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Game Review: Maple Story

Last week I found out that my Niece who's 6 years old has been pestering my sister to let her play an online game called Maple Story. Being the game guru of the family she asked me for my opinion, so I downloaded and played Maple Story + did a little research on it.

I'm gonna do a review targetted towards parents allowing or disallowing their children to play this game.

Its got more than 50 million people world wide playing this game. So don't think that its only played by a small subset of people. The first 8-10 levels are Beginner levels. Then you can choose your first Job. I choose to be a Magician. Not something I would recommend to first time players because its slighter harder to do.

For more indepth info on this game

Maple Story for South East Asia
Maple Story for the US

Quick Review of Maple Story:
Pros:

- Free to Play. No cost at all beyond having an internet connection and a PC able to play the game
- Low system requirements. Basically if you got your PC in the last 3 years, you will probably be able to play this game.
- Simple Graphics, cute, bright colors. This appeals to kids and the "young at heart".
- Easy to learn and play. (My Niece leveled a Warrior and Priest till level 5 on World of Warcraft. This will be a snap)
- Chat System is archaic and not very user friendly.
(I list this as a Pro because I'm gearing this review more for my sister allowing my niece to play. Having a Clunky chat system is good because it will tend to discourage talks with potential strangers online. At 6 years old I think this is a good thing).
- Reading. I've always believed that online games suuch as this encourage children to read. Not all of us like reading 200 page books. So reading Quests and in game messages are great ways for kids to improve their reading skills.
- Something for something. These games teach kids about money. In game you need money to buy things. To get money, you have to kill monsters. Its a reward. It also helps their basic math abilities (subtraction and addition).

Cons:
- Grind, Grind, Grind. If this is your first Online game, it might not bother you much. But the game is fairly basic in terms of MMORPG's. Its essentially a 1st generation MMORPG with World of Warcraft being 2nd to 3rd generation. (Not an issue for a 6 year old)
- This game is free. So to make money they have something called a CashShop in the game. Simply put, you pay real money and get in game money. This can be used to purchase Pets and Clothing and other goodies for your character in the game. Trust me, when I say that kids will want the goodies being offered, especially when they see other characters with all these cute wonderful stuff.
Conclusion:
I have no problem recommending this game for my niece with a few provisos.

1. Time Commitment. This and all these kinds of games are addicitive. And initially (the first 2-3 weeks) are the worst. If you like the game, you might think about nothing else but playing more of the game (Trust me I speak from experience). So Parents please manage your children's Computer Time.

2. Servers. This is harder to explain to non-gamers. Essentially, when you first login and create a character, you have to choose a server to play on. A common problem that occurs is that players jump into the game and just choose any server. Then a few days/weeks/months later they find out their friends are also playing the game but on a different server. This might not sound like an issue to non-gamers but trust me when I say it pays to find out if any friends are currently on an existing server and to create your character on the same server.

3. Enforce the fact that while you can talk with people in the game, never make appointments to meet other characters outside the game unless you know who that person is. This is very important for kids.

4. MOST IMPORTANT!!! Never Never Never tell anyone your Username and Password. Scammers can spot kids in the game by the way they type messages and will create devious methods to get them to revel their Username and Password. So drum into your child to Never Never Never tell anyone your Username and Password. Not in game, not in email, not to friends. Also, parents should know what the username and password is. Expecting a 6 year old to remember this information is just asking for trouble.

5. An Email is required to activate the game. The email address will most probably start receiving junk emails and even worse, Scamming emails. I highly recommend that Parents use their emails and not the Child's emails to activate the game.

6. Parents are highly recommended to spend the first 1-2 hours with the child registering, and creating the first character + playing a the first 2-3 levels with their children. This way, parents have a better understanding of what's actually going on.

As I said, this review is geared towards my sister allowing her daughter to play Maple Story. I say go for it.

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Thank you, oh wise one. Now that YOU have managed the introduction to gaming, please help keep us a couple of steps ahead of her gaming progress. The sister

BTW, she's 7 nearing her 8th year. Remember that when you come home bearing gifts. The sister again

From another mother:Thank you so much!!! You have answered the questions I have been having about my kids playing the game (which is nigh unto consuming them)... I am still concerned about how much $$ they want to spend on it, which has made me wonder about its legitimacy. I feel better, though, about it for the most part. THANKS!

