MapleStory is a free to play MMORPG with an in-game cash shop for cosmetic items. It’s a very addictive 2D platformer style game which I’m guilty of putting many hours into. Despite its appearance, it is surprisingly fun for all ages and has a good welcoming community for you to join.
Like many in this genre, MapleStory involves the RPG elements such as defeating monsters and completing quests for experience points which level your character up. However I think what separates this from the many others is how simple it was to get the hang of, with a very gentle learning curve and helpful interface. This was important to me when I started playing as a young gamer around 2008 as it meant I easily got attached and have since returned many times.
You begin as the ‘beginner’ class who use melee attacks and choose your profession at level 8 if you choose magician, or level 10 for the warrior, thief, bowman and pirate classes – these early levels do breeze by thankfully! The five classes do have great variety and are fun to master, making you want to try them all out. After you’ve chosen your class, you then get skill points every level to put in your new abilities. This is very enjoyable for me and reaching the next class advancement at level 30 has tons of replay value, testing out these new abilities in the new characters you can create. However with the next advancement at level 60, and with skill points now taking longer to acquire, I usually begin to lose interest.
When you find friends with other players you encounter it does help keep it interesting. You often start competing to be a higher level and can team up to level up faster through the party system. Unfortunately usually you or your friends start to lose interest and eventually disappear – which is always a huge disappointment when you are on the receiving end. I usually have the tendency to aim for endgame content in games, but I don’t feel like the reward is worth it for the time it’d require in MapleStory.
The game does have regular content updates. Recent updates have brought the addition of new types of classes such as the “Cygnus Knights” and the “Resistance”, which stick with the same styles (warrior, magician etc) but have different skills and abilities. These new class types also have different speeds of levelling up at the expense of a higher/lower level cap. This is a big positive to me as I find the game to be too grindy at higher levels, and I feel that this suits the casual feel to the game. Having an increased level cap also allows the more hardcore players to reach higher levels if they desire, so it caters for all tastes.
To conclude, I think that MapleStory is the perfect game for both casual and hardcore players as it suits both needs superbly. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants an MMO they can easily get into, for all ages. The game does have its flaws, sure, however I think they can be forgiven because it is free to play. Don’t be deceived by its appearance, it’s highly addicting and its simplicity makes it easy to engage with. It’ll remain a game on my mind when I’m looking to get into a MMO, offering a short-term solution.