Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (stylized as CTR: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled) is a kart racing game developed by Beenox and published by Activision. It is a remaster of Crash Team Racing, which was originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation in 1999, and also includes content from the games Crash Nitro Kart, originally developed by Vicarious Visions in 2003, and Crash Tag Team Racing, originally developed by Radical Entertainment in 2005. It is the seventeenth installment in the Crash Bandicoot series, and the fourth racing game overall. The game was released worldwide for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on June 21, 2019, and received generally favorable reviews from critics.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Beenox[a]
Publisher(s)Activision
Director(s)Philippe Turcotte
Designer(s)Mathieu Mercier
Programmer(s)Alexandre Gratton
Artist(s)
  • Etienne Beaulieu
  • Jason Godbout
Composer(s)
SeriesCrash Bandicoot
Platform(s)
ReleaseJune 21, 2019
Genre(s)Kart racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

GameplayEdit

 
A comparison of gameplay as Coco in the Dingo Canyon level in the original game (above) and Nitro-Fueled (below)

Like the original Crash Team Racing, Nitro-Fueled is a racing game featuring characters from the Crash Bandicoot series. Players must avoid obstacles and navigate the various tracks to reach the finish line, performing boosts via power sliding and jumping to gain speed, and using power-ups scattered across the track to give themselves a boost or hinder their opponents. The game supports local quick races and grand prix circuits, multiple battle modes, and online multiplayer, as well as featuring a full adventure mode with new areas, characters and boss battles being unlocked as the player progresses.

Nitro-Fueled includes all of the content from Crash Team Racing, along with several new features not present in the original game, including online multiplayer and the ability to choose different karts, which can be customized by the player. The adventure mode has also been tweaked: in addition to new cinematic cutscenes being added, players can choose between "Classic" and "Nitro-Fueled" adventure modes, the latter of which allows players to change their character and kart between races, as well as choose between three difficulty levels.[1] An additional "Ring Rally" mode was added as part of a post-launch update, in which players must pass through rings on a track to gain time extensions and prevent a timer from expiring. Nitro-Fueled also adds a substantial amount of content from Crash Nitro Kart, including all of its characters, race tracks, battle arenas, karts and battle modes. Additional karts and character skins from Crash Tag Team Racing are included as well. This and other new content is accessible via the Pit Stop, an in-game shop that allows players to purchase unlockables using Wumpa Coins earned through gameplay or obtained via microtransactions.[2]

Nitro-Fueled featured limited-time Grand Prix events that took place monthly following the game's launch. Each event was accompanied by a free update that added a new race track to the game. Players could compete in special challenges on these new tracks during the event period to earn Nitro Points; by acquiring a certain number of points, they would be able to unlock new characters, karts, and customization items. If players were unable to obtain enough points before the event concludes, the content was made available for purchase in the Pit Stop three months after the event's conclusion.[3][4] A total of eight Grand Prix events were held, with the final one occurring from February to March 2020, though new content will continue to be added after their conclusion.[5]

CharactersEdit

As of January 2020, Nitro-Fueled features 50 playable characters,[6] including every racer from the prior Crash racing games. This includes characters who previously only appeared as boss opponents. Only the eight base characters from the original Crash Team Racing are initially available to players. The other Crash Team Racing characters can be unlocked by progressing through the game's adventure mode and completing challenges, while all other characters are unlocked via purchase from the Pit Stop.[7]

The game featured 26 playable characters at launch, consisting of all the racers featured in Team Racing and Nitro Kart.[7] Several additional characters have been added as part of free post-launch game updates, and can be unlocked through progression in Grand Prix events or via the Pit Stop. This includes all the playable racers from Tag Team Racing and Nitro Kart 2, along with several characters making their first playable appearance in a Crash racing game.[8] New racers include Tawna, N. Brio and Koala Kong from the original Crash Bandicoot; Komodo Moe from Cortex Strikes Back; Baby T. from Warped; Ami, Isabella, Megumi and Liz, who previously appeared as non-playable characters in Team Racing;[9] Rilla Roo from Bash;[8] Megamix from The Huge Adventure;[6] Chick and Stew, who appeared as non-playable characters in Tag Team Racing;[8] baby versions of Crash and Coco;[2] guest characters Spyro, Hunter, and Gnasty Gnorc from the Spyro series;[10] and two original characters, King Chicken and Hasty.[11][8]

