About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Maple Story: Warrior"

MapleStoryImage via Wikipedia
Maple Story is one of those cute Asian-style 2D "action-y" RPGs that were quite popular. Unfortunately, it seems that nobody actually TESTED the playability of the game on a real mobile, making the game almost unplayable about half way into the game.

You start as a pretty wimpy warrior, no specialization, just a 'club'. There's some bleh plot about your parents are missing for 10 years and you need to find them. You can also get various gifts from others, some of which pokes fun at the game itself. You need to practice a bit by wacking some evil snails just outside of town. There is only ONE attack key, though there are no less than SIX different movement keys: up / down / left / right, and jump left / right. There is only ONE attack, and it actually has a facing. Basically, don't let any enemies touch you, or you'll get hurt. You can also get hurt by falling off ropes into bottomless pits, but that's a different problem. The point is, at time you feel like Super Mario, jumping around. In fact, some of the enemies you whack are mushrooms. Yes, mushrooms.

The idea is travel through the nasty parts of the land, and whack monsters along the way, and reach the other town, buy some potions, talk to the inhabitants, do some quests, then you'll know where to go next. As you got enough practice, go talk to the chief (why is the chief dressed up like an "American Indian" style chief, complete with a feathered head ornament?) and he'll promote you to a higher level warrior, with specialization in axe, sword, or staff (axe is short range but powerful, sword is weak but fast, and staff is long reach but slow). Later you get one more upgrade.

You gain levels the normal way: killing monsters and get experience points for them. You heal wounds by going to a healer or drink potions. All typical stuff. There's a potion shop and sometimes a weapon shop in each town. All normal stuff. Allocate attribute points and skill points just like any other RPG.

Monsters just go back and forth, they don't "seek" you out. If you move just right you can whack them and they will never attack you. Your attack also knocks them back slightly, but as you don't always hit, this can be a problem sometimes. Later monsters have more complex patrol patterns and multiple monsters have overlap, making attacking one apart from others a bit more difficult, but not impossible.

So far, this game is pretty much just generic RPG. There are two extremely frustrating parts that seems to tell me that the designers didn't test this properly. 1) there's a section where you need to jump from rope to rope. If you miss, you're teleported back to a safe place, but lses about 1/5 of your health. If you miss the grip too many times, you "die" and are resurrected back in town with 1 hitpoint. That pretty much just tells me to RELOAD the saved game (of which you get two slots). You have to hit the UP button at the right time to grab the rope. As there's like 8 or 10 of them, it's very easy to miss one.

The other problem is the "Henesys Witch Fight". Instead of doing a normal fight, the witch somehow summons a giant monkey who throws numbers at you. You are supposed to hit the corresponding number, which then deflects the number attack onto the witch herself. Say the monkey throws a 4, and you hit 4 in time, the 4 then is deflected by your hit and hits the witch. You'll need 5-6 hits to get her. The problem is, the throw is WAY TOO FAST. I tried playing the game at its slowest setting, but the font is so small, and the speed so fast, I doubt I have even half of a second to react. And since the number is randomly generated, my chance of guessing 6 numbers in a row correctly is horrendous. This makes this section of the game IMPOSSIBLE to play through.

The writing is cute at times, cliche at others, and pokes fun at itself, mobile games, and things in general. When you first came across the chasm where you need to do the rope swing across, the game displays a "to be continued", then "downloading level data", and finally tells you "okay, just jump across".

The main problem with the game is it's HORRENDOUSLY SMALL GRAPHICS. The level map is almost unreadable, and as explained before, the witch battle is impossible.

All in all, Maple Story: Warrior is an also-ran that's not properly tested, barely playable, and offers nothing new. There are much better mobile RPGs out there. Save your money and play Maple Story on a real computer instead.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: simple mechanics, quite a bit of complexity
Cons: imipossible battles, graphics way too small to be playable, way too derivative
Verdict: play the real thing on a PC instead of this wannabe

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