Monthly Archives: January 2009

Maple Story Review: Great Mix Of Cuteness And Gameplay

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 Story’s 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.

Gameplay Elements

Maple Story Is more action oriented, but, the game is still heavily influenced by RPG elements such as stats. Your attacks won’t be always successful even if you hit a monster. If your accuracy is way below 100% you’ll see a big fat violet MISS as you hit monsters who have higher evasion rate than your hit rate.

Maple Story’s 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.

Huge Community

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. Don’t 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 game’s strength and its weakness. How? Well, it is true that the mix of your character’s 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 it’s 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 don’t 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 Story’s more community oriented even if it’s an action MMORPG.

Another good thing about Maple Story is that the game doesn’t 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.

Conclusion

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 won’t 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 haven’t played it. That’s 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 doesn’t 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.

Pros

– Easy to understand controls

– You can see how you customized your character

– Cute sprites and solid gameplay

Cons

– May be too cute for most players

– The game is in 2d

– The game is more action packed rather than RPG-ish

Barack Obama Hits the MMO Scene

Gamezig.com is reporting the following news:

President Barack Obama is well known for his technological prowess and is a popular landmark on the internet super-highway. Now he’s making an appear in the MMO scene in the form of a unique MMO called Rumble Fighter. No, he’s not really showing up in person to play the MMO but the folks over at OGPlanet, the makers of Rumble Fighter are showing their support for our President with a new in-game item.

Players in Rumble Fighter will now be able to purchase a new in-game T-Shirt to wear while they pounce on their opponents with President Obama’s famous slogan, “Yes We Can”. On the back of the shirt you will find Barack’s likeness imprinted for all to see. The shirt can now be bought at the in-game item shop for you Rumble players using Astros, the games currency.

About Rumble Fighter

One of the most unique fighting games around, Rumble Fighter allows up to 8 players to battle it out online in simultaneous melee action. Featuring an advanced combo attack skill system with multitudes of real fighting styles to choose from, Rumble Fighter allows players’ to build the fighter they’ve always wanted to be.

(source: gamezig.com)

Warrior Epic to be published in Europe by GOA

Global online game publisher True Games Interactive announced today that it has signed an exclusive deal with GOA, Orange’s Games Unit.
GOA will exclusively publish, distribute and operate True Games and Possibility Space’s upcoming MMORPG, Warrior Epic, across Europe.
Earlier this year, True Games and GOA also partnered on True Game’s and Petroglyph’s upcoming MMORPG, Mytheon, which will be available later this year.

“GOA is a giant in the online publishing space in Europe and we are thrilled to be building such a strong relationship with them,” said Jeff Lujan, Founder and Chairman of True Games Interactive. “Warrior Epic has been getting great buzz and is highly anticipated in the US and we have no doubt that gamers across Europe will also embrace it emphatically.”

GOA currently operates one of the largest casual gaming portals in Europe and also publishes EA Mythic’s hugely popular MMO, Dark Age of Camelot and has launched last September EA Mythic’s, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning in Europe.

“Warrior Epic is perfectly aligned with the GOA offerings and, in particular, our plans to expand services in 2009,” said Ghislaine Le Rhun, Executive Director of GOA. “True Games Interactive are forging a great reputation within online gaming communities, and we look forward to working closely with the team to ensure Warrior Epic’sEuropean success.”

WoW accounts for half of Activision/Vivendi earning!

According to a games industry analyst, World Of Warcraft accounted for half of the earnings for the giant group Activision/Vivendi in the last fiscal year, as reported by edge-online.com.

According to Edge, Arvind Bathia of Stern Agee has estimated that WOW subscriptions and sales added up to earnings per share of 30 out of 60 cents, or USD 400 million, in the company’s fiscal year which ended in December.

WOW’s subscriber base rose to 11.5 million last December, in the wake of new expansion Wrath of the Lich King.

Age Of Conan: Xbox 360 version still in development

In an interview with Eurogamer, Age of Conan game director Craig Morrison has confirmed that Funcom is still working on an Xbox 360 version of the MMO.

Here’s what Morrison said: “There is a small, dedicated team working on the Xbox platform at the moment. We still plan on having a 360 version of the game at some stage but I’m afraid I can’t go into specifics beyond that at the moment.”

DC Universe Online vs Champions Online

By MMOCrunch

Back in early 2004 the first superhero MMO, City of Heros created by Cryptic Studios, was released and from what I can remember with decent reviews. The game has done pretty well peaking around 200,000 users at its height and as of Sept 2008 had around 125,000 subscribers. Not a huge success by any means but enough for other developers to throw their hat into the superhero MMO rink.

Marvel at one point had a deal with Cryptic Studios to create Marvel Online, but has since been canceled. Instead Cyptic is now working on Champions Online, the unofficial sequel to City of Heros/Villains. Then we have Sony (SOE) working on DC Universe Online. Considering the age of CoH it’s about time we had a new superhero MMO on the market.

 

DC Universe Online

From what I’ve read and heard about this MMO it’s sounding pretty good, but there’s still not enough information out there for me to get really excited. Here’s a quick list of some of the key features.

