Discover the Best and Worst of the game in this Tales Runner Review
I have this rule when writing. I wanted to see the game first hand, try it out. I try to stay away from reading any comments of sorts to avoid being influenced by what others think. So when I logged into TalesRunner, I was baffled but in a good curious way. It may seem a little bit of a stretch but even though it doesn't seem like much at first glance, there really are a number of reasons why there’s a need to be excited about this game.
After logging in, there was nothing but two characters to choose from. It was natural to expect of some sort of variation like the usual selection of character classes but these two were of the same type, no differences in stats. Just a selection if you either want to play as a male or female athlete. So starting off with either Cho-Won or MingMing. I guess it’s pretty obvious which one was the boy and which was the girl. I started off with Cho-Won. After selecting my character, a story was triggered. It was a message inviting my character to a different world by their king’s request. After listening to what the king has to say, tutorials for basic controls followed right after.
Before all of what happened, I had no clue that TalesRunner is a Sports MMO. At first I assumed that it was going to be similar to Mario Kart, as I continued my game, I realized I wasn't really off the mark. During a challenge, apparently there isn't a mouse function like most Sports MMOs. It only is active when you’re at the lobby or waiting area. The controls, by default are the arrow keys for movement, left CTRL to jump, Z to sprint and left shift to use items picked during an on-going challenge / race. Of course, if this set of controls may be a bit awkward for you to get used to, you can always change it via settings like the directional W,A,S,D for movement and Spacebar for jumping.
At first you might think “Hey, that looks easy!” all because there aren't many control keys to remember. But that is where you get to fall face flat on the ground hard enough to crack it. No really. Every start of the challenge, your character / athlete is dropped from waaaay up in the sky. Why am I even mentioning this? Its cause if you don’t even know how to land feet first specially when your timing sucks (like mine does), you get to soften the floor with your character’s poor mangled body over again. Also that split second could define your loss and your opponent’s advantage. Despite it’s very cutesy and cartoony appearance, TalesRunner isn’t for very small kiddies, (cough) sore losers (coughs) and for the faint of heart. It requires a lot more dexterity than your average Spiderman fan. So, if I were to estimate for the game’s suitable age range, it should be from 14 and above.
How Fast Can You Run?
So what do we have so far… a small set of controls, requires skill and timing, initially a very small client… okay so the client was just 1.6 gig when I downloaded it from Winnerhub. I’m assuming that theirs is the English version of the game. I catch a glimpse of one in Thai. Anyways, for a 1.6 gig client game, it’s packed with a ton of interesting things. There are different challenges and the developers made it very interesting and entertaining. I accidentally entered Survival Mode challenge. I was like “Okay.” Since I there was this itsy-bitsy scribble on the lower corner of the button that said “EASY”. Off I went. (Did I mention that this game wasn't for the faint of heart?). Before I could analyze what I was supposed to do, this giant octopus came rampaging towards my character. The Takoyaki I had for lunch just an hour before I played the game suddenly popped into my head – was it coming for revenge?
Entering the challenge mode by mistake at the same time being a total newbie that was yet to really get used to the control keys of the game – surviving that round was totally out of the question. It would zap my character with electricity whenever it came close enough which stuns him for a short while, but of course the challenge had a time limit. You get stunned a few times for 1 – 3 seconds each time then it is going to be your loss.
That was still within the newbie-mode range. I am not saying that it was something too difficult but the controls will need a lot of getting used to which is something, even at this early stage of my understanding and experience of the game, I wouldn't mind going all out and learning. Any serious gamer loves the feeling of being able to use their skills. Amazing challenges awesome thrills and ZERO wasted effort. Also, I did mention earlier that the game reminded me of Mario Kart since it’s the first thing that pops in anyone’s head when you mention “racing game”. They have these fairy tale themed challenges and thus reminded me of a version of Kingdom Hearts. Also, when you say Sports games, another name that pops up is Tony Hawk, who hasn't played any of them games based on his board tricks?
It doesn't really matter how many other games it reminds me of, the point is, the developer(s) of Tales Runner managed to put all of that different ideas and managed to blend them all in perfectly. To be quite honest, based on the title, I was expecting some chibi-anime-ish MMORPG game, something like Luna. It’s a good game but one I've seen all too often. I am glad that I was wrong and that I didn't try to look the game up before playing. I had more fun than I honestly expected.
Challenge VS. RIOT
At the beginning, you are only presented two start-up athletes to choose from. Other athletes are available through cash shop. Of course these guys have something a little extra like additional stats that allows them to pick up their heels faster and pack a harder punch when it comes to challenges. I did mention how there were different types of challenger modes in the game. This is the RIOT part; you can do up to a 30-person challenge in one game (no kidding!) So an 8-person, a 30-person, team play and relay mode. And before you can jump in on all that, you can take all the time you need practicing via Single Play. I tried the Triathlon and it was not easy at all but at the same time, it didn't feel like some hallow entertainment. It requires an understanding of the puzzles within the surroundings like skiing down a winding narrow slope while strong wind was blowing really hard from one side to another.
King of Mental Arithmetic is another interesting game mode. You need to answer a bunch of questionnaires and solve simple math problems before you could proceed on to the race. Like almost every challenge has a timer. The winner is the one that completes the race with the shortest time. If that doesn't sound all that difficult then try the Survival version of this game mode.
Survival-King of Mental Arithmetic Map. Reading the title makes me want to choose the wrong answer just to see how bad its going get like what angry giant monsters are they going to drop on you. So this is a combination of all the features inside Survival mode challenges PLUS the quizzes from King of Mental Arithmetic.
Park & Farm System
What game is complete without the social and mellow side? The Park System is what makes room for the more relaxed and less competitive features of the game like the couple/marriage system and of course the guilds can be created. As for other features players can enjoy at the Park, you can try out their mini games in exchange of some TR or the Fortune Teller that provides you with a “buff”. I guess the buff depends on which type of fortune you requested to be told.
To work on a Farm after you get married, that sums about right. But in TalesRunner, you will need to purchase a ticket to be able to use the Farm for a limited time. The area can also be customized to your liking; decorations can be purchased mainly from the Farm Store. Once you’re all set, you can figure out if you want to raise animals or grow plants that could be quite profitable. Aside from experience, you can also be rewarded with TR and other valuable items.
TalesRunner is an awesome game. It is a very good alternative if you wish to take a break from the same old games. I like the fact that it’s pretty decently balanced and it depends mostly on skill. I wouldn't mind spending on a game like this every now and then. But like what they say, too much of something good is technically bad. Its best to play this one casually to keep its fun element in tact.