Maple Story 2 Closed Beta Test is in full swing this week and the kind folks over at Nexon invited us in to look. This gamer has a long standing, love-hate relationship with overly-cute and voxel games. Trove has helped soften my need for MMORPG realism preferences, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp also offered some resolve but I’m still not completely at ease and need to know: Is Maple Story 2 enjoyable for someone like me who's also never played the original? I couldn’t wait to jump in and see!
Straight out the gate the options and ease of use when creating your character are phenomenal. Jumping between classes, each one has its own personal outfit so of course I had to play dress ups on all eight of them (Knight, Wizard, Archer, Thief, Berserker, Priest, heavy Gunner, Assassin.) It’s not just the amount of choices you have, it’s that they aren’t overwhelming plus extend to being able to choose your base outfit, which you can also dye.
One glance at the UI encouraged me to wait before I traditionally navigate the entire thing as there's a lot to digest and I am glad I made that choice as so much wouldn’t make sense as a new Maple Story player. The most difficult choice I had to begin with was whether to select “classic” arrow movement while I play, or “click” WASD. I chose classic originally but have found the click option is more optimal on my Wizard especially during the boss kills, zone sweeps and building. More on building in a minute.
SCALING CONTENT IN MPS2
Movement is a big thing to get use to in Maple Story 2 (MS2) as it is so very easy to forget it’s a voxel until you have to up or down to reach objectives or just explore. Current official events for closed beta have us generously receiving all kinds of mounts from balloon ducks, to shopping carts and an eagle so I’m falling out of the sky on the regular to get places. I’ve also found it entertaining seeing if I can reach/hit places without dying, in between catching helicopter taxis and portal travel. Nexon really know how to ensure we have ample fun questing and adventuring!
Part of this fun is also when scaling the environment. You feel like Spiderman often but on the other hand the scale of buildings is quirky. Some are tiny, but you can still interact with the door to enter it while being dwarfed by skyscrapers. The world of MS2 itself is gigantic, so many zones to explore and I am so intrigued how this scaling is out there.
What is also intriguing is the story behind Maplestory 2, I am enjoying every cutscene and why I end up where I do, fighting whoever I am fighting. Fairy sisters, Nixie and Epi were my first difficult elite boss encounter. Each boss encounter so far has been enjoyable. Time wise I feel the game is doing the best it can to make the most of my time, which is always a bonus.
It took me almost dead fights to get use to destructible environments leaving debris that can get in your way or give you more to climb. I am really enjoying my mage, she kills quickly but I must move constantly as she cannot take a hit of any kind. Filling in her skill tree is straightforward, I haven’t fully decided what I want my job to be. Yes, I am curious about the other classes and jobs. XP gain is super quick as well as looting gold so the appeal to roll alts is high, however I must keep reminding myself that it’s closed beta. Costs of living in Maple Story 2 is very high but it’s not quite clear that these prices are final.
Speaking of cost of living! Yes, I got right into building at level 10 because I love creative aspects of games as well as combat and it was there I discovered more customization as well as the rest of the UI that blew my mind!
Housing in MS2 is incredibly expensive with current prices though earning gold is also well tuned. During the CBT however it’s free so I’m going all out on it knowing it won’t be the same at launch. The building UI is both user-friendly and intuitive with another layer of customization from naming the building, saving up to three sets and full-blown security and ambience settings.
My first build was a cute cafe to give me an idea of how building worked. Working with the edges takes some fiddling but otherwise the inventory system for building is easy to use. Once again, we are in CBT, I look forward to seeing how all items will roll out after launch which is yet to be announced. Maple Story 2 have an inbuilt Decor Planning mode which will be incredibly helpful once everything isn’t unlimited and yes you gain XP while building, as well as achievements which are plentiful throughout the whole game.
I am so incredibly impressed by MS2 building that this will be my focus along with fishing for the rest of CBT! Opening fridge doors, running taps, playing an arcade game - all that good interactive stuff is available but what blew my mind most is the Maple Workshop. This is where you can pull in your own assets and apply them to blocks and armor, as well as weapons, everything to do so is in game so! I could write an article this long just on this feature alone!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
If this isn’t enough customization for you there is also a beauty salon, plastic surgeon and dye workshop. My customization addiction senses are on fire, the game play though combat is repetitive in button pushing is still a challenge in movement which I cannot wait to experience in a group setting this weekend but until then.
It’s back to the loft where my chef Gordon is cooking the materials I bring him, he likes kiwi and dislikes raw chicken. Life is good in MapleStory 2 and yes that’s my youngest puppy I’m trying to turn into wearable art. Don’t tell him, I think he would be terrified!
So, do get in here if you can! I’ll be keeping my eye on this game for sure and launching with it because my first impression of this game is fantastic, and I am now completely at ease with cute overload games especially if they have as much depth and enjoyment as this one.