– Highly customizable characters. You can even base them off of DC characters with 1 click of a button, then modify them if you want.
– PvP Combat in a Open World.
– Quests are called Cases and Capers depending if your a Hero or Villain.
– Fighting along side or against some famous DC characters. Superman, Batman, Joker, etc.
– Environment Manipulation, stuff like throwing cars
– Fast Movement/Traveling, depending on your powers

From those features nothing really jumps out at me as ground breaking. I think the most interesting is how the Cases and Capers are going to work. Basically if you’re a hero you might get a case where you have to protect someone, but a villain might get a caper where they have to kill that same person. So now you have a quest that turns into a PvP fight, which sounds pretty cool to me although I’m not exactly sure if that’s how these quest will work. I do know that I’d much rather be fighting a real person then NPCs all day.

 

Champions Online

– Cross-Platform gaming between X-box360 and PC
– Highly customizable characters
– Your own Nemesis! A villain the becomes part of your storyline

After watching the gameplay and interview with Design Director Bill Roper on G4, I was not very impressed by the game. In fact it game looked pretty boring. Being a big fan of PvP I wasn’t able to find much about how Champions will handle PvP, but from my search I get a sense that this game will concentrate more of PvE sorta like LoTRO. Another thing that struck me as I watched some of the footage is that it doesn’t really feel like a Superhero game. I mean “Monster Island”, sorry but is this Godzilla? I don’t want to fight random monsters on some random island, I want to be in a big sprawling city where most comics take place. Looking through the sceenshots at Champions-online.com I don’t see one city pic, only forests, mountains and indoor locations. To be honest, nothing at all about this game made me interested in it.

Even thought both games are pretty far from release, I’m definetly in DC Universe’s corner right now.

Source: MMOCrunch.

Neo Steam Europe

NeoSteam offers players an all new experience that combines a highly detailed fantasyenvironment with interesting steampunk machinery. The player can choose between four different character classes and join one of two Realms that fight for supremacy on the continent of Rope Isle. The Kingdom of Elerd, which represents a classical fantasy empire with magical spellcasters, is looking for new adventurers, while the Republic of Rogwel is preparing for battle as well. The Republic relies mainly on technical finesse, which is reflected in their advanced steam engines. NeoSteam, which is used to operate these powerful machines, is soon to become the most important resource in the epic struggle.

For players, NeoSteam is not only an exciting and extensive fantasy MMORPG, but offers them many unseen possibilities, thanks to the unique setting. Besides classical battles against monsters and other players, NeoSteam offers adventurers the chance, to build their own steam engines and create their own fighting vehicles.

Features:
– Free 3D Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
– Innovative Fantasy-Steampunk Setting
– Five Races and Four Unique Classes
– Players Create Their Own Steam Engines and Mounts
– Many Player versus Player Arenas
– Epic Realm versus Realm Battles
– Free to Play – No Need to Buy, No Monthly Fees

Gamigo brings NeoSteam to Europe

Leading European MMOG publisher gamigo AG and HanbitSoft, a highly regarded Korean publisher, are announcing today, that the innovative steampunk online role-playing game NeoSteam will be published and operated by gamigo in several European territories. Players can go to http://neosteam.gamigo.com right now, to find out everything about the new EUversions of the game and already register for the upcoming beta test.
Master-Engineers wanted!
NeoSteam lets players experience a completely new and original fantasy world full of exciting adventures and gruesome monsters. NeoSteam’s unique attribute is the steampunk-setting, which adds never seen before elements to the game. Players are able to use advanced machinery to improve their equipment or to travel the massive continent of Rope Isle. They are even able to build their own mounts and take them to battle against other players. This way, adventurers and their powerful battle-machines can make the difference in the epic battle between the Republic of Rogwel and the Elerd Kingdom, the two main factions of NeoSteam’s deep fantasy-universe. In America, tens of thousands of players have already joined the open beta version of NeoSteam. Soon, European players are finally able to choose their side in the conflict of Rope Isle. Players can look forward to an entirely overhauled version of the game with a complete new translation, specific to European audiences. Additionally there will be a whole new German version of the game for players from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as other regions, which are going to be announced later. Full Character Transfer for Existing European Players As a special service, European players who are already active in the US-version of the game will be able to transfer their characters to the EU-servers and start playing on the level they are used to, as soon as the commercial European version commences operation. This way, they can utilize the advantages of the European Version, like better latency due to closer server locations, without losing the progress they did spend many hours to achieve.
"We are very happy to introduce a real powerhouse like NeoSteam to our Portfolio", says Patrick Streppel, CMO at gamigo, "HanbitSoft is a very strong international Partner and
with NeoSteam we can offer one of their best and most innovative games to the European MMORPG-Community."
"It’s great for us to work with an experienced publisher like gamigo", adds Yoo-Ra Kim, Director of HanbitSoft’s Online Business Division, "gamigo has a proven record of successfully marketing MMORPGs in Europe and we are confident, that they are the right choice to get the players excited for a great game like NeoSteam." Additional Information about the European version of NeoSteam and the possibility to register early for an closed beta account, can be found at the official website http://neosteam.gamigo.com.