MapleStory 2's gameplay reveal trailer has just been released, the first non-cinematic trailer for the in-development MMO sequel from Nexon. This is the last thing I was really expecting to say about the MMO, considering how little interest I had in the first game, but MapleStory 2 actually looks rather brilliant. Yeah, it looks great. Upgrading the 2D side-scrolling MMO to a blocky 3D adventure must have been a huge risk, but my first impression says they've delivered.
The team at Nexon has really recaptured the charm and personality of the original MapleStory while at the same time cutting the edge off the Bratz cartoony style. The big character heads are back, characters still walk funny, and there's a playful, social focus that many MMOs glaze over. It's a type of setting the original MapleStory capitalized on -- just sitting around with a few friends typing emoticons and dancing. The cuteness has been retained.
Then the core gameplay kicks in. We see some great looking platforming gameplay as players try to jump from moving block to moving block, or squishing into the center of a shrinking platform. Following that is some really great looking 3D action with monstrous enemies. Farming small enemies for gold coins is fun, sure, but when that giant horned devil shot its Godzilla laser blast through the forest? Trees disintegrated, players likely died, and my eyes opened wide enough for my brain to fall out. For a "cute" MMO, MapleStory 2 has some exciting looking action. Everyone saw the big rock guy jump into the air, then land and wreck an entire platform, right? Cool.
MapleStory 2 is planned to enter beta in Korean in 2014. That's not exactly the news anyone was likely hoping to hear. A worldwide release has been promised, but perhaps it's a bit too early to get excited. Maybe western beta news will come in early 2015?