Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: Design, Amount of content
Bad: Controls, A lot of content has to be unlocked with loads of grinding
User Score
5.7
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.7/10 (6 votes cast)

After the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy and the Spyro trilogy got remastered, we were quite surprised when we saw the announcement trailer for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. While we initially thought the game would simply be the remastered version of Crash Team Racing, we were even happier to learn it would also contain content from Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing, making it a very interesting and content heavy Mario Kart clone. After a reasonably long wait, we finally got the chance to take a look at the game that was developed by Beenox and published by Activision.

Story

For some reason all is well in the Crash Bandicoot universe, as you’re even racing for fun with your nemesis, Dr. Cortex, but it seems that the peace is only short lived as your planet is being invaded by the evil Nitrous Oxide, an alien who claims to be the fastest kart racer in the universe. Win, and keep your planet the way it is, lose and become one of the evil critter’s minions and have your entire world turned into a parking lot.

While games such as this often don’t really have a storyline, it’s actually quite fun to have one in Crash Team Racing. The concept is simple, the execution barebones, but it still drives you forward in the single player mode in order to beat the final boss.

Graphics

Graphically Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled looks quite spiffy. The game looks colorful, the character models received a proper HD treatment and the different tracks are simply amazing. The backdrops feel lively, and if you weren’t supposed to try to beat your opponents and come in first, you’d sometimes stop and take in the sights. That being said, there are still a few rough edges to be found, and some graphical bugs, like you getting stuck in the floor or other obstacles, which put a damper on the otherwise perfect graphical nature of the game.

Sound

The sound design is also superb, with iconic Crash Bandicoot music from start to finish. The sound effects do the trick, and the explosions from the different weapons have a proper ‘oomph’ to them, making it very satisfying when you blast one of your opponents to kingdom come. The voice acting is also decent, and also respects the Crash Bandicoot source material. In terms of design, this game is certainly top notch.

Gameplay

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a kart racer that is very reminiscent of the Mario Kart series, but with a few quirks of its own. You’ll have the option to play through the Adventure mode, going from one track to another, to unlock content, to race against specific opponents, or to collect extra items allowing for even more content to be unlocked. The offset is simple, which is certainly a plus for games such as this.

Controlling your kart feels very stiff if you’re used to playing Mario Kart 8. The drift system makes you slow down a lot, if you don’t get used to the boost system quickly, and more than often you’ll feel as if the game was not properly designed for some of the turns the tracks throw at you. Overall things feel doable and drivable, but at times something feels ‘off’ and it’s hard to properly place a finger on what’s the matter. It feels as if the control scheme and mechanics haven’t been properly updated like the graphical prowess of the game. Nonetheless, the game handles decently, but at times you simply don’t feel in control of what is going on.

The game has different karts, decals, wheels and stickers you can choose from, creating a noble racing steed to your liking. Unlike the last few Mario Kart games where karts had different stats, in Nitro-Fueled they are only of a cosmetic nature. All stats depend on the character you choose, and karts and other customization options will not interfere with your racing performance at all. This means that you’ll have to make do with the characters in the list, but it also means you can create your own cool looking kart, without it cutting your stats. The system has both its merits and demerits.

If you’re a completionist you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot of extra content to unlock, but you’ll have to complete a lot of challenges to get what you’re aiming for. There’s also the ‘Pit Stop’, which is the in-game shop, that offers purchasable content at ridiculous prices, forcing you to grind a lot if you want some extra content. We feel like the Pit Stop actually damages the game more than it offers ‘fun extra content’, because you only get a few coins per race, and some items and packs cost a few thousands of coins. And with many of the characters and karts on the roster only being unlockable in the Pit Stop, things get dull quite fast.

Conclusion

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a fun experience, but it’s nowhere near flawless. While nostalgia will probably sugarcoat many of the game’s flaws, you still have a great kart racer, which is enjoyable both solo and with friends. If the developers opted to iron out the kinks with the controls and the perpetual grind you’d have to go through to get some extra content, this game would be a true competitor for the latest Mario Kart game(s). Now it feels like a remake where the developers wanted to cash in, rather than go the extra mile to make the best experience possible.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.7/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled - Review, 5.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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