MapleStory 2 is getting a lot of attention not only because it’s the sequel to one of the first major free-to-play MMORPGs but also because it is one of those sequels that have a lot at stake. It’s not far from a full transformation and this left many players divided when the first gameplay trailer was revealed. We actually liked what we saw and here are our top 5 reasons why.
It’s evolving! In the right way, apparently
MapleStory has been around for so many years and the idea of creating a much deserved sequel is certainly something that both excites and scares players, and even more the studio responsible for it. NSquare, a team comprised of Nexon and NCsoft staff is working on MapleStory 2 and while players still haven’t recovered from other beloved franchise falling prey of the clichéd sequel treatment – Ragnarok Online 2 –, NSquare apparently found a good compromise between evolution and staying somewhat faithful to its roots. While it’s clear that MapleStory 2 isn’t exactly recognizable on looks alone, the anime characters are there (albeit in a more chibi way) and it looks pretty much on par with the best current MMOs. It’s a mix of old and new ideas that is seemingly able to please old fans and beginners alike.
It’s like Minecraft. Sort of
NSquare is trying to take a bite on the tasteful blocky cake that Minecraft delivered to the world. While it’s certainly very different from Notch’s success, MapleStory 2 can’t hide its inspiration, with the blocky worlds allowing for a distinct personality and one that is dividing players. Some like the way the blocks are used, others just can’t appreciate the new and decidedly distinct style. While we’re still completely in doubt concerning the level of destructibility, we hope that there’s something really special there – not Minecraft level, but something good enough. And while we’re at it, if MapleStory 2 doesn’t have a building feature, then NSquare is just throwing most of the potential out of the window. We want to build our worlds in MapleStory 2, create our adventures and share them with other players – that is essential.
Update: user generated content confirmed
It’s like Mario Party
MapleStory isn’t all about going on quests and defeating some monsters, there’s also some fun to be had. Well, that came out wrong – what we actually meant is that it’s not just leveling up, going through the inevitable grind, there are also the mini-games to relieve you of the usual go there/kill that quests. There’s a bit of driving – granted, with some really weird, or should we say non-existing physics –, a lot of disco-dancing, some last man standing action, exciting swimming competitions and… sheep riding? What? Anyway, most of them look a lot of fun and we’re pretty sure that there are more surprises in store for us. We can see many players logging into the game just for a quick fix of these mini-games.
It’s like Diablo
Forget about the 2D side-scrolling button mashing, in MapleStory 2 the battles are more hack and slash, more like a chibi Diablo, or Dungeon Striker, if you know that game. It’s relatively fast-paced, exciting, with special effects aplenty and lots of trees and other stuff tumbling down. Since the game has most of the usual melee and ranged classes (including the heavy gunner and the berserker) all MMORPG players will feel at home with this approach to combat. The bosses won’t hurt either; the glimpses we had were encouraging and there are some exciting battles in perspective. There’s even one boss that looks like it was inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, albeit in a tiny, even cuter kind of way.
Fun for all ages
MapleStory 2 looks like a kids’ game, there’s no denying that. But looks can be deceiving and if we were concerned about a game looking childish, then we wouldn’t have been playing Mario and Sonic games for decades. Younger gamers may turn to MapleStory 2 thanks to the cutesy looks, but mature gamers will probably try it and stick around for the depth of it. It’s a game without age constraints, everyone should be able to enjoy the mini-games or the hack and slash gameplay. Want to play it with your son/father? Both of you should enjoy it.
That’s our take on MapleStory 2. Are you excited for this game or it’s not your cup of coffee? Let us know in the comments.