Crikey, strewth and stone the flamin’ crows, Crash Bandicoot’s back and he’s in fair dinkum hoon mode! But is the return of PlayStation classic CTR in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled a bloody bewdy, or a bit bodgy?
Back in the 1990s, Nintendo had Mario Kart, and eventually PlayStation had Crash Team Racing. They were more or less the same game, just with different environments and different characters.
At this point, you’re likely thinking something along the lines of, “Well, der Fred!”
While obviously inspired by Nintendo’s originator, Crash Team Racing was a great karting experience, and remains a firm favourite of classic PlayStation fans. So, the decision to jam the jumper leads on it and get it happening for the now generation makes sense.
Mercifully, it isn’t just a straight spit-and-polish and send-it-out-the-door affair. While CTR was wild in its day, go back and play that version now and, well, it shows its age.
What developers Beenox have done here is retain the spirit of the original and recreate it, while adding a bunch of features that we expect in a game some 20 years on, such as online competition and all manner of customisation options.
Classic levels remain – both from Crash Team Racing and its sequel, Crash Nitro Kart – but have been tarted up impressively. So too has the roster, featuring the best motley bunch of Aussie fauna this side of Ballina’s Big Prawn. As for the karts? They’ve been tricked up to the nines for added fangability, too.
Feature-wise, there’s one thing that Nintendo’s competitor lacks – an Adventure mode. Here you chug about, pulling into various stops to undertake challenges that vary from races to assorted collect em’ ups. It’s no doddle either, that’s for sure.
Alternatively, all of those individual modes are available to play directly via Local Arcade. Single races, cup races, battles and time trials also feature, with the difficulty able to be notched down to easy for those who have been left wanting to punch the next poor marsupial that crosses their path due to having been pipped at the post just one too many times because of the Adventure mode’s standard medium difficulty.
CTRNF is challenging sure, but the key to success is nailing the drifting. It’s a rather convoluted system, to be honest, whereby the same buttons that jump if your kart is pointing forwards send your ve-hic-le sliding if you’re steering left or right. You then jam the opposite button to get the much-needed turbo boost firing. It’s a pain, but once nailed, victory will be yours. Well, hopefully more often.
Otherwise, the usual cavalcade of irritating weaponry is fired at you willy-nilly, but you get to fire it back. Or, as we found, we got the crappy weapons while being bombed, shot, rolled and otherwise mangled by every tool of destruction known to animal-kind.
Did we need Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled in 2019? No, but regardless we’re pretty stoked that it exists.
Crash Team Racing is available now for PS4, Xbox One and Switch.