MapleStory: Unmei no Shoujo ("The Girl of Fate" or "Destiny's Girl" or "Destiny's Child")for 3DS was at first an exclusive to South Korea, where MapleStory proper enjoys perhaps its most dedicated following. We found out at the Tokyo Game Show that the game will be coming to Japan at some point in 2014. The showfloor demo gave us a look at what seems to be a good transition from PC to 3DS.
This isn't MapleStory's first time on a handheld, as this PC MMORPG was also boiled down for regular DS a few years ago, to moderate success. I never played that version, however, so I'm going to write this as if it never existed. Playing it felt very much like playing the PC's MapleStory; every action from walking to platforming to combat all look and feel just like the original, except now entirely handheld. The addition of a dash reduces the boredom of a long walk while adding tension to the fighting and all around makes the game feel snappier. Who knew that one simple addition could make such a difference? Well I guess the developer did. What a stupid question, and I asked it right out loud in the middle of my preview. Man, I'm sorry, guys.
To accommodate for the transition from a keyboard to a small set of buttons, the game allows very easy mapping of skills to face buttons, and other combos were doable by using the buttons and stick together. It all came together very well.
The only thing missing is character customization. This was through the roof in the original Maple Story, but The Girl of Fate actually stars a character with her own story, rather than being a story which is, from what I can tell, about pancakes. But yeah, being a character-driven story, your ability to mess with that character will not be on the same level you're used to if you've played MapleStory.
I played the game's first chapter, which had destiny's girl herself stalking a ninja bear who has been stealing secret scrolls. That mother fucker. It's always a ninja bear, isn't it? The town was mostly populated by pandas and all around felt very Chinese. I learned in my history class in America that China is in fact populated by pandas, so I must say that this game is very historically accurate, according to my ignorant perspective filled mostly by stereotypes and lacking any research.
I left town to fight pigs and bears, and eventually ran down the thief I'd been assigned to catch. Our boss wasn't tough, per se, but it was up there compared to the low standard of showfloor demo boss fights. The demo ended with a story cliffhanger that would serve only to tease, as the 3DS MapleStory has yet to be announced for English-speaking territories.