- Game: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
- Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Beenox
A Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled review code was provided by the publisher.
Crash Bandicoot’s return to prominence has been amazing to watch. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy successfully kickstarted the orange marsupial’s resurgence in a major way by remaking his original trilogy of adventures. PlayStation fanboys who were old enough to remember the platforming icon rejoiced at the revival of Crash’s three best platforming adventures.
Those same fans soon made it clear that they’d love to revisit another part of Crash’s Naughty Dog run. More specifically, Crash’s shockingly great forays into the world of kart racing. Activision and Beenox have thankfully gone beyond the call of duty in making sure that Crash’s best kart racers retained their excellence for a modern audience. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled stands tall at the winners’ podium as a triumphant return for one of the best kart racers of all time.
In a smart move on the developer’s behalf, this remake bunches together the best parts of Crash Team Racing, Crash Nitro Kart, and Crash Tag Team Racing. To say that Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is jam-packed with content would be an understatement. All of the race tracks from Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart successfully make the HD transition over to this best-of collection, as well as some standout additions like kart customization and online multiplayer. There’s just so much to do here – solo-minded players can spend their time in the Adventure Mode and easily transition to a multiplayer setting with local split-screen or online competitions. The promise of even more tracks and characters post-launch extends the already long shelf life of this feature-rich kart racer.
As far as remakes go, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled looks impressive. The game’s huge selection of anthropomorphic characters and other assorted roster members are fully realized alongside its massive collection of playable tracks. Witnessing Crash and the rest of the pack race across beautifully revived stages, such as Coco Park and Tiny Arena, never loses its luster – every part of the original games have been blessed with a visual sheen that brings it up to today’s standards. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is an incredibly vibrant kart racer that’s held up even more by some hilarious audio (those character quips during races and the immensely catchy main menu theme are huge pluses in that regard).
Making your way onto the race track is no easy task for casual kart racers. CTR is a pretty deep racer that’s full of systems that need to be mastered before you have any chance of reaching the finish line first. Getting acclimated to the game’s unique drifting/boost mechanics certainly takes some getting used to. But once you wrap your brain around the intricacies of that mechanic, mastering everything else is a breeze.
Even with a complete mastery of the drifting/boosting system, you’ll still have some trouble braving the difficulty that comes with beating Adventure Mode. The challenge factor is certainly high here thanks to a mix of vicious AI racers and a victory requirement that asks you to take first place during every race. Prepare yourself for disappointment as you’ll be forced to restart races that you were half a second away from winning before a last minute rocket clipped you from behind. And you’ll no doubt be frustrated by the overpowered state of your rival during boss races. While still fun, playing through Adventure Mode can definitely be a headache at times.
Losing a closely fought race doesn’t feel all that bad, however – finishing a race altogether nets you the currency needed to purchase unlockables from the game’s “Pit Stop.” This leads to a fun loop that pushes you to finish every offline/online competition you hop into since you’ll always come away with extra coinage. This remake comes with an overwhelming array of extra characters, kart customization options, and skins for the entire roster. Along with the unlocks that come from completing challenges in Adventure Mode, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled rewards you for both your winning and losing efforts. There’s always a reason to see each race through to the very end now that earned coins are on the table.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Takeaways
To the surprise of no one, Beenox has knocked it out of the park. This remake collection of the most memorable entries within Crash Bandicoot’s kart racing series is top-notch. The bright and bubbly themes of those past games have been given a new lease of life thanks to outstanding visuals and a massive content suite full of enjoyable mode types.
Adventure Mode’s difficulty will definitely drive you up a wall at certain intervals. But the constant reward progression and presence of online multiplayer will quickly calm you down and make you feel joyous all over again. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a must-have racer that’s perfect for longtime fans and curious newcomers alike.
Our Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Review Score: 9 out of 10