Tag Archives: KartRider

KartRider Comes to the US at Last… on Your iPhone

A little over three years ago the Nexon game KartRider was in open beta here in the United States.  My daughter and I tried it out and found it reasonably light and enjoyable.

Big Ad on the back of GFW Magazine

It wasn’t quite Mario Kart, but it was a decent game and seemed to have quite a following in Asia with a reported 230 million people having tried the game world wide. (Or is that just 230 million accounts created?)

However, within a few months, the beta closed down and nothing more was heard about a US version of the game.

Open Beta has Ended, See You Some Day...

Apparently it was not a big hit in the US.  It disappeared from the Nexon America site.  That was nearly three years back.

Now, however, Kotaku reports that the game will be coming to the US market after all.  But not on your computer.

Instead it will be available on your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, or Android device.

You will be able to play against three other people in local match ups, and it will hook up to Facebook and the Nexon item shop, where you will be able to buy new tracks and all the car upgrades and customizations.

The odd thing is that online play will not be available.  At least it is not mentioned at all currently.  I can see how you might sell things in the MMO version of the game, but on the mobile device version, where you can only play against three other people locally, or against the CPU, the item shop seems… less compelling.

Still, it is supposed to be a free download from the App Store, with the Apple device version available soon followed by Android support this summer.

KartRider?

I went looking for KartRider this morning, but it seems to have disappeared.

A little less than a year back I ended up, due to a big colorful ad on the back of Games for Windows Magazine (which itself disappeared in April of last year) downloading and installing the Nexon free to play game KartRider.

It is (was?) a fun little racing game that my daughter and I played on and off for a couple of months.

This morning my daughter was looking at the icons on my desktop, pointed at the KartRider icon, said that we had not played that game in a while, and asked if we could give it another try.

But when I tried to launch the game, it gave an error, citing my firewall as a possible issue.

I went to the KartRider site I had bookmarked, to see if anything had changed or if I needed to download a new client and was greeted by this:

Open Beta has Ended

Open Beta has Ended

The open beta is over (oh, yeah, I forgot it was still in beta) and thank you to all the people who made it a huge success.

The main Nexon site had no obvious mention of KartRider.  The Korean site for the game still seemed to be up and in full swing however.

Eventually I found a notice on the site about the end of the open beta:

Greetings KartRiders!

We’d like to thank our beta testers for all their hard work in testing KartRider!

The Closed Beta will come to an end on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 5pm (PST). We encourage you to get your last few races in!

We will announce the full launch of KartRider at a later date.

Thanks for playing!

– The KartRider Staff –

Hrmm, it has been a while since I peeked in on the game.

Still, I have to wonder how huge of a success the open beta was if they removed all mention of the game from the main US site and have let the US localized version of the game sit for more than seven months.

They still have MapleStory, Combat Arms, and a couple of other games listed on their US site, but could this be another sign (ala NCsoft) that Korean game makers aren’t able to tap the US market as effectively as they do their home market?

February in Review

The Site

Another month slips by, but the site goes on.

I made more posts this month than I thought I was going to, given how busy work has become and that I was on Maui for six days. (*Ducks snowballs thrown by Bildo*) Fortunately WordPress.com allows you to submit a post to be displayed at a later date, so some posts went up while I was away and without a computer. (I did moderate comments via my aunt’s iPhone. It was slow, but manageable.)

And speaking of comments, my question of the moment is, “Why does Akismet file all of Syncaine‘s comments as spam?” He has a WordPress.com account and blogs regularly. My guess is that the people at Akismet are all carebears and seek to destroy Syncaine for his pro-PvP comments.

One Year Ago

Back in February 2007 Kendricke dropped by with the news that Sony Online Entertainment applied for a trademark for “EVERQUEST II RISE OF KUNARK,” thus confirming my guess that Kunark would be the EverQuest II expansion due near the end of 2007. A quick check of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site shows nothing on my guess for this years expansion. (Return to the Planes of Power FTW!) The USPTO does show that SOE at one time had the trademark for, “EVERQUEST: THE DEMISE OF ARADUNE,” which is mildly ironic from a Vanguard point of view. I wonder what they had planned for that title? (Aradune = Brad McQuaid, for those not completely immersed in EQ history and lore.)

Of course, SOE also announced a price increase for Station Access shortly thereafter, always a buzz killer. This was immediately blamed on Vanguard and calls for the demise of Aradune were literal.

I also started off in the Lord of the Rings Online open beta which eventually lead to the instance group spending the spring and summer in Middle-earth before returning to Azeroth.

And speaking of Azeroth, a year ago we were just starting to get into the fun that is Uldaman. And somewhere along the line I swapped out my rogue Blintz for my paladin Vikund, who has remained with the instance group ever since.

And finally, my wife got me a Wii for Valentine’s day that I couldn’t use until Easter!

New Linking Sites

A big thanks to these sites who link to TAGN. I encourage you to give them a visit in return.

Again, if your site does link here and I have not mentioned it in the past, feel free to drop me a note, as it is getting harder and harder each month to find sites! (And I’m still lazy.)

Most Viewed Posts in February

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Five New EVE Online Wishes
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations
  5. EVE Online – The Tutorial
  6. Drake Down
  7. What Is A “Tank” In EVE?
  8. Why Isn’t LOTRO More Fun?
  9. There is Hope for a SciFi MMORPG
  10. Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
  11. Adrift in a Burning Sea
  12. Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want

Best Search Terms

naked zone .com
[Not here. Trying removing the spaces and see what you get.]

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[I suppose after “gnoll sex,” this should be no surprise.]

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[Is this related to centaurs?]

