After 13-years, the formidable PC game shows no signs of stopping. Patch after patch (its most recent saw big bad The Black Mage unleash his terror onto the world), MapleStorySEA’s anime-style pixel art remains timeless, even relevant given the resurgence of retro games in recent years. The beautiful and evocative sprites are the gateway to the painterly Maple World.
But the true beauty of MapleStorySEA lies in its’ ever-present entertainment value and longevity. As a free to download and play MMORPG, the barriers to entry are low and its discoverability by a new generation is always high.
If you’re still debating if MapleStorySEA is for you, here are five reasons why you should absolutely play it and one reason you shouldn’t.
1. Low PC requirements
Despite the snappy and dizzying array of spell effects, MapleStorySEA isn’t, by today’s standards, a graphic intensive game. If you haven’t upgraded your PC or laptop in five years, MapleStorySEA will still run decently for you.
Only thing you’ll need is stable internet which for Singaporeans is almost as assured as the SAF calling you up for enlistment.
2. 13-years’ worth of content
The bread and butter of any MMORPG are its’ content. Companies that issue out new MMORPGs seemingly fail to realize that upon release, their game needs to compete with the content of the top dogs today instead of what they launched with 10-years ago.
MapleStorySEA is certainly no different. There’s an endless parade of competitors and clones but few have the breadth of content that MapleStorySEA does. When you make a new character, you’ve got 275 levels to climb with an enormous collection of questing, boss fighting, dungeon-running and story-telling to get you there.
In an era where the adage that content is king, MapleStorySEA has it in spades.
3. Journey not destination
Role-playing games are always about the journey, never the destination although that important distinction has been severely diluted in recent years with developers’ increasing focus on endgame. But no matter how many times people tell you that the game begins at max level, it is how you choose to play that defines your experience.
MapleStorySEA is just as much about the journey as it is the high-level stuff. Take your time because getting to level 275 isn’t going to happen in a week. The game doesn’t require you to rush through its content to enjoy it.
4. Free to play so it’s not going anywhere
Twenty years ago, people had more time than money, so MMORPGs released then could get away with grind-y mechanics. These days, people have more money (comparatively) than time and with an increased busy schedule and an endless line of competitors, MMORPGs can’t get by on ancient gameplay methods any longer. Modern problems require modern solutions after all.
MapleStorySEA by virtue of being free to download and play however, is the antithesis of that model. It’s not going anywhere thus you logging in when you want to play with no monetary requirement forcing you to commit per month, is entirely up to you. Play for ten minutes or an hour; you’ll get some fun out of it.
5. Modern improvements
While we’re on the subject of time and money, consistent improvements made to the game over the years have eased over the difficulty (to the chagrin of veteran players) to be more accessible for newcomers. Aspiring players who no longer have the luxury of time to grind for hours needn’t worry.
Faster leveling also means getting to level 40 is doable in half a day instead of a week. While getting to max level will still take a lot of time and effort, there’s a wealth of in-game things to do like exploring new jobs, skills and locations to keep you occupied and entertained for hundreds of hours cumulatively.
Fans of the game could wax lyrical on more reasons why the MMORPG is worth playing. They are after all, some of the most passionate players ever. When you’ve got a game that’s run for 13-years, coming up 14, it’s inevitable. Many have grown up with the game. Some even found their spouses through the game and are still playing it together.
But there are legitimate reasons to stop playing. Like any other game MapleStorySEA can lose its luster. Reasons for quitting vary but this is likely the most important one:
6. It doesn’t spark joy
Unapologetically Marie Kondo in this philosophy, it’s nevertheless a profound and simple attitude toward doing anything in your life. If MapleStorySEA no longer sparks joy for you; if you’re logging in habitually but no longer find the enjoyment in it, then there’s no shame in quitting.
It’s best to quit when the memories are still positive instead of continuing and allowing that feeling to turn sour. Besides, the game isn’t going anywhere. Who’s to say you can’t return a year or so down the road when you find a little more time? If you haven’t played MapleStorySEA before, time still factors in.
Despite its easy to pick up, hard to master style, the game does require a small amount of commitment if you intend to see visual progression in your character. So if you can’t manage the time, don’t force yourself. The game will still be around. It’s after all, an integral part of the Singaporean zeitgeist (even though it isn’t a Singaporean product), a feat very few games can claim.
It’s part of our culture and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.
However, in the 14 years of operation, Maplers have had a huge amount of content. Recently, they’ve gotten a new job, taken down the Black Mage, entertained LINE Friends and are now prepping for a major patch.