Crash and co. hit the track once again with Activision and Beenox’s retro revival Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Featuring characters, locales, and power-ups from the long running series, can this Bandicoot hang with the other karting legends?

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Review

Hitting the track has never been easier with Nitro-Fueled. The basic structure hits all the right notes for the genre – players will drift, collect power-ups, and trash their rivals as they set out to nab first place among 32 different tracks.

There are a few wrinkles that make this one stand out though. The Turbo Meter plays a major role – making sure you time your Power Slide boosts and peel outs could very well mean the difference between victory and defeat. It also pays to hit the skies – a properly timed jump on a bump or a ramp helps net a Hang Time Turbo, and the longer you’re in the air, the better the boost. Wumpa Fruits also dot the course, with each one adding a bit of speed and 10 of these juicy beauties affecting the potency of each power-up. These additions make this arcade-like racer unique, all while remaining accessible to those new to the genre.

There’s no stuffiness with its track selection either – sewers, mines, coliseums, beaches, and icy tundras ooze personality and charm. The bright colors positively pop with its HDR support, and the attention-to-detail makes repeat playthroughs a treat. Layouts are rarely cheap, though the sharp turns and numerous hazards could be frustrating to those just starting out. Nevertheless, those willing to put in the time will enjoy finding the optimal path through each track.

Just be warned that the sheer amount of items that come into play can get overwhelming. Tracking missiles, bowling bombs, TNT and Nitro crates, beakers, and more can turn each track into a minefield of crap. It can get a bit frustrating to navigate the junk eight racers dish out, but it’s nothing game breaking.

Players will certainly not be starved for choice with Nitro Fueled. The Local Arcade group alone has got a number of things to choose from – Single Race, Cup Race, Battle, and Time Trial are par for the course, but there is also Relic Race (where players have to complete a course by a certain time, and can stop time by hitting certain crates), CTR Challenge (where players collect letters while winning a race), and Crystal Challenge (where players have to collect a set amount of crystals in an arena before time runs out). There’s also a number of sub-modes in each of these races as well – Battle Mode alone has Limit Battle, Capture the Flag, Crystal Grab, Steal the Bacon, and more to choose from. The development team went above and beyond when designing this title, leading to a great amount of replayability.

Those who would rather take their skills online can jump into its Online Mode. Private Matches, Matchmaking (with both Race and Battle options), and Friends support are all available, and work as they should. Finding a race with seven other people was relatively painless, and the race was virtually lag-free. Some may not like the fact that players will vote for the track of their choosing when Matchmaking, but this is par for the course.

Rounding things out is an Adventure Mode, which features a story revolving around the nefarious Nitros Oxide. In what this alien menace calls “survival of the fastest,” players will navigate through an Adventure Area, collecting Trophies and defeating bosses to get to the next area. It’s surprisingly robust, and there are a fair amount of additional objectives to do and Relics to collect after the main races have been conquered.

Note that there is a number of unlockables to be had in this game. Everything can be purchased using the in-game Wumpa Coin currency, and the rates are fair. Those who would like skins or characters will be at it for a while to unlock everything, but other than some “rare” finds in the Pit Stop mode, most players will be able to find what they want.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’s sheer amount of content and modes make it the best kart racer value on the market today. Packing both skill and charm, this is one title worth its weight in Wumpa Fruits.

This review of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was done on the PlayStation 4. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
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