Before PAX East 2019 even began I got the chance to check out one of the biggest games at the show: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, Activision’s remaster of the PS1 classic. Coming off the hugely successful and well-received Crash Trilogy remaster from 2017, this feels like a natural extension of the work done there. It’s also just a great game, and one that fans have been wanting to play again for a really long time.
CTR was a big hit on PS1, and this new rendition does exactly what the N. Sane Trilogy did
Of course, I wasn’t one of those fans, instead sticking to my Mario Kart 64 like any alternative was blasphemy. So that means that I was pretty terrible, because while Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled might look like Mario Kart, it ain’t no Mario Kart. It’s its own beast, and the gameplay video below should attest to that. I did get better as the games went on and I got more accustomed to the controls. It also didn’t help that the AI were beasts, dominating every match that our poor group of press were allowed into.
Even as I rammed into walls, fell off the track, and generally sucked at racing, I understood why so many had cheered this game for so long. It’s very much a new take on the formula that Nintendo established, while serving as its own thing in a lot of ways. The boost mechanics alone make for a more mature, skill-based experience, as do the unique weaponry that you’ll be able to use to blast your enemies off the track. While I didn’t get to try them all, each felt like it had its uses within the race, if you knew what you were doing.
CTR was a big hit on PS1, and this new rendition does exactly what the N. Sane Trilogy did for the platformers. It takes what was already great and makes it better. This is done not only in improving the graphics of the original, but in including tracks from the sequel, all of which were redesigned to fit the original CTR gameplay. There’s also a lot of work behind the scenes in crafting a more enjoyable experience all around. I had a blast with it for this brief amount of time, and came away with an itch to play more and to learn the intricacies of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Hopefully I can do that at PAX East 2019, or I’ll have to wait for the game to release on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch on June 21st, 2019.