Dedicated fans of the MapleStory franchise readily anticipated this October’s reboot of the cult classic massive multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG) MapleStory 2. MapleStory 2 was released in October 2018, over ten years after its predecessor. It offers the same allure of monster hunting, player alliances, and quests as the original, but now coupled with an immersive 3D environment.
As soon as players open the game, they are immersed in a vibrant, high-definition world with chibi-styled non-player characters (NPCs) popping up from every corner.
Attention to detail in the blocks, charming decorations, and expansive map successfully creates different ambiances. The majestic capital of Mapleworld is decorated with wine-red banners draped over tower walls, while the dark forests have an air of mystery with hovering fireflies and wild vines.
When compared to the first MapleStory, and by its own merits, the difference in overall quality and detail is impressive. It takes inspiration from Minecraft’s blocky style, and refines it by adding smoother lines and shading. Despite the array of bright colors and patterns, they are very easy on the eyes.
The occasional glitch, notably one where the character would only run in one direction, was a nuisance. However, it is undoubtedly an improvement from its side-scrolling and 2D predecessor.
The initial tutorial is integrated into the storyline well. Both traditional WASD and arrow key options are offered in the game, letting players operate as comfortably as possible for their character to run, climb walls, and jump. Flying is still off the table.
The game offers versatility for players; several classes of fighters, such as the Assassin, Knight, or Wizard, are available to choose from. More experienced video game fanatics might find certain combat styles too simple, since they’re based on basic motions rather than having players learn complex attack sequences. This also means that a beginner could unwittingly choose a harder class and easily become frustrated with complex moves or low health points (HP).
Upon starting the game, numerous cutscenes of lore are forced onto the player. The plot, a band of heroes working to defeat a dark wizard, is clichéd, but the characters are endearing enough for players to tolerate the underwhelming points of the plot.
Many betrayals, unexpected allies, and stalwart allies are introduced early on in the game, and create a sense of intrigue. However, the threats of evil queens and dark realms are not incredibly innovative in the gaming world. Nonetheless, the game’s plot meets the requirement for solid escapism and entertainment.
A grand, cinematic score introduces players to the world and lore of Mapleworld. From there, each section of the plot or different location on the map has unique tracks, from booming drums during fight sequences to quaint tunes for seaside towns.
When spending a longer time in certain locations, the music can get repetitive. However, the more the map is explored, the more the diverse soundtrack is revealed. It is a subtle way to add to the world-building and brings together the tone of the game.
There is an endless stream of activities that players can enjoy. Many playful side quests pop up frequently, adding to the main plot and encouraging players to explore all Mapleworld has to offer from each corner of its extensive map. These can be a breath of fresh air from the immersive plot.
Because it is an MMORPG, there are many opportunities to interact with other players. Players can create Guilds that function like character clubs and invite friends to join. No matter the time zone, there are always countless active players hanging out in the Guilds or engaged in the game’s adventures.
Photos by mmobomb.com and maplestory2.nexon.net