Understanding and understanding the charm of a Crash Bandicoot along with his cronies, this knowledge seems to have just “arrived” and penetrated the minds of executives at Activision. Strengthened by the success of the release of the Remaster / Remake version – Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy which even topped the market in several world regions despite the release of other popular games that were counted at the same time, Activision did not seem to miss the opportunity to bring it back. Of all the series that are still available to go through the same process, fans really are most asking for the return of Crash Team Racing, of course complete with a variety of more modern features. A dream that finally arrived!
So from the side of the story, like most Remaster projects in general, Activision and Beenox also do not change anything from Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled when compared to the original series. The only difference is the addition of several cut-scenes that are of course positioned to strengthen the existing story, while introducing the boss character you will fight. Additions that deserve to be welcomed, but do not necessarily offer anything significant.
Like the original series, Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled introduces you to a new antagonist – Nitro Oxide. Present as an alien race that actually exists outside the world of Crash Bandicoot, Oxide, which claims to be the fastest driver in the galaxy, wants to test the racing capabilities on the planet that it wants to destroy.
So similar to what Activision achieved with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy some time ago, efforts to revive Crash Team Racing for this latest generation platform are also worthy of being welcomed with open arms and praise. The visual quality in the original series is so rough and full of sharp polygons here and there, now wrapped in a more modern character model and of course, a clearer aesthetic track to reflect what the atmosphere is like to pursue. It’s exciting that this detail isn’t just directed at things that will affect you directly while playing, but also behind-the-scenes things on behalf of making the track feel more dynamic.
Praise is also deserved to be directed at Beenox and Activision’s commitment to ensure that the Nitro-Fueled CTR is directly as an ultimate series that the fans really deserve. The iconic characters that were available in the original series or the Nitro Kart series received the proper treatment with a new quality character model that was consistent across all lines. Quantity is also one of the considerations, considering the options regarding the characters you use, tracks that you can pass to spur your vehicle, or “just” Arena for battle mode can be counted a lot. All of them, once again, pass the Remaster project with the quality you want. You who have tasted the original series will fall in love from the first sight.
One fantastic thing is how despite these many changes, Beenox still makes this Nitro-Fueled Crash Team Racing feel like a game familiar to those who had tasted the original series. Almost all content that you know, especially from track design, is maintained here. There were no significant changes other than the cosmetic side that we had discussed before. You who still remember the previous variety of shortcuts will still be able to use it here. The only thing that Beenox has changed and is enough to “disturb” us is just the removal of the “jumping fence” shortcut on the Hot-Air Skyway which is now limited to high enough and impossible to execute, even with power ups. The rest? At least on the tracks that you skip via Adventure mode, it will feel exactly like you know so far.
Audio quality that you should find here. We certainly don’t talk about music, because we have to admit, that besides the iconic music of Crash itself, we hardly have any nostalgic memories regarding Crash Team Racing. What we highlight is precisely how the sound design that you get in Nitro Fueled is still effective to be used as a source of information. Go through the various sounds of different effects in each weapon or action of you and your opponent, will be able to know what happened, will happen, and maybe will happen. As an example? You can get ready for more insight when you hear a bomb rolling or just an electric weapon ready to flatten all positions in front of the trigger. Once you receive this information, you always have room to react if it’s possible.
The Nitro-Fueled Crash Racing Team also cannot be called a modern game without injecting extra content, of course. In terms of presentation, everything is rooted in the cosmetics side which is now one of your motivations to continue playing. Beenox seems all-out to ensure this content is indeed interesting to pursue. Each character comes with a fantastic variety of cosmetic items in quantity and quality, from those who just change color to those who have their own unique costumes. Not enough to get there, the customization feature is also now pinned on a vehicle that can be assembled with several elements with extra stickers on it. Remember, all the car and costume modification systems only contain cosmetics without affecting your performance in the arena at all.
With all of these combinations, Activision succeeded in doing something truly, they have succeeded in achieving it with Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy – creating a Remake / Remaster project that is worthy of being juxtaposed with even new release games but on the other hand, maintaining its classic taste which for the most part big gamers who come because of the motivation of nostalgia, deserve to be appreciated.
There is one thing that seems like we deserve to complain about this Nitro-Fueled CTR, the RNG Item. As we know, we never know the contents of the box we hit and what items we will get. But rationally, the more left behind our position, the opportunity to get items with more imbalance effects – from UkaUka, global electric shots, to hours to slow down the speed of all drivers is certainly greater. But unfortunately, from so many of our experiences in a backward position, Nitro-Fueled CTR RNG is still counted as garbage.
Rubbish? Yes, garbage. Garbage in the sense that regardless of where you are in the middle or behind, the chance to get items that can really change the course of racing, especially against small NPCs. Not infrequently in the middle position, between 4 and 5 who want to pursue the top 3, we end up getting bubble protectors or bombs that don’t contribute at all to produce position changes.
Not infrequently when in a backward position, we get items such as Rocket that don’t help at all when you can’t even catch up and aim at enemies whose position is in front of you. Nitro-Fueled Racing Team Crash in our eyes needs more “courage” to scramble this RNG system to create a more dynamic battle sensation, where only one small mistake occurs or an item used at the right timing can instantly turn things around. Just look at how Nintendo designed Mario Kart, where you who don’t have much mechanical expertise, always feel you have an “opportunity” through an intense RNG system.
But outside of the two complaints about the RNG and the lack of a Rank system for a more balanced multiplayer experience, CTR: Nitro-Fueled still presents the super exciting racing sensation you have ever gotten in the original series. It’s just that this time is reinforced by a variety of new features that make it feel more modern, of course, beyond the visual reshuffle itself.
Crash Team Racing – Nitro-Fueled appears as a remake / remaster game that performs its tasks almost perfectly. Such conditions make it tempting for newcomers and older gamers who have lived with memory together with the original series. But at the end, it’s hard not to admit that in the end, the motivation to glance at it will depend on how strong your nostalgic sensation is.
So like the charm that was successfully executed by Activision in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy before, the strategy to maintain the classic taste while renewing all the aesthetic elements became more contemporary as well as something that made Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled charming. The combination of the two makes it suitable for gamers who really have strong Nostagia memories with the original series on the first Playstation and also newcomer gamers who, of course, need to be entertained with something more modern. So far, through the process of modernization that he has stretched out, everything goes accordingly and appropriately according to what you want from the CTR re-release. A myriad of cosmetic items, online mode, and the GaaS concept whose content will be distributed free of charge.
But as we talked about before, it is not necessarily perfect. There are a number of things that we think hurt this experience. From the RNG items and AI behaviors that do not affect the status quo rank, there are many, especially if 2 AI characters are in the leading position, to the level of Hard difficulty that feels unreasonable and fair. Another problem that we had encountered was also the smooth running of competitive online modes, especially races, which rarely ended satisfactorily. Technical problems such as the movement of a broken opponent’s car, until the condition where we had found 2 people managed to win second place because one character that ended DC for example, had happened. Beenox itself has promised to fix it.
Beyond these shortcomings, Crash Team Racing – Nitro-Fueled appears as a remake / remaster game that performs its tasks almost perfectly. Such conditions make it tempting for newcomers and older gamers who have lived with memory together with the original series. But at the end, it’s hard not to admit that in the end, the motivation to glance at it will depend on how strong your nostalgic sensation is.
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