Maplestory 2 is a Korean based MMO that have seen major differences compared to the predecessor. With a completely different gameplay, style and mechanics, this huge game is ready to make its mark on the gaming world. Let’s see how it fairs today in the global scale.
If you saw just a snippet of trailers that Maplestory 2 had around on Youtube, the first thing you’ll notice is a completely different style as a game. It isn’t a 2D sidescroller like the first iteration. Instead, it is more like a 3D action game with the same themes and essence instead. With an additional dimension to the game (no pun intended), the developers took advantage of the new possibilities of what you could do with the game.
Skills, both social and combat, have new interesting ways of working such as area, crowd control and range. There were also a huge number of quality of life changes that came with the sequel and it certainly alleviated some of the more tedious qualities the original Maplestory had. This made Maplestory 2 an excellent choice for casual players who want a decent but not overwhelming challenge.
Admittedly, not a very compelling aspect of the game. While it is an MMO, it certainly gave Maplestory 2 some limitations, it was certainly doable to make a solid story out of it. Other MMO’s like Blade & Soul had produced solid stories, while Maplestory 2 gave a decent one at best. There are times where several tropes were overused and it simply felt like it was shoehorned.
It isn’t a major aspect of Maplestory 2, however, it did feel like it was a missed opportunity to provide interesting expansions in the future as the previous Maplestory had produced new major worlds since its base inception.
One of the best highlights of the game. It provides support to controllers, allows key remapping and even provides macros if you want to use a skill rotation. Maplestory 2 accommodates players with maximum comfort in their controls and allows them to create their own figurative glove to fit.
Despite the potentially large skillset, most classes may undertake, this system allows a lot of players to gel into the controls very quickly without much hassle. If the default controls feel unintuitive, they are free to switch it around to suit their tastes.
It stuck to the basic deformed anime-ish style the original Maplestory worked with, except it is now in 3D. The game also allows custom item designs to show off your flare or style to other players (provided you pay extra of course). While it is disappointing that it requires some extra money, nonetheless it isn’t a feature that provides an inherent advantage unless you consider your unique tastes one.
The monster and level aesthetics were quite pleasing with the vibrant and light-hearted colours the game was known for. It is certainly a game for kids and adults alike for enjoying the cartoonish animations from their characters as well as the enemies.
True to Maplestory, many audio files, including the music, remained the same. The system allows you to adjust the volumes to your desire if you wish to implement your own music. Another interesting thing Maplestory 2 had done was allowing players to compose your own music and sharing it with other players. Granted it may cost additional money, it is still a certainly nice feature to have.
The game wasn’t first released here globally but in Korea. Though we did get a version that included reworks and revamps, it also came in with some polish that made sure some of the game breaking bugs would at least be hammered out. This allowed the Steam port to be quite clean, though there are a couple here and there, it is certainly far less in numbers compared to a typical game launch version.
On top of that, the balance between the classes had been done fairly well as most classes have a playstyle that can suit any players. This is a solid game with not a lot of holes thanks to the developers having plenty of time to maintain the game before its release.
The community is decent with several guilds popping up and encouraging players to join their fold. Though not at the credit of Maplestory 2 entirely, the presence of 3rd party chat software like Teamspeak and Discord certainly helped many small pockets of communities thrive.
However, like most MMOs, bots still plague the chat offering ‘services’. This is an issue that is hard to solve for developers, however, the guild systems do enhance the gameplay and there are many social activities including dungeon creation that enriches the community aspect greatly.
This is one of the more rare and pleasant surprises I had with this game. I admittedly came into this game with the mindset that it would be decent at best. Yet, there were features where I find myself enjoying the game on several aspects. The microtransactions were a bit of a bummer, but that is to be expected since the game is free to play soon and that most of the features don’t give a lot if any, advantages as well. On the bright side, there aren’t really any major loot boxes. Overall, this game certainly captured several hours of my time and may capture more in the future as well. This game had earned a solid 4 out of 5 stars.