For a long time, Crash Team Racing has been the second-best choice for a kart racing video game. Even with its fun tracks, great mechanics, unusual gameplay, it is still to this day considered to be living in Mario Kart’s shadow. However, there are many people who like Crash Team Racing games more than the all-time great. It’s no surprise why. It gives you an addictive gaming package with colorful lore, an enormous world, and the distinctive drifting mechanic. Moreover, it is now available on Nintendo Switch, as we already announced.
Fans of the usual Crash games are quick to state that this game beats Mario Kart video games by a mile. Nevertheless, both games offer different approaches to kart racing, but how does Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, launched in June, rank in this genre?
For starters, it’s amazing how they kept the game so original yet, so fresh. The gameplay seems like it was just copied from its predecessors, but with a minor upgrade. All of the characteristic pieces of gameplay are kept in the game but they somehow feel very different. Seems like they have really made an effort to keep the same core but also give you a better experience when playing.
The mechanics feel considerably smoother than the ones of the last generation. There are some minor mistakes that are annoying, for example, the jumping sometimes feels inconsistent. One time you can jump a mile, and the other you can’t seem to find any track to land. Furthermore, once you make a mistake it takes quite some time for you to get back into the race.
Whether you fall or get hit by something, it takes ages to get going. That’s okay to some degree, however, sometimes you get hit by something a few times and you can consider the race being over. Overall, the gameplay still remains this game’s best trait.
Secondly, the story may well be very fun and amazingly interactive, still, there are many points that degrade the level of purity of the game. One of them is the races in adventure mode. Even in easy mode, the races tend to be hell sometimes. It’s not because of the hard tracks or even the hard gameplay, no.
It is because the AI racers in the game seem to get a pretty big boost out of nowhere sometimes. That’s pretty natural for any game, still, this is obvious to a degree that even with your eyes closed you might still notice it. Aside from the badly programmed AI, the adventure mode is extremely fun and can have you glued to your couch for days on end.
As far as graphics are concerned, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has some fine lines for its niche platform. The graphics are above-average when kart games come into question, however, this game is quite new so it is to be expected. When it comes to power-ups the graphics are of high quality, and the nitro effects are also pretty unique as well. Sometimes, textures of the tracks, skies, and other non-interactive parts can be a bit shallow and out of detail. It’s a bummer, but still, other kart racing videogames have it worse.
Additionally, the multiplayer is well integrated into the game, and it feels like it belongs to the game, unlike other previously non-online games that have blended in multiplayer mode. There are many options when it comes to what you can play, and so many customizations that won’t even fit in a 100-page book. It is a pleasurable online experience and a very interactive one as well. Waiting times are rough, but they have an update incoming which will considerably improve this issue.
Competitive LAN games may be a thing of the past just because so many new game developers decide not to include this feature. Finally, when it comes to choosing the appropriate kart racer videogame, it boils down to personal preference.
Still, the game has a very positive evaluation on Metacritic, with 83% of approval. Gamers Heroes, for example, describes it as “the best kart racer value on the market today. Packing both skill and charm, this is one title worth its weight in Wumpa Fruits”, they say. Meanwhile, God is a Geek, claims that it is “a fantastic remaster, filled with great courses and plenty of replayability, even if the difficulty sometimes feels off”.
For players new to this genre, consider taking this game home. It offers the best gaming experience of kart racers, for now. If Madden is the game that makes you turn into the NFL MVP of 2019, then Crash Bandicoot is the game that makes you feel the adrenaline of a real kart racer.
It might not be a groundbreaking game, however, considering it has been living in the shadow of Mario Kart for decades it is the most earthshattering videogame in this rivalry. The next Mario Kart game and the other next kart racers need to be out of this world if they want to have this game beat.