March 1, 2010

MMORPG Corner: Wonderking vs MapleStory

You are about to read a very biased, uninformed review of two MMORPGs. I may be way off-base, or you may strongly disagree with what I've got to say, but cut me some slack. You're free to comment, but let's keep it to a small ember at most over here.

Ahem... Okay kiddies, if you like playing social RPGs and enjoy an anime-inspired adventure, then you've probably hit a couple anime-styled MMORPGs. Sure there's the point-and-click clones of WoW all over the place, but I believe what makes online games shine is live action. And the closest we've gotten to that is summed up in side-scrolling MMORPGs.

The Challenger

Wonderking Online is a fairly new MMORPG that has begun testing it's waters with the North American audience late January. Extremely similar to MapleStory on first glance, Wonderking boasts many of the same features: basic character classes that branch out to specializations i.e. the two-hand sword wielding Warrior to the swift, stealthy ninja (whose weapon of choice is ninja stars). Players complete quests in luscious, intricate pixelated areas, killing cute-but-deadly monsters.

The Reigning Champion

MapleStory has run the side-scrolling MMORPG game forever. If you were adept these past few years you may have noticed various commercials, online ads, and even tons of memorabilia. You start off throwing snail shells, but if you put in the endless hours of killing monsters you can look as intense as the gigantic boss monsters (but of course much smaller). MapleStory has a huge fanbase and is arguably a figurehead in the MMORPG universe.

The Debate:

MapleStory has grown to somewhat epic proportions, but it had earnest beginnings like the rest of them. Including Wonderking. It has been adapted to the North American audience in an attempt to give MapleStory a run for it's money. Wonderking has even finessed ad placement onto Crunchyroll and (where there's even a WonderKing dev blog for those who want to know more about the Mods and the game).

To be honest I haven't reached endgame in either game, but I've given each a chance. MapleStory obviously has more content, but that is only because Wonderking had a late(r) start. I would definitely bet on old Sea Bird (Wonderking) to pull into the lead in the future. Let's be honest folks: no matter how good MapleStory is, too much of a good thing will either put you off or rot your teeth. I'm not telling you to go delete (or sell, whatever you game is) your account and run over to play a game that needs expansion in many areas. I'm only saying that we shouldn't stubbornly stay with the old forever.

And if you've never played or heard of either games, or even MMORPGs for that matter, give them both a shot!


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