a fun MMO and people would come. That has been proven by Maple Story many times over.
– Easy to understand controls
– You can see how you customized your character
– Cute sprites and solid gameplay
– May be too cute for most players
– The game is in 2d
– The game is more action packed rather than RPG-ish