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Recently I’ve been blessed with 90’s remakes and other titles that have brought me back to my childhood. I can surely say 2019 is the year of nostalgia. There’s still remake titles coming out later this year, overfeeding the players, for sure. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a third remake from Activision in this year, having already released Spyro Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. I liked Spyro Trilogy, but Crash Bandicoot left me snarling, for it being too difficult. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled surely seemed fun, but does it follow the same path?
An extraterrestrial Nitros Oxide comes to Earth and says he’s the galaxy’s fastest driver. He challenges Earth to race with him on “Survival Of The Fastest” and if he wins, he’ll turn Earth to a huge parking lot—and also ensalving everyone. If Earth wins, he will leave. What Earth’s best drivers have to do is to collect four boss keys and then face him on a final race.
The story was told only in the beginning and after I got the a boss keys and opened the door to the boss’ race. Usually the bosses just reminded me of losing and other evil plans of theirs. I think the story was told enough and not filled with anything complicated, keeping the racing in more important role. In the end, there was an epilogue finishing the story and showing what happened after finishing the game
Gameplay & Controls
Player can choose two different options how the game is played and it can’t be changed after that (unless you start a totally new game). The choices was the original style and the new Nitro-Fueled one. I chose the latter with being able to choose between Easy, Normal and Hard (I took Normal). The gameplay is simple, basically including to win the races to get the trophies and after earning enough, I got the boss keys. After beating the boss I could go to another area to do the same thing there. There were four bosses and the last one, Nitros Oxide. For extra races, I could do challenges to open up new tracks.
I could change the character as I liked, since many tracks were designed to be easier with certain character, as they all got different skills. The skills were speed, acceleration and turn, variating from each character. Controlling the characters did feel different and I could see the benefits of them in each race. What comes to the controls, I found them to be very good and accurate. The style was same as in the original version of the game, keeping the nostalgic alive. I tried online matchmaking, but it didn’t connect me with any player, though.
This is something I have to announce right away. I had major issues with the resolution of the game. I just bought a new Sony 4K HDR TV, but the game ran only in 1080p. I still don’t know where the problem lied, but my PS4 worked fine with other games. I tried everything I could, trying all the TV’s and PS4 settings, but after launching the game it turned to 1080p HDR with stereo sound. (Keep this in mind when reading following.)
With that said, I think the game looked just OK. It didn’t have a wow-feeling or anything special in it. Some parts looked fine when others seemed more harsh and lower quality. Surroundings were filled with too much of objects with same kind of shade, having not enough contrast to make them stand out. It was still nice to have richness in the environment, but I could only enjoy them if I didn’t care for the race and just stopped my kart and gazed around, which I did sometimes.
The music was the familiar tune from the original game, but remade. It did felt overpowering, so I turned it down a little bit. The characters were voice acted, getting close to the original one, as well. I liked all the comments and one-liners what the NPs threw along the racing, if they got hit with ammos or ran into traps left on the track. I would’ve liked them to talk much more and yell more one-liners to make the race more fun.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled testes your patience, for sure. I think the game isn’t that hard (played on Normal difficulty), but player have to re-play a track over and over to memorize everything in it. Where all the the speed boosters, boxes, traps, hard turns, and so on, were. I did remember many of the tracks, but I didn’t remember them well enough to get comfortable. I got the impression that if I could get to the first place as quickly as the race began, I usually could keep the place until to the end, winning the race. Also, if I dropped to the last place, even on the last round, I didn’t give up, few times even managing to win. I was surprised how easy some bosses were that I could beat the on first try. That was indeed surprising.
I enjoyed of playing Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and it didn’t let me down at all. I got my regular (2019) nostalgia dose, leaving me wait for the next nostalgic fumed release. The level designs were the same, but they still felt completely new. It was fun to play, even though I was just playing alone against the console. The characters were the same quirky ones, but they was left little low on the race tracks. What also was a bummer, were all the customazation items, (like tires and kart bodies) were only visual and didn’t add any benefit to the race. But this being true to the original, I can forgive it.
Even if this is a good remake, I felt like it could’ve had some other content in it. I got this same feeling with the Crash Bandicoot remake, making me wanting something totally new. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled costs around 40€ and it is fair price of a remake that doesn’t have much new, but includes the nostalgic blast that fans are looking for. I can truly recommend this game to anyone, and not just Crash fans.
Review copy provided by the publisher
RELEASE DATE: Jun 21, 2019
GENRE: Racing / Action / Party
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4
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