Maple Story PC Review

Approaching a game like Maple Story is an unusual experience for most, as it was for me. As an MMO first-timer, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in regards to the depth and style of the game. Also it was an interesting experience for me to actually be able to review a PC game, as my PC isn’t incredibly powerful.

And that brings me straight on to the first thing to like about Maple Story; it runs on almost any computer with a decent Internet connection. Maple Story requires minimal installation and, once you’ve created your profile, you’re able to make up to three different characters, all stored on your single profile.

The character customisation is just detailed enough so that not everybody looks the same, but not so detailed that you have to spend ages fine tuning the nose to have that slight bulge over the left nostril. You get a basic choice of face types, skin colours, then hair styles and colours. Your wardrobe to begin with is very limited with a few dull items to pick between, but that can be approached later on in the game. For now, you have to pick between a few dull t-shirts and shorts, as well as a basic pair of shoes. The biggest choice you have to make at the beginning is your weapon type. Again, you get to pick between a small amount of very basic weapons to start your adventure with. Each has its own attributes and failings. Make the best choice for your preferred style of gaming.

The controls are very easy to understand, with only two essential buttons as well as arrows, and then it’s up to you to equip actions, items and attacks to other buttons around your keyboard, depending on which positions are most comfortable for your personal use.

Level design is a flat side scrolling affair, which is not the first thing you’d think of when it comes to games of this genre, but it works quite well, even if sometimes its very easy to get lost between areas.

Once you’ve done the first stage of training where you learn the very basics, you get flung into the proper online world, a training level that, in all fairness, could’ve done with being shorter as the excitement at all the possibilities grows enormously during this period. Being able to speak to other players, work together to overcome the early tasks and help other players hunt down those rare monsters is a lot of fun, especially if you’re new to the concept of online gaming.

If you manage to contain yourself long enough to finally get to the next island, where the major part of Maple Story unfolds, there are 4 large towns on the island where you finally get to choose which job you’d like. You choose between Warrior, Magician, Thief and Bowman. The journey to reach these towns however is not an easy one and it’s worth going through the many areas to level up as for the majority of these jobs, you must be at least level 10 to be eligible. If you just don’t feel like fighting many many monsters, then you could always take the taxi.

After you manage to get yourself established in the game, a lot of options open up. You can form a group or join a friend’s, and go with your team to take on dungeons co-operatively. You could raise a pet and love it like it was real, or you could spend your time helping out new players who get lost. There’s so much to do it’d be impossible to describe them all here, the best way to really see what its all about is to go and play the game yourself.

Unlike most reviews however, you’re not thinking ‘this sounds good, but where am I going to get the money to afford yet another new game on top of my wish list?’ Not a problem here. The best part of Maple Story is you can play the full version absolutely free. It really is possible for anyone to play and subsequently love Maple Story. If you wish to buy some pretty cool weapons, accessories, new hair cuts, new skin colours and a lot of new clothes, you are able to use real person money, but it is definitely not vital that you do this, as there is already a lot available to all players.

One of my favourite things about Maple Story, one that I can’t believe I’ve managed to get past 700 words without mentioning, is the style of it. The music throughout is charming, the character and monster design is detailed yet cute and the scenery is nothing short of delightful. Maple Story manages to look great, it has its own charm that fits right in and doesn’t rely on stunning graphics.

The only thing physically wrong with Maple Story only starts to kick in after about an hour every time you play. Despite all its charm and entertainment value, Maple Story can become tedious when you travel between places. Big generic environments filled with the same type of enemies as in the previous two rooms you were in become quite common so the will to play gradually ebbs away. To counter this, there is always another aspect of the game to be explored, but how many of these can you get to know before you start to become bored by Maple Story? It is engrossing if you become fully hooked, but for the players who like their games to constantly work hard at impressing them, this game may not be the right choice.

To get a good idea of what Maple Story essentially is, just imagine World of Warcraft meets Paper Mario. A grand achievement, and considering that its free, its worth checking out. Just don’t go expecting a WoW beater as it’s only a place for newbies to MMO to dip their toes in the proverbial pool. Visit the Maple Story website here:

Satisfying and impressive for what it is, a free game.

6.8 out of 10