Crash Bandicoot recently made a return to the spotlight in 2017 with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy which saw Crash Bandicoot’s original three games successfully remade for both old and new players alike. So is Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled able to recapture the magic of the original Crash Team Racing that made the N. Sane Trilogy such a success? The answer is a solid yes. Not only is Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled more refined and polished than the original, but it also has loads of new content which makes the game as a whole feel like something new.
While the core of Crash Team Racing’s gameplay follows the typical kart racing format with players and CPUs racing throughout a track littered with short cuts in order to come in 1st place. What makes the Crash Team Racing gameplay standout among other kart racers is the fact you need to use all of the Crash Team Racing mechanics to place well and win races. This means you’ll have to learn how to power slide, brake slide, and boost. Learning all of these mechanics right off the back can make you feel a bit lost and slightly frustrated as you need to learn these to place well in races especially on harder difficulties. Once you learn how to master these mechanics though it feels very rewarding and that your 1st place victory was well deserved.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has kart customizations and while these don’t affect the way a kart races, what does affect it is the character you choose. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced characters. Beginner characters are easier to control but are slower. While advanced characters accelerate quickly and have high-speed marks, but are harder to control. Finding the right balance between what you’re comfortable with and what stats would work better on a particular course is key to getting in 1st place. Of course, knowing where the shortcuts are and their risks/rewards are also important. Some short cuts are dangerous but will help you get further in front of other players, while some short cuts that are not as dangerous may only put you a little ahead or not really help you catch up at all if you’re a behind. The gameplay of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and layouts of the courses in the game really make you think about the risks/rewards of the characters you choose and the shortcuts you take.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has an Adventure Mode which has been accurately recreated from the original Crash Team Racing. There are two ways that Adventure Mode can be played. The original way, where you select a character before you start the adventure and stick with that character throughout the whole adventure. Or the Nitro-Fueled way which allows you to change your character and kart as you please. Depending on which way you choose to play Adventure Mode will only slightly change your experience playing Adventure Mode but playing the original way is more difficult than playing the Nitro-Fueled way on easy or normal. Adventure mode introduces you to most of the courses and some of the unlockable characters, and it never gets dull playing through the courses and unlocking characters by racing them.
Adventure Mode also has players traveling around a hub and visiting different courses in order to win 1st in races, get the fastest time in relic races, or find the letters C, T, and R in a course while winning 1st place in a race. There’s plenty to do in Adventure mode even after you finish it. Once you’re done with Adventure Mode there is all of the other modes and race types that can be played such as the battle mode. This mode itself contains various different ways to play. Like elimination, capture the flag, last kart standing, etc. Each one is fun, plays differently, and can be played by yourself, online, or split-screen.
If you’ve played any Crash game you know the type of music you’re going to hear in this. If you haven’t played a Crash game, the music is usually catchy and sometimes depending on the level can be really memorable. What’s great about the music in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is if a course is based off a level from the Crash series, the course’s music will be a remixed version of the level it’s based on. Hearing the music from past titles remixed in a way that suits a racing game goes to show you the work the sound engineering team put into this. If hearing remastered and remixed music isn’t your thing though, you can always go into the options and change music and sound effects so that they are the exact same as the original game.
While there isn’t much voice acting in the game, the voice acting the game does have is solid. Every character that speaks, speaks with a voice and in a manner that suits them perfectly. The voice acting of the Crash series has never been bad and for the most part, the characters have had voices that seem true to the characters, so it’s great to see this continue in Crash Team Racing Nirto-Fueled.
The remade graphics of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled look great. It’s amazing to see the amount of work that was put into not only remaking Crash Team Racing’s graphics but the visuals in general. Each level is both faithfully recreated and yet somehow full of more character than the original levels were. Backgrounds are more detailed, and new additions to the backgrounds that were not in the original Crash Team Racing due to technical limitations really make each course stand out and differentiate itself from every other course in the game. For players of the Crash Bandicoot series, particularly players of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy you can easily tell what level in the series a course is based on or takes place in. This gives each course a feeling of nostalgia even if you’ve never played Crash Team Racing before. Outside of the courses, the menus are clean and visually show you what to expect in whatever mode you have highlighted in the menu. Characters victory animations also perfectly describe what kind of personalities the characters have without even needing to use words.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has A LOT of content for $40.00. A lot. Not only are you getting a completely remade game, but you are also getting both courses and characters the original Crash Team Racing didn’t have. In fact, most courses and characters from Crash Nitro Kart are in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. If there were just a few more courses and the adventure mode from Crash Nitro Kart, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled would essentially be two games remade into one.
Something new that is now in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is the introduction of kart customizations and character skins. There are various different ways to unlock these, whether it’s winning a certain number of races with a specific character or doing a specific task. Most, however, are unlocked in the Pit Stop which is an in-game store that lets you purchase new characters, kart customizations, and character skins with your race winnings. It’s also nice to see that none of this can be purchased with real-world money and must be earned by playing the game. Because they could’ve gone down the loot box, using real-world money route. So it’s nice to see that they didn’t.
There are also a ton of different game modes that are playable both online and offline. From the standard single races which just have you racing other racers to the battle mode which has you battling other characters. And those are just a couple of the modes as there is also Time Trials, Relic Races, CTR Challenges, and Crystal Challenges. There is really a lot to play and unlock in this game with 25 characters, over 31 courses, and a ton of game modes and unlockable you’re really getting a bang for your buck with Crash Team Racing Nitro Fuel.
With such different racing styles between the beginner, intermediate, and advanced characters along with the number of shortcuts to discover per course and unlockables to unlock, of course, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has a ton of replay value. The game makes you continually want to play it more and more, because the more you play it the more money you’ll earn which can then be spent at the Pit Stop. Playing through a course just once is rarely ever enough, as you’ll want to play through them multiple times in order to discover all the shortcuts a level contains so they can be used to help you get the best possible time in a time trial or relic race. There is plenty to do and unlock in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled that will keep you coming back for more.
For $39.99 you cannot go wrong with Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Not only are you getting a solid kart racing game but you’re also getting a remake that’s better than the original. Adventure mode is fun and never gets dull. While the number of modes and unlockables will keep players busy for hours. Both the sound and visuals have not only been improved in this remake but the details added have made each course have more character. The amount of new content added to this remake is above and beyond what was expected prooving that the Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled captured the magic of the original and improved on it, much like Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy did just two years ago. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a great kart racer that should not be missed by fans of Crash Bandicoot or the kart racing genre.