Apple App-Aholics Anonymous [MapleStory: Live]

App Name: MapleStory Live
Developer: Nexon Mobile
Launch Date: 7-1-12
Price: FREE (& Various Payable Expansions)
App-Aholic Rating: 4/5
Watch it Here: Official Game Trailer

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When you think MMO, you typically imagine a brigade of players all crammed into a realm (aka: server) and interacting with each other. As for MapleStory Live by Nexon Mobile, that isn’t exactly the case. The only interaction you have with other players is by an online billboard upon which you can post your random questions, emotions, or outbursts. Other than that, the need to connect to the Nexon Mobile “server” seems a bit unnecessary, especially as using most of the online services requires the paid expansion pack. Besides this odd technicality, MapleStory Live lives up to its predecessors.

The developer claims “two completely new tales of adventure” await you via MapleStory Live’s two rookie characters, Fenris and Rei. However, Fenris is the only playable character until 3000 candies (equivalent to $2.99) have been obtained to purchase him. Because of the above information, Nexon Mobile also claims Live to be their longest MapleStory to date, and here’s the map to prove it:

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Free vs Premium: But your ultimate adventure won’t be ruined should you choose to take the free route; the whole game is there. Purchasing the expansions, though, is like unlocking another hidden game located inside the free one. Translation: you might want to look into this somewhere between completing Fenris’ adventure and deleting the game to free up some much-needed memory space; there’s another game in here! But be warned: If you do choose to only go Free, you will have to endure the occasional paid advertisement taking up your upper screen space (a pesky parasite that can be removed with the gracious purchase of an Expansion Pack).

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Brains before thumbs: *insert crafty segue here :D* Like any potentially-greedy freemium title, there is an abundant amount of “expansions” and upgrades that will enhance your playing experience. So beware of an ansi trigger-finger.

Gripes: While most gamers who’re familiar with the MapleStory series may be accustomed to these flaws, they are worth mentioning. First, the game’s gravity will feel a bit heavy, forcing your character to fall to the ground much faster than expected. As if this isn’t bad enough, there is also the absence of a double-jump feature, something that could have been utilized to offset the quick dropping rate. Finally, the character’s speed feels a bit slow and cannot be adjusted as in at least one of the previous MapleStory games.

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Have I said anything good yet? Aside from the mediocre graphics that greater resemble a classic side-scrolling RPG than a modern one, the gameplay of MapleStory Live is very addicting. The storyline is chalked full of side quests that will help maintain forward-motion, therefore eliminating the need to spend countless hours wrestling monsters to level up between main quests. Finally, just like any good story, the longer you invest your time, the better it gets: you will acquire different skills, gear, and experience that will only make the gameplay even more intriguing.

Bottom Line: Anyone who’s been reading my column for the past several months (THANK YOU!) knows how I feel about free stuff. The MapleStory trilogy is a well-thought out adventure that can only be summed up by Live. Download this title and enjoy; case closed!

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Sound Off: Now, folks, it’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or general comments about MapleStory Live, the MapleStory trilogy, and/or its developer, Nexon Mobile? I personally reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear what you have to say. Just take your cranial debris and throw it down in the box below!

Happy Downloading!

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