Ten years after its unique launch on the PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot and his mates are again of their karts for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, a remaster of the basic racing sport. This top-down HD improve of the Naughty Dog unique is from Beenox, the studio finest identified for its work on the Skylanders toys-to-life collection, and it is nothing lower than a love letter to the golden age of kart racing.
I sat down for an hour-long demo with Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled again in January and was met with a contemporary kart racing title that is each bit pretty much as good as the unique. It’s no secret that it is a huge yr for this arcade-y subgenre, with Team Sonic Racing additionally set to zoom onto the observe this May, and the race between these two video games goes to be tight. But, after making an attempt out three remastered tracks with lots of our favourite racers, we suspect that Crash Team Racing would be the chief of the pack.
It ought to be mentioned up entrance that we did not get to play a lot of the sport. In reality, the demo was a bit restricted, solely that includes three tracks — Crash Cove, Dingo Canyon, and Polar Pass — and some characters, together with Dr. N. Gin, Tiny Tiger, and Crash himself. But what I did play was an ideal recreation of Naughty Dog’s sport right down to the funky menu music, which instantly triggered, at the very least for this author, recollections of racing his mates in elementary college.
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The graphical improve is the large stunner of this remaster. Speeding down the three racetracks reveals simply how improved the visuals are, from particular person strands of Crash’s hair to the brand new property added to the programs, similar to the entire animals hanging round Crash’s Cove. Monkeys cling from the end line whereas birds fly over you. In reality, the entire programs really feel alive so far as the attention can see. I seen no pop-in or framerate drops, simply hints of a bigger world past the tracks, locations Crash has maybe visited in his different adventures.
Beenox has additionally clearly put within the time to make the controls really feel as genuine as doable. Whether you are dodging the seals sliding throughout the icy Polar Pass, drifting across the twisty Crash Cover, or making an attempt to make the large bounce on Dingo Canyon (a bounce I failed at fully throughout my first run by way of the course), the controls really feel easy and responsive. I used to be delighted by how acquainted the entire expertise felt, how the muscle reminiscence began to come back again to me after I’d did not make the bounce off that ramp in Dingo Canyon for the fifth time. Oh, and you’ll nonetheless escape these horrible TNT containers by mashing the bounce button.
To add a little bit of technique to this action-packed racer, not each character is created equal. The character choice display screen contains a neat little stats field that permits you to evaluate the totally different contestants, that means that you will decide correctly based mostly on the form of participant you might be (do you want high speeds or higher dealing with when drifting?) and the course you are on. For these in search of essentially the most well-rounded racer, Crash Bandicoot is undoubtedly an awesome place to begin.
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I used to be instructed through the session that the sport will function all 18 tracks from the unique sport in addition to the unique seven battle arenas which supply a battle royale-like vehicular fight different to the usual racing. Also included within the field will likely be a brand new on-line mode with leaderboards. Unfortunately, I did not get to attempt any of those options throughout my playthrough.
At the tip of the demo, I had an opportunity to speak with Stephane Gravel, manufacturing director at Beenox, about bringing this sport to current-gen consoles. Gravel was fast to share that Crash Team Racing was a labor of affection for the studio.
“The game came out when I was starting in the games industry and it was our go-to game during lunchtime,” Gravel says. “Now I just can’t wait to play with my kids. We’re going to play split-screen and it’s going to be a blast.”
Indeed, I had a blast with this remaster and suspect that avid gamers of all ages will flock to it when the title drops later this yr. Perhaps, this new iteration of Crash Team Racing will even be the appearance of a brand new golden age for this beloved subgenre.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is out on June 21 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
John Saavedra is Games Editor at Den of Geek. Read extra of his work right here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9.