I'm glad this review helped you out :)

The game is legit, and I'm guessing your kids are spending money on things like in game pets and unique clothes and such. What's worse is that these purchased items only last about 30-90 days.

But then again, there are worse hobbies than playing computer games. Cheers!

Another mom saying thanks for the insights. My son thanks you, too, since you answered the questions that will let him play.

I am a producer for Fox 11 News in Los Angeles doing a feature story on Maple Story. I'd like to talk to you for my story. Please email me at leighton@fox11.com. Thanks for your help ... Dan

MapleStory is a great game, but there's something you're missing. There are a lot of people who swear in MS and say inappropriate things, even with the swear filter (which you can bypass.) Some people even use smegas (super megaphones to shout to everyone in their server) to say bad things.

And NEVER let your kids on the MapleStory world forums. You have no idea what goes on there.

~Lord Poo

(MY IGN is xLordPoox)

Any game forum in general is a bad place to visit. Not just for kids but for anyone. They tend to attract the most vocal people who also tend to be nasty.

As for swearing in game... well I think it partly depends on which servers you go to. But you're right and there are lots of ways for people to circumvent swear filters. That's something we have to be aware of when we let kids on to online games.

Valid points xLordPoox, thanks :)

I play maple story. Its fun. theres a site called basil market, where you can buy and seel items. you can also chat. I love ms<3

Hey nice review and all but as stated it is very immature cause of most of the players. players ruin the game buy harassing and complaining and if you report them the GM-game manager or master does nothing. so if you decide to play and if you ask for something such as "mesos" you will be called a "noob, nub, n00b, nublet"-all terms of a new player which is an insult.

~Ed Chicken

Well, if you do choose to let your children play this online game, be aware that many players in it harass the "newbies." They use insults such as "noob, n00b, nub, nooblet, nub" to make the newbie player feel bad for their own enjoyment.

Also keep in mind that not only kid's around 12-16 play this game. Many adults do also. So please tell your kids to play it safe and remember that MapleStory is also an online game.
If your children do decide to play, I wish them the best of luck and hope they game safe.

I'm sorry, but right now I'm laughing at your stupidity. Do you know what kind of people play Maplestory? I guess not if you're letting a 6 year old play. Well don't be surprised when she comes up and asks you what a prostitute is. Or bukkake. Or anal sex. Or chink. Yep, yep. There's a reason it's 13+. (:

Why would you "recommend" this game to a six year old? To truly enjoy the game, one needs a high capacity to remember things. You'll be able to get by on your own in the beginning, but later in the game, you'll need to join a party for training, buy items from other players, and remember exactly how to set up a character. It's more complicated than it seems. For example, an Assassin would be ok with just adding Luck, not so with other characters. A Bandit needs a certain amount of STR, DEX, and LUK. There's also complicated skills which are still being debated on how they work. Not something a 6year old would be very intuitive in.

The game even has a 13 year requirement. That's there not because of a maturity level, it's for the intended age group with the amount of stuff that needs to be learned.

Oh, and you said there's 50 million players, that's not necessarily true. There's different versions of the game, a Japanese, Korean, Global, etc. The Global version only has a little over 6 million.

Alright. This is a half-way decent introduction to the world of Maplestory... but from the standpoint of someone who has been playing for two years now, it leaves some things out.

First of all, it's important to know that the filter system is not perfect by ANY measure. While it does a decent job of keeping some people from spouting slander, there are many methods--from technical computer hacking to simply obscuring words--to bypass the system. That being said, swearing is ABUNDANT in this game.

It's also important to know the kind of people this game attracts. Yes, younger children play this game. As a 15-year-old, I founded a guild named Penetration (and various other words are completely unfiltered) that is entirely of teenagers and up. There are reasons we exclude young children, but it should go without saying that subjects like these are in the game. Though, to Nexon's credit, they're more rare than I make them out to be.

The point is, there are 6 million players that your child will potentially interact with.

Also, the hardcore gamers get very complex when working with their class. Complicated formulas are used to calculate damage, advantage, and so on. Strange builds--here meaning, the way you would/should allocate your stats and skills--are also seen. Players with ungeneric builds (a warrior with high intelligence, for instance) are often looked down at others. Another words, this is stuff a six, eight, or ten year old might not comprehend.

