Hours played: 25+

Platform played on: Nintendo Switch

Did I like this game?/is it fun?: As an avid fan of the original Crash Team Racing for the first PlayStation console. This game brought back so many memories of fun times. I love this game simply because it’s exactly how I remember it as a child. I’ve probably played more Crash Team Racing than I have any Mario Kart game. With that said, I can confidently say that I very much enjoyed this game.

“Buzz Words”: Kart-Racing, Nostalgic, Couch Co-op, Party Game.

Description: CTR Nitro-Fueled is a faithful remake of the original PS1 title and some of the later games in the series developed by Beenox and published by Activision. In this reimagining, you can either play through the full game with only one character like the original, or you can fully customize a roster of twenty-five along with the major aspects of their karts. The tracks are varied with all of the details from old titles perfectly remade in HD, along with some funny new ones. On the appropriate difficulty settings, the game can be challenging enough to make you sweat, but not hard enough to keep it from being fun.

What I liked about the game: The game scratched an itch that I haven’t been able to scratch for a while. The previously remastered Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was enjoyable, but it reminded me that I’m not as good as I once was (seriously, I don’t know how I beat those games as a kid). With CTR:NF, I felt like I knew exactly what I was doing, even playing on the Switch (the best way to play it, fight me). The controls were easy to pick up, especially if you’ve played before or have experience playing Mario Kart. The cartoonish graphical design still somehow manages to pack in a ton of detail. Take Crash’s face for instance, in the original game he had one facial expression (a terrifying one), but in the remake he has a full rotation of expressions based on what he’s doing (including a goofy concentration face with his tongue sticking out). Not to mention the individual hair follicles on each of the animalistic characters as well as the facial and head hair of Doctor Cortex. The customization of the characters and karts isn’t too in depth, but it’s on par with Mario Kart 8, which allows you to pick between a fair amount of karts, colors, stickers, as well as color variations of each character. Perhaps where the game shines the most is playing with others. Having a group of friends over or being at a family function can be transformed into a memorable experience with games like these.

What I disliked about the game: Finding things wrong with this game is going to be like grasping at straws but I can name a few. A problem I remember from the original is the small collection of crate power ups during races, which is still present. The boss races are strangely scripted by keeping the boss character from falling too far behind, no matter how far ahead you get they rubber-band and come back eventually. While it makes the race more tense, it just makes it feel like you did all of that amazing driving to get ahead for nothing. The challenges and unlockables are sorta dull and not worth going the extra mile for. While I said the difficulty can be just right, the difference between easy and normal is drastic, and if you aren’t good at the game the easy difficulty doesn’t even reward you the illusion of a challenge.

Recap: CTR: Nitro-Fueled is an insanely fun kart racing game that pulls on the nostalgia string in the right way. It’s a faithful reimagining of a classic game with some great additions to boot. The customization is good, the racing is fast, and the graphics are beautiful. The game has a few issues, though. The difficulty settings are a bit off, especially for people who are just looking for lazy fun. The boss race mechanics are wonky, but fun nonetheless. And the power ups are a little stale and unvaried. With all that said, the game is extremely fun and the childhood memories are in abundance.

Should YOU buy this game?: If you enjoyed the original games, you’ll enjoy this one as well. It’s frantic pace and competitive nature will make it a go to party game for years to come. I believe if you liked the original, are looking for a party game, or just want to lazily play an arcade-ish racer on easy, this game is for you. $40 for this game, however, is a bit much, I would say $30 is an appropriate price, but it’s still a must buy for fans of the series. I would refrain from purchasing the ultimate edition of the game for $60, twenty more dollars for just a few character skins, etc. just isn’t plausible enough. At least there aren’t any microtransactions, though. If you buy this game on the PlayStation 4, you get exclusive access to the retro tracks and character models (So cool! Bummer for other systems, though). Not considering the cool stuff you get for playing on PS4, the Switch is a great way to play the game. You can play on the go or just use handheld mode if someone else needs the tv.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is available for PS4/Pro, Xbox One/X, and the Nintendo Switch.

Thanks for reading!

-Taylor E.