For people who have read other reviews of mine will know that I love my racing sims, and kart racers are no exception, especially with Mario Kart 8 on the Switch. So, when it was announced that Beenox was remaking Crash Team Racing, I got very excited, one because I love Crash Bandicoot and because this was one racer I never got to play originally, so to be able to play it now was a dream.
I love how the game looks and how it’s been updated. The comparisons that were shown before release had me very excited, the game looks crisp and clean and it was very pleasing on the eyes.
Handling wise I thought the game was very good, driving felt good and when you nailed the power slides, it did feel very satisfying. However, I never really managed to get a handle on this, it has been implemented differently to that of Mario Kart 8, and I did find it very hard to get used too.
Something else that I found to be very hard was the difficulty setting, and this is something that I found within Crash Bandicoot N’ Sane Trilogy, that the difficulty doesn’t seem to be matching current day standards if that makes sense? The main reason I say this is because there were times where I felt that I was well out in front, to look around and everyone is pretty much-spitting distance behind me, suddenly I find myself 5 getting absolutely bombarded by power-ups. Seemed absolutely crazy.
Speaking of Power-ups, these are your standard, you have boosts, a rolling ball bomb, potions bottles and Nitro/TNT boxes which can be left on the track. The Nitro boxes will blow you up straight away, however, the TNT boxes can be shaken off by constantly jumping, which I thought was a nice little trick. Collecting wumpa fruits also increases the effectiveness of your power-ups, the TNT crates will become nitro crates if you have the 10 wumpa fruits collected.
One thing that stood out the most for me was how diverse the courses were, as I never played the originals, this was always going to be new to me, so it surprised me how different and diverse they were.
There is plenty to do in Crash Team Racing, especially when it comes to Adventure mode, this is basically playing through each of the different worlds and completing the races within, most races take several goes to fully complete as each time you can go after different objectives to collect. You can play adventure mode in 2 different ways, classic or Nitro Fuelled. Classic doesn’t allow you to change your Karts look, whereas Nitro Fuelled brings in the customisation option, and there are loads of different colours, stickers and Kart frames to collect. You can also use the wumpa coins you collect within races at the pit stop to buy whatever is on offer!
The one thing I found disappointing was that the Adventure mode was quite short, you could easily power through it and get to Nitrous Oxide quite quickly. However, the other co-op and online modes will keep you busy in the meantime.
I found the online mode a bit disappointing, its performance, to begin with, was sketchy at best, I managed to get a win in my first race, but I only thought that was a default win, mainly because people kept flickering in and out of view, and I just drove around with no issues, after the first patch came out, this seemed to fix this issue, but then I found people flying half a lap ahead in no time at all, which had me thinking that people were basically cheating, which was disappointing, and one of the reasons I don’t like to play the online portion, I tend to play in co-op with my wife.
One thing that did bug me about the game was the reversing and the fact that I couldn’t change the buttons around to how I wanted. There were several options available but it only changed the accelerate button. Reversing by pulling back on the stick? The number of times I went to press LT and just looked behind…. The frustration was real people.
I do love a good racer and this one is no different, it’s smooth to play and handling is brilliant, it’s one of those games I wouldn’t play for hours and hours at a time, but one I can dip into every now and then and play a few races. I would highly recommend it to anyone.