DevelopmentEdit

After the release of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, a collection of remasters of the first three Crash Bandicoot titles, it was speculated that Crash Team Racing would be remastered.[12][13][14] In an interview with Vicarious Visions, producer Kara Massie did not rule out the possibility of a remaster of Crash Team Racing for the PlayStation 4. She also acknowledged that she was repeatedly asked about it by fans.[15]

The game was revealed at The Game Awards on December 6, 2018, and was announced to be releasing on June 21, 2019 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[16][17] Much like N. Sane Trilogy, the game was recreated from the ground up with new assets, online play, and added new content including all characters, tracks, battle arenas, kart customizations and battle modes from Crash Nitro Kart, which was developed by Vicarious Visions, who also developed the N. Sane Trilogy.[18] Several karts, character skins, and later characters were also added from Crash Tag Team Racing, which was originally developed by Radical Entertainment.[19] The game features an option to choose between the original and remastered soundtracks.[20]

ReleaseEdit

Players who pre-ordered the game received a set of "Electron" character skins for Crash, Coco and Cortex. A premium "Nitros Oxide Edition" of Nitro-Fueled was announced alongside the game in December 2018, while its contents were detailed in April 2019. The Nitros Oxide Edition provides immediate access to the unlockable Hovercraft kart and the characters Nitros Oxide, Crunch, Zem and Zam, along with the pre-order skins and additional character skins and kart customization options not available in the base game.[21][22]

The PlayStation 4 version of Nitro-Fueled includes exclusive skins for Crash, Coco and Cortex based on their polygonal appearances in the original Crash Team Racing, along with additional low-poly karts and a retro-themed bonus track.[23][24] Players who pre-ordered this version also received a set of PlayStation-themed stickers for kart customization.[25]

On July 30, Activision announced the addition of in-game purchases to the game, allowing players to purchase the in-game Wumpa Coin currency used to unlock new characters, karts and other customization items.[2] The feature was implemented August 8.[26]

As part of a co-promotion with Mondelez International, codes for candy-themed kart customization items were included with specially-marked packages of Sour Patch Kids and Trident Vibes.[27] An additional vehicle, the "Firehawk", was released as paid downloadable content to support the Call of Duty Endowment.[28]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(NS) 80/100[29]
(PS4) 83/100[30]
(XONE) 84/100[31]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid8/10[32]
Easy Allies8.5/10[34]
EGM7.5/10[33]
Game Informer8/10[35]
Game Revolution4/5[36]
GameSpot8/10[37]
GamesRadar+     [38]
IGN8.2/10[39]
Nintendo Life          [40]
Nintendo World Report7/10[41]

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[29][30][31] Critics praised the graphics, tight controls, massive amount of content and faithfulness to the original racing games, though it was criticized for its high difficulty curve and issues with online play on the PlayStation 4 version of the game. The inclusion of microtransactions which were added a month after the game's release was also criticized, particularly as early interviews stated no such feature would be present in the game.[42][43][44][45]

During its release week, Nitro-Fueled opened at number one in the UK for the week ending June 30, 2019.[46]

AwardsEdit

The game won the award for "Best Racing Game" at the 2019 Game Critics Awards,[47] and for "Best Sports/Racing Game" at The Game Awards 2019.[48] IGN named Nitro-Fueled the best racing game of 2019.[49] The game was also nominated for "Racing Game of the Year" at the 23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards,[50] and for "Game, Classic Revival" at the NAVGTR Awards.[51]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The original game was developed by Naughty Dog. Content from Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing were originally developed by Vicarious Visions and Radical Entertainment respectively.
  2. ^ a b c d Mancell was the composer of the original game, while Hakik and Masten were the composers of Crash Nitro Kart; the music was remastered by Tremblay, who also composed new music for the game's new race tracks. Masten is uncredited in the game's credits sequence. Mark Mothersbaugh is listed as a composer in the original game, but was only a music producer.
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External linksEdit