by Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
gPotato, the company that brought MMOs like Flyff, Rappelz & Corum Online now brings a MMO racing game that is unique in its own right.
Tales Runner is a racing MMO that brings a breath of fresh air in an industry that has seen its fair share of racing MMOs. You would get to choose from 8 characters and you would have to race through fairy-tale inspired tracks.
But what sets Tales Runner apart is the race itself. As the name suggests, your character races by running, you read it right running.
Run, run run!
Out of the 8 characters gPotato posted in their website, four are the ones available as of the moment. They are the standard racers you can see in any kind of racing game, you have Charlie whos the basic balanced type of racer, while Ming Ming is has more control and lesser power, while DnD has more speed yet lower acceleration and Apollo has more power.
The other four characters are more specialized than the default roster, though gPotato has yet to say when they will release them. Character add-ons, Lina, Big Bo, Maki and Rough have their profiles in the official roster of characters in the gPotato website, giving you at least an idea of what their stats may be.
Like most racing MMOs, you can customize your character, though in Tales Runner its your characters clothes that provide you the stat boost. You can choose from a variety of items like, the head gear, shirts, pants, shoes etc. The cheaper items of clothing are just eye candy while the more expensive ones give players more stats.
With the game just fresh off the Open Beta stage, there are already a lot of choices for customization. Though most of the things that are available as of the moment are just clothes without stats, I think gPotato would eventually add more to stat-related articles of clothing as the game progresses.
Gameplay, graphics & whatnot
A racing MMO is not just about the looks. Investing on a trendy character would be pointless if you find racing it isnt as exhilarating as you expected. Thankfully Tales Runner doesnt disappoint you in this regard.
There are 3 types of races you can join in the game. Theres the 8-player race where you can either go head to head against 7 other players or be part of a 4 man team, you objective here is to best the other players or team in the track. The other choice is the 30-player race, this one is more survival than an actual race, the maps on this type of race are linear, and the challenge here is that you need to survive a gauntlet- type match where your enemy is not just other players but also a boss monster that is chasing you. The relay race is also like the 8-man player race, but here you are part of a three man team that is separated on different areas on the map. You would need to pass a baton and whoever brings their teams baton to the finish line first wins.
Racing in Tales Runner is easy to comprehend. You have your basic direction keys, and the three default buttons. You have your shift key for item usage, your z key as your dash button and your ctrl key as your jump button.
Another unique feature in Tales Runner is the Rage meter. Your rage meter is the red bar found at the other side of your dash meter, and this gets filled up when you are either hit by an item or by the maps traps. When your rage meter fills up press the shift and z key to have a free invincible dash that serves both as defense, offense and speed boost for your character.
When racing in Tales Runner, you should also pay attention on the track itself. Maps in Tales Runner are trap infested. You would need to have a keen eye and alert fingers if you want to stay ahead of the pack.
Speaking of traps in the survival maps of Tales Runner, they can be as intricate as moving electricity bars or as predictable as a bunch of bouncing fireballs.
Another thing in Tales Runner is that players who have finished the track wont have to wait that long for those who are far behind. The game immediately counts down to ten when the first player reaches the goal. The race immediately ends after the countdown, regardless of your position in the map.
The park of Tales Runner is another new concept for the genre. This serves as a place where players can lounge, chat and just spend time if theyre too tired from racing. There are still a lot of unavailable shops, but the park shows a lot of potential for a vibrant community.
Theres much to say about Tales Runner, the gameplay is solid and the race an exhilarating experience. There is variety in the types of challenges the game gives, and re-playability is high. You can be the first place on the previous race on the same map before, but you may see yourself eating the dust of a competitor because he got the right item and used it on you at the right time.
Tales Runner is very challenging to play, but sometimes it is a little bit too challenging. New players may possibly get frustrated with the game because even the easy levels are a handful. Plus, the competition is strong and you may be frustrated that you never tasted being first even after playing for a while.
Another thing is that, there are not enough players to play with. When I tried the game there are no rooms available in the chick level on the three race types. Majority of the players are either playing on the easy or normal free channel.
Yet you cannot ignore the fact that Tales Runner is that much fun to play. Things may fare well for Tales Runner in the future, thats why I say this is a racing MMO to watch for.
- Stylish clothes for customization
- Challenging maps
- Unique game modes
- Players are scarce
- Some maps may be too challenging to new players