MapleStory 2 closed PC beta started on May 9, and boy, is it a completely different game in the original MapleStory. chooses the characters and world people loved in the first game, throws them into a time machine then shoves more common, contemporary MMORPG gameplay into the game. For one, the game isn't a pixel side-scroller like the first MapleStory was. Rather it takes on a blocky look, very similar to Minecraft, but using its very own cutesy spin. However, the aesthetics would be the important differences between the two games.
In MapleStory 2, there's no need to remain on one map and grind monsters for long periods of time like in the original game. Your character levels naturally and easily just from doing the story quest, like in Final Fantasy XIV or any other contemporary MMO. This is one of the greatest ways that MapleStory is catching up with the current generation.
The sequel also promotes some more resource direction than its predecessor. As opposed to spamming your strongest skill and relying upon a furry friend to automatically refill your health and mana, you actually have to watch your "soul" degrees and use your skills to refill them. This makes the game harder than the original MapleStory, but the skill rotations you have to do in order to keep up your spirit are not complex, like some other MMOs. The original game's battle tends to find a little mind-numbing when taking down enemies, but dodging area-of-effect skills on a 3D map and keeping up soul forces you to pay more attention in MapleStory 2.
These changes produce feel as a better sequel rather than only the 3D rendition of an old game that it might have been. If you're looking to slay some actors and run some raids, then this is possibly the game for you. But if you would like to just grind all night and day, you need to follow the first MapleStory.