Arcade Spotlight: Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

When I wasn’t making sub-par Mario Levels, I have been racing around with Crash Bandicoot and crew. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is a remaster of Crash Team Racing that was originally released on the PlayStation One and it also includes some tracks and characters from the PS2 sequel, Crash Nitro Kart. I played the PlayStation 4 Version of the game and overall, CTR: Nitro-Fueled has been a great experience but it does have its flaws.

First thing to note is the presentation of this game is very well done. Vicarious Visions didn’t work on this game but Beenox, I think, did a great job of sticking to a very similar art style that was used in the N Sane Trilogy. Seeing all the original tracks from CTR and CNK get an update to, especially the CTR courses as a lot of detail was added to make the track seem a bit livelier and fun to race through. The carts and characters also look great and with the ability to customize the characters and karts is a nice touch. Along with the game looking good and sound design of the game is also done well. Each track has a awesome track to race to and the karts themselves sound awesome and each kart has unique engine sound. I think the game looks and sounds good but how does it control.

The game controls well in my opinion but they do require some time to master. The karts in CTR feel a bit heavier than they do in a game like Mario Kart so doing things like power slide and jumping may take a bit more of work to pull off. The main thing to master in this game is Power Sliding. Power Sliding in this game is a combination of slide mechanics from the Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart. From CTR, if you slide until black smoke leaves the exhaust and release the button you will get speed boost. From the CNK, you perform up to 3 boosts while power sliding if you can time it right and after the third boost you get a big boost.  CTR, is more of a character base racer where each character either focuses on Speed, Turning or Acceleration and some characters are balanced in all three. Karts will not affect the stats so pick your favorite kart to go with your main racers. So, the game looks good and controls well but what can you do in the game.

CTR has several modes you can play in. First is Adventure Mode. In adventure mode you play through the original story where you have to out race Oxide and his henchmen to save the planet from being destroyed. You can Adventure Mode two ways, either Nitro-Fueled where you can set a difficulty level and have the ability to use custom items and change characters at any time and Classic Mode choose one character to complete the story with and don’t have the ability to use customizing items. If you don’t want to play the story, you can go over to Local Arcade mode to play local co-op with friends, attempt time trials to unlock N. Trophy. Lastly, they added an Online mode where you can either meet up with your friends or join a lobby to either race or battle against other players. As of writing this, they are on their second Grand Prix. Grand Prix are timed events where you can earn Nitro by completing daily, weekly and special task to earn rewards. This has been fun and there are enough online and offline challenges so it isn’t too much of a pain to earn rewards but it can still be a pain. So even though I have enjoyed a lot of parts in the game, there are a few things that have bugged me.

First thing to note is there are a lot of items you can earn just by playing and completing the game but there plenty of items that have to be unlocked using coins you earn while playing. This wouldn’t be bad if the payout of coins was be bit more reasonable. For example, during my playthrough of adventure, I would earn 30 to 70 coins at most every time I raced but if I played online the payout would be 60 to 700 coins per race. Now this half problem and the other half is the Pit Stop. The Pit Stop is the rotating in game store where you can buy some of the customizing items. Every 24 hours that shop will rotate the items available to purchase. Now I find this a bit annoying as this is the only way to purchase the needed items. Most of the items are paint jobs, stickers and wheels for your karts but all the Crash Nitro Kart characters have to be purchase through the Pit Shop. Grinding for coins can be a pain as the price of items range from 200 to 7000 or more coins. I personally would like to see the Pit Stop by the items at a discount and still be able to buy the items when there are not in the shop. This need to grind is also in the Grand Prix as you earn some of the characters through collecting Nitro, but there are some Grand Prix items that have to be purchase through coins. You can increase the Nitro earn but using one of the characters, costume, kart and wheel that give you a boost during the Grand Prix. In the first Grand Prix, only the Grand Prix characters and items that gave you a boost so you had to earn or buy the first couple of items before being able boost the nitro you earn. Other than the pain of earning items, the other thing I bugs me about the game is the Multiplayer lobby system. It has gotten a bit better as of the last updates but there is still an issue where the lobbies don’t fill up as you loose players so there where many times my lobby go down to just me then I would exit back to the lobby select and start another queue. The latest issues I have dealt with, was with certain tracks in multiplayer mode would kick everyone out of the lobby so that was a pain and had to take time to reload the lobby and hope they new lobby doesn’t pick the same map that was causing the problem.

Despite the issues I have with the in game shop and some of the multiplayer issue, I think the game has been pretty faithful to the original Crash Team Racing but it also would have been nice to get more content that focuses on the Crash Nitro Kart game but I afraid that might to paid DLC. However, I have been having a good time with the game and can’t wait of the Spyro the Dragon themed Grand Prix. Thank you for reading this post and Stay tune for more random thoughts around gaming and such and have a great morning/day/evening.


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