After Crash Bandicoot took the video game world by storm with his original trilogy of games on the Playstation, the next entry in the series was an unusual choice for the character, in 1999 Crash team racing was released, the game was a kart racing game that was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
An extraterrestrial creature called Nitro Oxide comes to earth and challenges the Crash Bandicoot cast to a race, he wants to race the fastest driver and will leave earth if he loses but if he wins he will turn the planet into a concrete parking lot.
The Adventure mode of the game has players driving around an over word to find racing tracks, when you find a track you will be challenged to win a race against a cast of challengers. In traditional kart racing fashion you must race as fast as you can while drifting around corners, gaining boosts and using the various power ups to your advantage. I’ve never really liked the power ups in CTR but if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be the TNT crate. The game allows players to collect Wumpa fruit in order to drive faster although to be honest even with the max amount of Wumpa fruit I didn’t seem to be going any faster at all. The boost is really useful once you get the hang of it, when drifting players can boost if they press the opposite shoulder button once the exhaust fumes from the kart turn black and you can do up to three boosts during one drift.
The adventure mode has various boss races which are very challenging and in my opinion a little unfair. The bosses just spam their attacks onto the player making the races very frustrating.
After beating an area boss in the game players are able to replay the race tracks in both CTR medallion races, Relic Races and Crystal levels, CTR medallion races are exactly the same as the regular races apart from a player is needed to find three hidden letters C,T and R and place first. In Relic Races players must complete all three laps in under a set amount of time they can hit crates to gain more time and depending on how long they take to finish the race will determine what level of relic they are awarded, players can win either silver, gold or platinum relics and in Crystal levels players have a set amount of time to collect 20 purple crystals (This mode is by far the most challenging in the game)
The final mode in the adventure mode are the gem cups. after collecting a set number of coloured tokens from winning races and challenges players can challenge a gem cup in order to win a gem, if all gems are collected players can unlock some bonus content and the true ending to the game.
A few other modes are available outside of the single player adventure mode, Time trials allows players to race across tracks with no items to see how fast they can beat the track, they can save ghost data to the game in order to try and beat their best time at a later date. Arcade mode allows players to replay any track from the adventure mode, Battle mode is a lot of fun players can pick from a selection of battle arenas to try and get the most kills against other players by attacking them with the games various weapons.
The games soundtrack was composed by Josh Mancell, I love the soundtrack to this game its got a nice beat to it and every track had me tapping my foot to the music. The music really suits a comedy racing game such as Crash Team Racing and you couldn’t ask for anything better than this.
Crash Team Racing is a phenomenal game it was an odd choice for Crash Bandicoot but it worked extremely well, it has great controls, a wonderful soundtrack, an hilarious plot and a hell of a lot of charm the only issue I have is that I find the boss races a little unfair but apart from that this is one the best kart racing games of all time only falling short to the Mario Kart Series in my opinion. 9.5/10
In 2019 a remake of the game developed by Beenox was released and this entry included a new lick of paint for the game bringing it into the modern era. Tracks, karts and characters from the original game and the sequels were remastered and added to the game.
The biggest change here was the graphics which look fantastic, The best part for me personally was how much life was added to the tracks, while they mostly stuck with just a modern take on the classics the developers gave back ground details such as environments, animals and elemental effects which made the tracks really interesting to soak in while I was playing.
You can now also build karts in the game by swapping colours, wheels, bodies, stickers and decals, this is quite fun although all of the karts I built felt the same to race.
The soundtrack while again really good takes a more modern approach to the music, the tracks sound more smooth and better composed although I prefer the original soundtrack over this, I just cant jam to this one as much as I can the original which is a shame but its one of the only things that I would say is worse in this remastering.
This is an amazing reboot of Crash Team Racing and while the original sequels didn’t do to well back in the day its nice to see them get some love here in the form of bonus content. The game controls fantastically and visually its beautiful, while I was not a fan of the soundtrack it was still very nice to listen too. What I really dislike about this remake is the god awful load times, I played this on the Switch which has apparently got the longest load times but players from both Xbox and PlayStation that I know have confirmed that load times are a little too long on those platforms as well. I can only hope this is fixed in a patch in the future and its because of this I find it hard to give this version a higher rating compared to the original game so I will be fair and say that it just as good 9.5/10.
I hope you enjoyed this review of Crash Team Racing and Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled.
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