At any big event, there's going to be one or two items that really make the day complete because they're that enjoyable. At TGS 2013, I did not expect MapleStory: Unmei no Shojo (Girl of Fate) to be one of those things. And yet, there it was in one corner of the Sega booth. It wasn't actually a demo, either. Since there wasn't a line waiting for me to finish, the Sega staff didn't bother asking me to leave, so I made it halfway through the second chapter of the game before I realized that I'd been playing for thirty minutes non-stop. And it was fun.
That's the important thing. MapleStory 3DS is fun and energetic, cheerful and cartoony. After several heavy doses of gritty uber-realism or frenetic moé-fests, its brand of action was a welcome reprieve.
I've always liked side-scrolling action, and the way the title heroine bounces around and whacks things was backed by some good control setups that allowed me to attack from multiple angles. The first chapter boss had the right balance of difficulty, too.
Oh, and it has pandas. Lots of honest-to-goodness kung-fu fighting pandas who've raised the titular orphan heroine as their own. As we all know, pandas make everything better. I am very tempted to pick up this game's predecessor for the DS now.
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