After playing around with Ntreev's new racing game, I think I grasped enough experience to make a review on it. During the end of 2009 and during 2010, players could try out the game that was either closed or open beta. Alicia's horse racing MMO may sound cheesy at first, but this game cannot be judged by first impressions. You just have to play the game to see it for yourself.
Once you sign-in from the website for the first time, you'll be treated with a character creation screen to pick your name, gender, eyes, mouth, body size, and voice. After that, you are ready to play the game. Your character will gain experience points as you play and it'll be used to unlock a variety of things.
Here's how my appearance looks like.
You got your typical attire of clothes and head gears to choose from. Some higher priced items can only be purchased when you meet the level requirements. Horses can be accessorized with equipments that raises their stats too. The shop also carries items that are used to take care of your horses.
Style up your rider with dresses and head gears.
Fit your horses with some gears needed to boost their stats. Luckily, each parts will equip towards all of your available horses instead of individually. It'll have a rental period, but you can customize your duration however you want.
You'll need to maintain your horse and keep it healthy or else it's not going to perform well. If neglected, your horse may get injured that'll cost you more money to get it treated. It sounds like a pain to keep up with, but I think it's a neat feature to have interactions with your horses that are treated more than just a racing tool. Your job is to feed, clean, keep it entertained, and rejuvenate their stamina after each race. Most of this will cost you to get supplies so it's necessary to maintain your funds wisely.
Horses can level up too, and each level will give them 1 point for you to distribute one of the five stats you can pick from.
Dashing speed increases the better the stats. Cutting corners a lot faster. Critical chance of using Shield spells per 10 points.
Reduced slowness of going uphill. Increased speeds going downhill. Less staggering when being hit by opponent's shock spell. Magic gauge during magic mode will speed up quicker.
Improves acceleration. Improves sliding. Using boost spells speeds will become faster. In team match, the duration spell will be increased. Critical chance of using boost spells per 10 points.
Less staggering when under the haze spell. Using the haze spell against someone will increase the duration. Critical chance of using haze spells per 10 points.
While chasing behind opponent, your speed becomes much faster. Getting staggered from ice spell is reduced. Critical chance of using ice spells per 10 points.
*rough translations on each of these descriptions*
Keep your horse shiny and clean to keep it happy.
There's horse breeding that I haven't managed to meet the full requirements just yet. Your character must reach level 10 to unlock horse mating. Your horse must also receive a rating of 4 or higher to be able to mate. You can even list your own horses with the amount you set on and rental periods to make some easy pocket money.
The main attraction of the game is to compete against other players in a race. There are four modes to choose from for online play:
Speed: Traditional race with speed boost only competing against other players.
Magic: Uses item attacks much like how Mario kart works competing against other players.
Speed Team: Same like Speed mode but with teams of Red vs. Blue.
Magic Team: Same like Magic mode but with teams of Red vs. Blue.
As for concerns about oversea lag, most of my matches have been fairly smooth. There are a few jumpy glitches, but it's manageable. You'll mostly see it happening at the start of the race, but it gradually gets better. Just be sure you have a decent connection speed.
If playing online isn't your thing in this foreign game, you can play by yourself called Solitaire. This is great way to practice and compete against bots like the real thing. But first, you have to complete the tutorial mode in order to unlock this. It'll have three different modes to choose from: Speed Practice, Magic Practice, or Time Attack. You can earn experience and carrots (currency) too, but just a little. In an incentive to get first place on each difficulty level, you will receive bonus carrots as a reward.
Each courses have their own sets of difficulties. The harder courses has better breathtaking visuals with so many scenery to see, but the downside is that you need to level up for it to become available.
Speed mode. Traditional style racing with horseshoe boosters only. In order to increase your booster gauge, you can collect horseshoes scattered around the area and making jumps over the wood cavaletti.
Magic mode. You gain a variety of spells that will either aid or take down your opponent. It's the same as racing, except more strategy and a bit of annoyance involved.
Time attack. Available in solitaire only. See how fast you can finish the course.
Remember I talked about this game a long time ago before it was released? I had my eyes on this title for awhile with its amazing visuals and unique racing system that I wanted to experience. At one point, I did try out closed-beta, but for some reason the game would not cooperative with me. I gave up trying, and my hype drifted away from there. Now that the game has been out for awhile, I finally got to settle down and play Alicia.
As you level up, you start unlocking more new contents along the way so there's possibility more new contents I haven't discovered just yet. I've played this almost non-stop in the past two days and I normally don't play much online games, so that's definitely showing positive results out of me. The racing experience feels unique in a way and the horses feels very realistic as they gallop.
The tension is performed very well in this game. On the final lap, a message will show "Last Spurt" when you get close to the finish line. You'll start hearing hearts beating faster and faster as your almost there to the goal and that kind of tension builds up your adrenaline.
There are more handy features in this game that I haven't covered, but I wanted to show you the basics on how the game is like. I do hope a game like this will come stateside though. Remember that this game is still new over at Korea so I'm sure they need to concentrate on their side before moving on to bringing it overseas. For some reason I've read many short comments from other people saying that the English version is coming out without any sources to back their statement up...
So are you interested in trying this game out too? Those who already have accounts from Gametree or play Pangya KR can go ahead and log-in from the site. Be sure to have both the Gametree Launcher and client downloaded first before you proceed. Click on "Game Start" and follow along each steps carefully and it should be easy to go from there. Once you finish creating your character from the website, you should be good to go.
Video sample by me: YouTube, Justin.TV
Gametree Launcher Download
Megaupload 1 | Mediafire 1
Alicia Client Download
Megaupload 1 2 3 4 | Mediafire 1 2 3 4
(Need something to extract .rar files)