Sunday, June 23, 2019

"Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled" Review

One way or another, Crash Bandicoot is going to become relevant again. Following up the spectacular "Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy," is the vigorous cart racer reboot "Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled."

While the gameplay, courses and power-ups are admittedly derivative, there are so many raw, overpowering thrills in the racing that you get caught up in the excitement and never find yourself looking in the rear-view mirror at other racing experiences.

Dating back to the original PlayStation "Crash Team Racing" in 1999, the series has always been a shameless imitator of "Mario Kart," but in most cases the gameplay was more competitive than lesser also-rans.

Developer Beenox channels its energy into making the racing vigorous and vital. Your fortunes can shift on any mis-timed turn, a well-placed weapon attack or a spree of fortuitous happenstance.

A well-honed mix of online and offline modes makes for a somewhat spartan yet effective mix of play choices. Once you burn through the single-player slate of courses, you'll probably find yourself trading paint and projectiles online. Rigorous matchmaking and a slick interface keeps you racing more than waiting.

While the character choices and backdrops are no more near as iconic as those of Mario or even the world of Sonic and friends, "Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled" nails what's far more important -- the quality of the gameplay and ease of access.

A spree of sensory overload online or off, with couch multiplayer or solo racing, this is a game that straps you in and flings you back into your seat as it slams on the gas. "Crash" is racing done right, and it continues to make headway into resurrecting its iconic star.

Publisher provided review code.

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