They Cancelled MapleStory 2 For This?

Publisher Nexon recently announced that they would shut down MapleStory 2.

By Daavpuke, Posted 19 May 2020

While the news may have passed for a lot of people, for nearly prophetic reasons, publisher Nexon recently announced that they would shut down MapleStory 2, the massive multiplayer online (MMO) sequel to their massive 2D hit. The 3D conversion of the cutesy game didn't amass the lofty expectations required and, not long after the cancellation, MapleStory 2's Twitter account started promoting Nexon's latest project, KartRider Rush+, a mobile game with a surprisingly similar art style. The racer pretty much just uses the assets from the 3D MMO and that's more than enough connections for us to give it a shot.

MapleStory 2, Cancelled, MMO, Game of the Year, Nexon, NEXON Korea, NSquare, Kru Interactive

If Nexon understands one thing, it's that stimulation enhances retention, because the first noticeable aspect about KartRider Rush+ is that it is extremely busy. The user interface (UI) is screaming with lights and jiggles at all times, urging players to click the next button that takes them to one of seemingly endless progression grinds. There are the known daily objectives, but then there are several currencies, leveling trees and a bunch of different shards and trading systems. There's in fact so much UI that the surrounding racing game sort of seems like an afterthought.

Fair's fair, however, there are also several game modes, including a cutesy story worthy of association to MapleStory. As can be expected, the driving mechanism is kept rudimentary to work on mobile platforms. Most of the focus is on drifting through corners properly to accrue a speed boost; rinse, repeat. Items, which again need grinding to unlock, can aid with turning corners and receiving other leniencies, which is definitely a red flag in terms of pay-to-win concerns, but this is a free Nexon game. The publisher has never shied away from being fairly open about using actual money to enhance the playing experience.

Personally, I don't think I'll be playing a lot more of KartRider Rush+, if only because the UI is so extremely cluttered, it's impossible to know what to even grind for, let alone play efficiently. MapleStory 2 was my runner-up for Game of the Year, when it launched in 2018. My winner was the battle royale, Radical Heights, which was discontinued as well. Our gaming future is increasingly made up of fleeting moments and that realization hurts. Seeing KartRider Rush+ use those art assets and those memories, to entice people for a much more shallow and somewhat cynical time sink, certainly hit a snare, even if it was unintentional.

There is about a week and change left for anyone to play MapleStory 2. For those who don't want a racing experience on their phone, the MapleStory 2 Twitter is now also promoting the PC version, called KartRider: Drift. There's a Closed Beta event that will start in June, for those morbidly interested:

🏎️ @KartRiderDrift is revving up and racing towards CB2! We're looking to see what you think of the high-speed action this June!

Sign-up for the Closed Beta!
[]#kartrider #kartriderdrift #racinggame #nexon #closedbeta

— MapleStory 2 (@PlayMaple2) May 14, 2020

While I'm always down for some fun kart races, I just don't think or expect KartRider Rush+ or its PC counterpart to be memorable enough to stand the test of time. I don't want to sound contrarian or like the typical, old, curmudgeon gamer, but both Radical Heights and MapleStory 2 were engaging projects, dammit. Part of me isn't ready for our future, where our old Game of the Year picks are shut down and unavailable. Let us know what discontinued gems you miss in the comments.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed

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Publisher(s): NoobFeed
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Genres: Video Games
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Release Date: 2009-02-14

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