On the flip side, the game is HUGE. In Global Maplestory, we have FOUR continents (yep, just got a new one today, with the new patch!), each continent containing several towns, hundreds of maps. The real-time traveling--taking boats, trains, traveling underwater and through towers--make the scale of the land much more real. The game has kept me immersed for so many hours.

The players are generally friendly, though you must always beware of scam artists--another thing a young child may not be able to discern.

Some parts of your review are entirely truthful. I've spent 6-7 hours on Maplestory on some days, I've spent hundreds of dollars on the cash shop. Which is another feature parents must know about.

The cash shop is the way Nexon makes its money. While the game itself is still playable and fun, you can do various things in the cash shop you wouldn't otherwise be able to do. From shouting a message to everyone in the server using a Super Megaphone, setting up a shop to sell your wares with a Store Permit, or even a wedding, there is a lot more game play experience that comes with cash. And yeah, mostly everyone wants some. The thing is, many parents think that it'll be a one-time only thing; that if you give them ten dollars for their silly game (after all, that's cheaper than a regular computer game!) they'll be content and quit asking. Couldn't be further from the truth; cash shop items expire from your inventory in a maximum of 3 months, sometimes less. And 10k NX (a term to donate 10,000 NX cash in game, which is how much Nexon cash is redeemable with 10 dollars; currency and Nexon cash in the game is often donated in thousands: 10,000 mesos is 10k mesos, et cetera) will not cover the entire scope of the cash shop.

But yeah, this is the general ghist of it. Time to play Maplestory again! :D

Are you out of your mind. This game is for 13+ age. Not for a six year old. There is a reason why it's for 13+. Trust me. As a fellow player, I'm warning you that your daughter will go up to you about inappropriate things. PS. Stay away from forums.

Thank you very much for the game review. My nine year old begged me for the $10 to buy clothes for her character. I paid it online and found out the same night that she was talking to a stranger, getting married to them and that sometimes they say offensive bad words including the forbidden four letter word. I want to protect my children from things that can affect them negatively. Their bad word filter needs serious improvement, so I choose to protect my daughter from this game.
Thanks for the warning. SD

I'm glad that the review of the game helped you.

Some parents think that the computer is like a nanny. Get you kid into an MMORPG like Maple Story and you keep the child occupied for hours on end leaving you free to do what you want.

But the honest truth is that having a child online (even if the child is 16 years old), as parents you should make checks to ensure that your child is not doing something he/she isn't doing. That means understanding what's happening in game, and possibly even checking the chat logs. Yes parents, anything that is typed by your child on the computer can be recorded and viewed by you later. An invasion of privacy perhaps but would you rather just play Russian Roulette with your child?

Anyway, Good for you Anonymous for knowing what your child is doing and making a conscious decision as to her activities.

i agree one hundred percent with bonekhan! this is not a little kids game! not only is calling it that potentially harmfull to young kids its an insult to all teenagers that play as well. maplestory is not a game where you can hold your kids hand and use it to spend time together. its a game that has teenagers talking about teenage stuff and soon of later any young kid is gonna find out about it. kids are going to be tempted to get married and go insane with the cash shop and they might not even know what they are doing!!! there are plenty of safer and more responsible things for kids to do at this age. would you let yur kids play sims? would you let yur kids play habo hotel? would you let yur kids play playboy:the mansion? because if they go in that direction eventually they will! letting them play maple is no different so give it a rest and wait till they're 13.

As a mother of two, I was introduced to Maple Story by my 10 (now 11) years son. Since I have limited their on line game time for 30 minutes each week, I was able to supervise when he played. When I decided to jump in and created my own account, I realized how complicated this game can be. I think older people can take full advantage of what this game offers. The little kids get bored on training and leveling because it is the only thing they can do in game . I also recommend that girls should create a boy character in game to avoid potential harrasement.

Thank you to all of the MS players who posted. My 8yr old asked to play and I was looking for information in deciding what to tell him. Thanks to what you shared about what goes on in the game he will not be playing MS anytime soon!

Maple has its slight flaws, but overall is a great game. It gets even better when you have nx cash, points that are bought with real life money. If you aren't near a game card seller, don't have paypal, or just don't have any money, it's still possible to get nx cash. Prizerebel is a great place that no only gives out nx cash, but many other things as well for just completing surveys.

http://www.prizerebel.com/index.php?r=50538

For each survey you complete you get points. After you gain a certain amount, you can redeem those points for prizes. It's pretty easy, and doesn't cost a cent.

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peace!!!!!!!

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