Rev up your engines, Crash Bandicoot fans; it’s time to go racing! A remake of the original 1999 Crash Team Racing, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (CTR) is here and ready to rumble your controllers.
On launching the game, you’re treated to a banter between Chick and Stew, two poultry newscasters. The broadcast-styled opening is certainly amusing. Shame it’s unskippable each time you boot the game. It’s a minor annoyance at worst, and it does show off your favourite characters with improved graphics! It’s a hit of nostalgia, having played the PS2 Crash Tag Team Racing. For long-time fans, you can enjoy a refresh of all your favourites!
Once you get into the game proper, you’ll be treated to a whole host of things to do.
Adventure Mode is the story mode. Beat all the courses in the area, then get a Boss Key to unlock a Boss Race. Get a key, move on to the next area and its set of tracks. You can choose between Classic and Nitro-Fueled difficulties. For old school, go Classic: one character, basic cart. If you’re looking to tweak your experience, then go Nitro-Fueled with difficulty options, the ability to swap out characters and cart customizing. There’s plenty of characters to unlock, so Nitro-Fueled mode is certainly my way to play!
The “Power Slide” mechanic, if you can master it, will be your best bet in winning races against the AI. I’m certainly by no means good at the game, only preferring a few casual races, but it can give quite significant boosts to tear ahead of the competition when you know how to use it. The power-ups are there, of course, but with their random nature, you could be incredibly unlucky and roll the one you need least, or vice versa.
Beating bosses can be especially challenging when they can rubberband, so getting ahead is only truly important on the final lap. Once you get familiar with the game, it should certainly pose no problem.
Bring a friend – or more – and hand them the controllers. You could opt for plain old racing, or choose any one of the available game modes! You have your team battle modes like Capture the Flag, or Challenge Modes like Time Trial. It’ll be up to personal preference if you enjoy them, but you’ll have options whenever you pick up this game.
The AI isn’t the best, I’ve found, when it comes to the team modes. It’s definitely something you’d rather play with other people, unless you just want to have some quick runs.
Grand Prix/Daily Challenges
Grand Prix mode is arguably the meat of CTR. You get challenges to complete, which goes towards various unlocks. These range from skins to cart kits available to earn for a time. Additional challenges goes towards acquiring the overall prize. If you’re aiming to unlock and beautify everything, strap in for the long haul. Definitely an appeal to the collector – and competitor – in you.
I didn’t play around too much with the Grand Prix, but the game is still relatively new, so the online scene should be healthy enough for games.
The Pit Stop
Here’s where you spend all those hard-earned currency. The store refreshes every day, but you don’t have to worry too much about missing out. If you’re wondering about the store, the items only give negligible boosts and are basically pure cosmetics. Any Grand Prix rewards you didn’t earn will rotate in the store too. Everything is earnable in-game, without any microtransactions, so rest assured!
CTR is a game easy to pick up, and hard to master. The maps are varied with their own hazards and designs, and are gorgeous to, sometimes, distraction. The customization options means everyone can show off their unique style on the track. With the challenge modes, the most hardcore of racers can find something for them, while for casual gamers, the Nitro-Fuel difficulty for Adventure Mode could be just right.
Unlocks can take quite a while and would require you to complete your missions to make any significant headway, so if you’re like me, you’re probably sticking to default options for a while. If you’re fine with that, you’ll find CTR providing you the good old racing entertainment in its shiny new packaging.