Racing games have been around a long time and kart racing in particular has a long history. Of course, the quintessential kart racing game is Mario Kart and all its glorious iterations. Crash Team Racing (CTR) was Activision’s answer to Mario Kart back in the day and was a solid response, if for no other reason that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
That being said, CTR, did the best job of imitating what Mario Kart did well. There were a cast of characters all with various strengths and weaknesses in how they handle on the race track. There were a multitude of tricks and unlockables to keep play fun and you could race against your pals.
Fast forward to 2019 and Activision is back with a new updated version of Crash Team Racing that can be played in either classic mode, if you simply bought it for nostalgic reasons, or in Nitro-fueled mode, if you really want to have fun. Okay, so I’m not big on nostalgia even though I’m right in the sweet spot for that sort of marketing.
As racing games go, this one is fun. And if you can’t tell from the screenshots, the game just released its second Grand Prix season: Back N. Time. In this race, hazards include everything from lava pits to dinosaurs, so keep your eyes on the road!
You start with a basic set of vehicles and playable characters and can unlock more as you play through the game. Pretty standard stuff and nothing new. To me, the best part of racing games, including CTR, is playing against your friends who are sitting in the same room with you. Online gaming has its place but there is a lot to be said for trash talking the person sitting next to you while you throw TNT at them to try and derail their lead.
Okay, so that’s nostalgia since there aren’t a lot of games that allow for that kind of play these days, but CTR is one of them and it’s the best way to play in my opinion. However, I recognize that a lot of people play racing games like I play LEGO games, which is to say, they have to collect everything, unlock all the characters, unlock all the vehicles and wring the life out of the game. If that’s you, go you, and it’s all possible with CTR.
If you don’t have time for all that grinding but you still want all those goodies, Activision has conveniently provided micro-transactions to help you on your way. I’m not a fan of micro-transactions, for a variety of reasons, but whether or not they work for you is your business. Just know that they are available for CTR if you’re so inclined.
Final thoughts, if you love racing games, particularly kart racing, you’re going to love Crash Team Racing. If you were team Crash back in the day, you’re still going to love it today because it’s even better than before. With two Grand Prix Seasons already out, and probably more on the way, you will have lots of fun racing ahead.
Check it out, you won’t be sorry.