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Retro Recap: Crash Team Racing

The Crash franchise definitely delivered on a series that could have rivalled Mario

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A jump back to the Bandicoot wagon with this week’s Retro Recap, but with a slight twist. Kart racing games are dominated by the Mario franchise, but who can argue with fun that is brought by Crash and friends? It’s none other than Crash Team Racing!

So the story, is there much of a story? Of course with most traditional racing games, there isn’t one. The goal is to be the number one racer. But then again, CTR isn’t exactly a traditional racer. A mysterious foe by the name of Nitrous Oxide (gotta love the naming of characters in the Crash series) descends onto the planet and declares that if no-one can best him in a kart race, that he’ll turn Earth into a car park! Fiendish villain! Of course, with the unlikely help of foes and friends alike, you set out to vanquish N. Oxide and keep the world safe once again!

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Outside of the basic plotline, the game pretty much speaks for itself. A range of characters known throughout the franchise are brought together to race around a series of tracks, aided by the plethora of weapons you find on each course. Everyone is racing to prove they are the fastest and deserve the change to race Oxide. Quite neatly, however, CTR provides a few additional race challenges, throwing in the CTR Races and the Relic Races. The CTR Races are the more fun in my opinion, with the objective of collecting the letters C, T and R hidden around the race track, as well as finishing in 1st place. Completing these races nets you CTR tokens which are used to unlock further race tracks. The Relic Race is the traditional time trial, but with the twist of collecting timer boxes which freeze the clock for a number of seconds.

Crash Team Racing has facts? It sure does:

  • Ripper Roo was meant to speak fluent English, but the idea was dropped in favour of his maniacal laugh. The data files for the English can still be found in the games code, however
  • The characters Pura and Polar were planned to be one character rather than two.
  • Kimono Moe was also meant to make an appearance alongside his brother Joe, but was ultimately dropped from the game

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Crash Team Racing provided me with countless hours of fun, despite being a very monotonous concept. As with all racing simulators, going round and round a circuit never sounds too appealing until you play the game and CTR definitely delivers on this front. The familiarity with the characters brings back those nostalgic memories and gave the Crash franchise a much needed boost in the process. If you want a light-hearted, but fun and exciting racer to play, forget the Mario Kart or Donkey Kong racers, Crash Bandicoot and co are the ones you need to visit!

Do you play Crash Team Racing in your youthful days? Perhaps you still do now, You can find it on the PS Store for those of you wishing to give this little classic a revisit. Tell us what you thought of Crash Team Racing in the comments section below!

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