Pocket MapleStory is the mobile version of the 2003 massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Nexon that is hugely popular in some areas of Asia. Filled with 2D side-scrolling action, this portable port of the game does its best to deliver every feature of the original – something it achieves for better and worse.
Pocket MapleStory has you pick one of three distinct character types to control as you jump into its overly verbose fantasy world. Only the most patient players will read the pages of text, shown in a tiny font, that make up the story. Thankfully, Pocket MapleStory appears fully aware of this providing, both a skip button and clear quest markers for every unread mission you undertake.
I selected the ranged Angelic Buster as my character, but the more up-close and personal Dual Blade and Demon Slayer also look nice and stylish. Each class type has a nice anime style, with a highly customizable appearance. This allows you to have an avatar that looks truly unique by altering both cosmetic elements and the various items of looted and crafted equipment. Doing this can be a little fiddly, especially on smaller devices as you try and select the right slot among the tiny fonts – but it’s a worthwhile effort to place your mark on your tiny sprite.
If only the rest of the port was so well thought through and accommodating.
Past PC problems
Pocket MapleStory’s problems stem from its roots. Issues begin with the simple fact it is a 2D MMORPG, with stats that alter your characters ability to successfully hit an opponent. On a 2D plan it can be hard to understand how you miss enemies that are right in front of you, particularly when your shots or strikes seem to be dead on. Leveling up, improving your character’s stats, and collecting better equipment does improve this, but I never quite got over missing a pointblank shot on an enemy that moments later killed my tiny pink haired avatar.
The other issue is the port – or rather the new platform. Movement, jump, attack, and a selection of quick action items are all mapped over the action – along with pop out menus to take you to equipment and social screens. It’s cluttered, even on medium sized screens.
And I could ALMOST forgive this, were it not for the fact every digital button is so unresponsive. Trying to make a single, simple jump should not be a 50-50 chance in 2D platform game. Tapping the jump button or pressing in the direction you want to move should never feel like an effort or a role of the dice - but in Pocket MapleStory it does, and that is unforgivable.
Only for the committed
Pocket MapleStory’s success is assured. With a huge built in fan base already existing on other platforms, players who already love the world will no doubt be able to look past this port’s failings. New players looking for a mobile MMORPG, however, should give this a miss and look for a game built from the ground up for touchscreen.