MapleStory, this was one of the oldest and most iconic MMOs to today’s date.
This was also the MMO that got me into MMOs. Before I tried playing Silkroad Online, before World of Warcraft, and before all of everything else.
Throughout my childhood, this one of the MMOs I played along with Silkroad Online and World of Warcraft.
It was a different style of MMO, while reaching 200 was an hopeless dream back then, majority of the population focused on reaching 80~100 instead and customize our characters with fashion, costumes and pets instead.
While the core game has never changed, MapleStory is still a 2D side-scrolling game, it is still an MMORPG and it is still a chibi style cartoon graphics game. It has evolved beyond what GMS use to be back in the early 2005s. Maplers would refer to that period as Pre-Big Bang. The Big Bang update was a very different update that made massive game changes. However, the main issue Maplers disliked about Big Bang wasn’t the what most would think. It was the Big Bang EXP Curve that completely changed the levelling experience in MapleStory.
The amount of experience points needed to progress from one level to the next is lower, making levelling up faster throughout levels 10 – 200.
This was the path where MapleStory’s population started to slowly decrease. In addition, 2011 was a year with lots of great MMO Titles. Which did not help MapleStory either. Big titles such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, Rusty Hearts, TERA: Rising all entered the market.
Fast forward a decade later, MapleStory is still going quite strong of an average of 2k players daily in the past month.
The game is even more diverse than it was in the past, while it started with 5 base class that branches into 2 or 3 specializations to choose from that cannot be undone. Nowdays, it has a whopping 40 base classes to choose from.
So here comes the million dollar question, is MapleStory still worth playing in 2021 or should we find another game invest time in playing?
The combat for this side scroller platform game is very smooth, one of the smoothest I played when comparing with other 2D SideScrollers such as La Tale, Closers, Elsword or Grade Chase.
While it is not exactly an anime style MMO, it is still filled with chibi characters with super flashy skills and gameplay. If you like more of a retro 2D chibi characters poking mostly cute monsters aswell. You will enjoy MapleStory’s combat system.
F2P Friendly ★★★☆☆
While over the years, Nexon has really ruined Wizet’s image of P2W. They have introduced ridiculous paywalls for Free players again and again. Is it impossible to reach End-Game with BIS gear while being a F2P player, of course it is, is it going to be tough, you betcha. However, as known for all Korean games, it will be very grindy, and if you enjoy a good platform sidescroller grind, you may just get where you want without ever swiping your card.
Cash Shop ★★☆☆☆
The cash shop has everything you need, if you can think of it, you can buy it. From gear resets to in-game gold to pets and fashion. Not only that, you can customize your nameplate, your text bubbles and your damage meters. The game is very customizable as long as you have the money to pay for it. The reason why Cash Shop is rated 2★ is simply and not 1★, if you can buy it with real money, you can also sell it to the poor F2P players for in-game gold too. Making the theoretically available to everyone.
The artwork in this game is just amazing, they are constantly adding new classes and new skills for all classes. Unlike most games, old classes usually gets dusted off and forgetten about. However, MapleStory developers are something different. Recently, they added the new 5th job skill for all classes after level 200, where as the previous gaps were level 200 only. If you are into flashy skills and a while range of classes to play and master, MapleStory is for you.
While my main reason to play games is to PVP, lots of PVP and in the past, there was actually no PVP in MapleStory at all. It was added at one stage but removed soon after. It was too “hard to balance” which resulted in the developers working on other more worthwhile content for the player base instead. Even though there is no PVP, MapleStory has a very deep story that makes somewhat sense. It also has lots of constant events that puts all other games to complete shame which bumps the Fun factor from a 3★ to 4★.