Nitro-Fu­elled the epit­ome of child­like won­der

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

AS far as great games go, it’s hard to beat the orig­i­nal Crash Team Rac­ing. As far as a hefty sucker-punch of nos­tal­gia goes, it’s nigh-im­pos­si­ble to beat the iconic kart racer.

Where Mario Kart won hearts with its charm­ing aes­thetic and silky-smooth con­trols, Crash Team Rac­ing had a more rough and ready ap­peal, served with a healthy side of typ­i­cal Crash Bandi­coot ab­sur­dity.

Crash Team Rac­ing’s car­toon­ish style be­lied its true na­ture as far-and-away the most tech­ni­cal and dif­fi­cult kart racer of its era. The maps were pun­ish­ing and the sur­pris­ingly deep me­chan­ics of the game greatly high­lighted gulfs in qual­ity be­tween ca­sual and more skilled play­ers.

Crash Team Rac­ing Nitro-Fu­elled has per­fectly cap­tured the beau­ti­fully in­ter­twined mo­ments of ela­tion and tor­ment of its orig­i­nal, while also com­bin­ing el­e­ments of var­i­ous Crash Team Rac­ing games to form a won­der­fully com­plete pack­age.

Nitro-Fu­elled comes com­plete with an Ad­ven­ture game mode, both lo­cal and on­line play, five bat­tle modes, and three chal­lenge modes build­ing on the orig­i­nal’s foun­da­tions.

All of this would be con­sid­ered noth­ing more than fan-ser­vice, should the game it­self not feel to­tally au­then­tic, but also tweaked in or­der to con­form to the gam­ing stan­dards we are cur­rently af­forded the lux­ury to joy.

And in­deed, the game feels as wicked, fast and vis­ceral as ever. Drift­ing around cor­ners is by no means ef­fort­less, but it feels more in­tu­itive and re­spon­sive than ever. Bet­ter still, with clever tim­ing it is pos­si­ble to chain to­gether huge boosts and power slides, al­low­ing you to very quickly make time on your op­po­nents.

In terms of powerups, ev­ery­thing has been sourced from pre­vi­ous Crash Team Rac­ing ti­tles. Thank­fully, de­vel­op­ers Beenox have opted to con­tinue the shun­ning of catchup items.

These powerups, com­bined with the twist­ing maps and fe­ro­cious speeds mean that Crash Team Rac­ing Nitro-Fu­elled is a game of near-re­lent­less in­ten­sity and prob­a­bly not one to play dur­ing a ca­sual get-to­gether.

Nitro-Fu­elled has got it all right. To some crit­ics, the orig­i­nal is game nearly as per­fect as any other ti­tle ever made. The epit­ome of child­like won­der, pol­ished back to a gleam for the ben­e­fit of a more ma­ture eye.

Crash Team Rac­ing Nitro-Fu­elled has per­fectly cap­tured the in­ter­twined mo­ments of ela­tion and tor­ment of its orig­i­nal.

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