Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Review – A Wonderful Blast from the Past
The remake of one of the best kart racers during the original PlayStation era, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled brings back all the good times from before along with some extras from its sequel, Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing. Is it worth your money?
RM169 / RM149 for Digital Edition
+ Fun for all ages
+ Good game to play with friends and family
+ Well-balanced game with good variety
+ Also includes tracks and characters from original’s sequel game
+ Faithful and apt recreation of the original suitable for this modern age
- Some racetracks can be frustrating to play
- It is difficult until you get used to the mechanics
- No Crash Nitro Kart storyline
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Review
What is Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled About?
The plot of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is largely the same as its original incarnation. Earth and its inhabitants are visited by an extra-terrestrial named Nitros Oxide, who claims to be the fastest racer in the galaxy. He is looking for a challenge of speed to see if there’s anyone worthy of racing against him in the race track.
He challenges Earth to a game which he calls “Survival of the Fastest”, summoning Earth’s best racers to duel him in the race track. If Earth’s racer wins, he promises to leave the planet alone. If Oxide wins however, he will turn Earth into a concrete parking lot and enslave all the Earthlings. Players will have to gather all four Boss Keys in order to access Oxide’s spaceship and challenge him.
While it is a remake of the original Crash Team Racing game, developer Beenox has added content from its sequel, Crash Nitro Kart. This means that characters and race tracks from the sequel will also be made available in glorious high-definition graphics. The narrative however will be focused solely on the original game.
Full Speed Ahead
Like every kart racer out there, the game concept is very simple. You will race against seven other opponents in a wide variety of racetracks and at least try to be in first place. Throughout the race, you will be able to obtain weapons and powerups by driving into boxes with the question mark on it. You can then use these perks to gain the upper hand in the race.
There’s a good variety of them and you will obtain a random one upon hitting the box. As much as probability plays a role in what you get, it’s also highly dependent on your current position in the race. For instance, if you’re at last place or close, you’re more likely to get Warp Orbs or N. Tropy’s Clock, both of which are capable of temporarily hampering all the other racers.
Those in the top positions are more likely to get traps like Explosive Crates and Beakers, which will be laid down on the track. Any unlucky racer that drives into it will be temporarily disabled. This clever mechanic not only adds to the entertainment factor, but also gives good game balance as even those in low positions are still able to make a comeback.
What sets Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled apart from competitors are two notable features; Wumpa Fruits and power slides. Throughout the race, players can collect Wumpa Fruits which will yield small speed boosts for as long as you have them. Upon collecting ten, you will have access to upgraded versions of weapons and powerups. For example, Bowling Bombs will have a bigger blast radius which can potentially damage more than one racer.
As for Power Slides, think of it as drifting. The racer will perform a jump and subsequently drift to a chosen side. Players will then have to press the other power slide button in time with the gauge on the bottom right of the screen. Alternatively, you can also time it with kart’s exhaust colour, with black being ideal. These two simple features give the game its own unique characteristic which sets it apart from all the other kart racers out there.
If you have trouble with Power Slides and Turbo Boosts, click right here to learn how to get consistent perfect turbos.
Bringing the Game Up to Speed
Aside from the standard race mode, there is a good variety of game modes that you can enjoy. You can run laps and get the best timing possible in each track, play in a tournament-style mode across a set of four racetracks with Cup Race, or forget about racing and opt for a party-style gameplay instead with Battle Mode.
In Battle Mode, you and other racers will be in a closed-off map and fighting against each other instead of racing. It can be something as simple as collecting points by hitting opponents with weapons, or capturing the most crystals around the map. This mode, along with the other racing modes, gives the game an amazing amount of gameplay variety that you don’t normally see in games today.
The main highlight of the game is of course the Adventure Mode, where you progress through the game’s storyline in a pseudo-open world environment. You simply go through for different hub worlds, win all of the races in each of them, beat their respective boss racer to obtain the Boss Key, and then finally race against Nitros Oxide himself.
While it is a faithful recreation of the original game’s Adventure Mode, it also provides players with a tour through a bulk of the game. This easily lets players ease into the game and familiarize themselves with most of what the game has to offer. The boss battles themselves provide a good amount of fun as each of them have their own unique gimmick in the race.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Verdict
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is arguably one of the best remakes to have ever been created today. Sure, the game can be rage-inducing at times, especially in stages like Hot Air Skyway, but it has faithfully recreated the classic while also making it suitable for the modern age of gaming. The game is best played in multiplayer, which is possible through local splitscreen co-op and online play.
One thing worth noting is that the Nintendo Switch version won’t look as good as the PlayStation 4 version. This is especially noticeable in four-player splitscreen even on docked mode as each player’s screen will have somewhat pixelated graphics. However, that still shouldn’t stop people from having fun in the game. With that, I award Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled with our coveted Gold Pokdeward!