Emerging from the deepest depths of Korea for European consumption in 2007, Maplestory is a massively popular MMORPG, with over fifty million players worldwide.Inspiring everything from Anime and fan art to a range of snacks. Whilst being extremely popular, the game is also very different from its online siblings, boasting unique visuals and side scrolling gameplay, while retaining many of the classic elements that make the genre so popular. With the recent release of the expansion pack, Knights of Cygnus, the time seemed right to look at what makes the game such a fan favourite.
After the initial, coma inducing tedium that comes with installing any downloadable PC game, it quickly becomes apparent that Maplestory is much more, and in some cases much less, than an ordinary MMORPG title. Visually the game looks like a cross between an upscale anime and the psychedelic imaginings of an overactive twelve year old splattered across the monitor. Colourful players roam across 2D backgrounds reminiscent of an early Megadrive title, interacting with surprisingly detailed characters and items, while a retro digital soundtrack will either serenade them or drive them insane. This style will instantly put a lot of more mature gamers off, but for those willing to look past Maplestory’s out of retirement presentation, a deep and engrossing MMORPG experience awaits.