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[Your secret is safe with us!]

stairs
[Stairs? How did that get you here?]

why are there noobs
[To give you a false sense of superiority?]

largest noob in ancient history
[Well, after seeing “300,” one might guess Xerxes. Or, depending on how you look at it, either Caligula or Claudius.]

big beard
[I knew that “Wilhelm is a dwarf” thing was going to bite me.]

Best Spam Comment

“At the reporter of the jigger we were both casually horny, and we got in Chad’s SUV, and we drove in the morally black sex movies behind the britney spears commando limousine center and he ofren me before I went rirance to my husband. The celebrities movie archive for folding was over.”

I feel there is a lesson in there for all of us.

EVE Online

When I wasn’t wishing for things in EVE Online, I was finally getting somewhere with invention and tech II blueprints. It was nice to make back some of my 200+ million ISK investment in skills and data tuners. I also started doing NPC research to get datacores for invention. Of course, losing another battlecruiser pretty much offset any financial gain from there, but I am not broke yet.

EverQuest II

I let my Station Access subscription lapse because February was so busy, but now I cannot find the motivation to resubscribe. Even the thought of fae glide can’t get me to sign back up. I’m in a Norrathian funk. Gaff, who is off four-boxing another group of new characters to level 80, is probably annoyed with me by now.

KartRider

I have almost enough in-game currency to buy a custom license plate!  Go me!

Lord of the Rings Online

I thought that they fixed the problem with my graphics cards, but it turns out that the problem only seems to manifest itself around Bree. Once I get close to town, I “green out” and my system locks up. Hrmph! No love in Middle-earth.

Pirates of the Burning Sea

I have the box at home, but I have not had the time or inclination to start the 30-day clock for the registration code that comes with the game. Potshot gave me his 14-day buddy code to get me started when I was laid up with a sprained ankle (foot and ankle are now back to normal size and color, thanks for asking), so I’ve “been there,” but after 14 days I kind of felt I had also “done that.” I’ll watch the Pirates news to see if something shows up that makes me want to set sail again.

World of Warcraft

Again, Azeroth was my number one virtual destination for the month. After mucking around in the old world long enough, we finally stepped through the portal into the Outlands for our first Burning Crusade instance run. Those of you posting comments expressing your dismay that we were “stuck” in the old content, you can now rejoice. We are in the expansion with both feet.

Wii

I have not written anything about the Wii for a while because I made the conscious decision to write about Wii games in the order in which we received them at home, and I have been stuck for some time on a game about which I have been completely unmotivated to write. So I’ll come out right now and say that Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Games stinks for a variety of reasons. My daughter liked it for a little while, and it was a gift for her from one of our friends, but I did not enjoy it at all. So there. Now maybe I can get to the next game.

Upcoming

Nintendo DS. I am probably going to write more about that. And Pokemon. So brace yourselves.

And the usual stuff. My EVE foibles. The Azeroth instance group. More wishes. Strange thoughts about gaming that occur to me in the middle of the night.

Is it only March tomorrow? Is there anything new in the MMO world yet? Is The Chronicles of Spellborn out yet? I might have to try some older games.

KartRider Quick Pass

KartRider

It wasn’t like I was out looking for a free to play MMO to round out my gaming experience.

But I HAD TO get this game!

I HAD TO!

Why did I have to?

Because there was a great big colorful full page advertisement for it on the back of Games for Windows Magazine.

And my daughter saw it.

kartrider.png

And then the requests began… over and over again.

Eventually I caved in.

GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!

Okay, I am pretty sure that Jeff Green doesn’t do the ad placement in the magazine, but he is the editor-in-chief, and when you’re the boss, everything is your fault.

So with my daughter practically hanging on my sleeve, I downloaded the game.

The first thing you have to do is create an account with Nexon, the games maker. If you already play one of their other games, like Maple Story, your account for that will also work for Kartrider.

Then you download and install the software.

The install part almost lost me.

at a couple of points during the process, the installer asks you to install the Microsoft Korean language kit, which requires you to put your Windows XP SP2 disk into the drive. I would have to guess that they tested this with the international version of Windows XP installed, which has all the language kits, not the US English version.

Fortunately, you can get past that by just pressing cancel until it stops asking you.

Once installed and running, you go through a fairly quick tutorial that teaches you the basics of the game. Then you take your drivers test and, if you pass, you get your license to race. Well, your basic license, anyway.

But then you can go out and race against live people, which is the point of the game. There are different tracks, different sorts of races (singles, teams, quests, events), but mostly you just drive, run over power ups, and use them against the other people on the track.

You can have as few as two people in a race, but then the rewards are negligible.

raceduo.png

You are better off with a full load of eight racers if you want to get ahead in the game.

racestart.png

It is like a low budget MarioKart 64 with lag issues.

That is actually pretty high praise considering MarioKart 64 is a pretty awsome game. It is still my favorite Wii Virtual Console download.

So Kartrider is pretty good, given the price, which is free.

Of course, you CAN spend money on the game, if you want.

The basic unit of currency in game is the Lucci. You get Lucci for winning a race, or for being on the winning team in a team based race. But, like World of Warcraft, you also get some Lucci even if you lose. Not as much, of course. In the races I was in, it was 60 Lucci for the winners and down to 10 Lucci for the losers.

You can use Lucci to buy better cars, avatars with better skills, and special customization items for you car and driver.

And, if you are earning Lucci too slowly, Nexon will gladly take a credit card or game card in exchange for a quick pile of Lucci so you can get a car that goes faster or turns tighter or a driver that earns experience or Lucci at a quicker rate.

A great game? Probably not. But a pretty good game if you want something you can drop into quickly, run a few races, and then go on to other things.

My daughter grew tired of the game when she saw how long it was taking to earn Lucci to buy the cool stuff she wanted (I did not mention that I could BUY Lucci, no no no) but I still have it on my system and I jump in to run a few races every couple of days.