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Crash Team Racing (PlayStation)
PlayStation owners no longer need to borrow their friends Nintend o 64 in
order to have a rollicking good old time racing virtual turbo-charged go-
karts through outlandish environments. Crash Team Racing does an
excellent job of re-creating that same thrill on the PlayStation. Crash
Team Racing has all the marks of the kart-racing genre, including big-
headed characters driving diminutive go-karts, power-ups to increase
speed and slow down opponents, and thematic tracks with multiple paths
for exploration. What CTR adds to the mix is fairness: tighter-turning cars
are rewarded for precision driving, skillful jumping, and strategic
placement of booby traps. Sure, the playing field is level, but the better the
driver, the better chance he or she has of winning consistently without any
annoying catch-up code. The one-player game is wonderfully presented as
an exploratory adventure, while the multiplayer mode is a split-screen
must-play for anyone with a PlayStation (and, of course, friends). Twenty -
five tracks, 12 characters, and responsive control make CTR the got ta-
have racing game. --Jeff Young Pros: Excellent kart control, including
power slides, hops, and wheelies Wide tracks encourage passing High
replayability, especially in multiplayer mode Cons: Characters arent as
cute as those in Mario Kart
Personal Review: Crash Team Racing (PlayStation)
+ advanced techniques add depth to the gameplay
+ great controls
+ excellent adventure mode
+ time trial mode is cool
+ awesome tracks
+ excellent music and sound effects
+ lasts a long time overall
- bosses have unlimited items
- no crash detection when bumping other karts
Crash Bandicoot was one of the leading franchises on the PlayStation, and
for good reason. A few top-notch games rightly earned him the position.
After a few great 3-D platformers, Naughty Dog decided to take Crash to
the racetrack in Crash Team Racing (CTR): a solid kart racer that has
much more to it than your average Mario Kart.
CTR is a blast to play. The controls are great and there is much to master
if you want to race with the best methods. If you play as a character like
Crash or Cortex, you can make it around most curves by simply turning.
However, proper use of drifting can become extremely beneficial, and it is
a much harder technique than in Mario Kart and takes a lot to fully master.
Jumping is also a key to winning races. By pressing R1 at the top of any
kind of bump, ramp, etc. you can get a boost upon hitting the ground
(provided you manage to get enough air). This element is really cool and
certain courses require lots of strategizing with the jumps to make
shortcuts and get the most boosts possible.
The weapons are also great. They are mostly modeled after basic
weapons found in most racing games (homing missile, bomb that rolls in a
straight line, potions and TNT to drop behind you, shield, etc.). However,
you have the opportunity to upgrade your items within the race by
collecting 10 fruits. This puts all items you get in an upgraded form as long
as you have the fruit; its a neat element.
Believe it or not, CTR actually has a story. An alien named N. Oxide has
decided that he wants to turn the world into a giant parking lot. Therefore,
its up to your character of choice to save the world from too much asphalt
and a lot of white lines. You race against 7 other characters on 16 tracks
and 4 fast bosses to become the world champion who gets the opportunity
to challenge the alien invader. The story is played out in the Adventure
mode, which is the main part of CTR that puts it above the competition.
In the adventure mode, you have to win a race on all 16 tracks (thereby
collecting all the trophies) and then finally face Oxide. Along the way youll
race four bosses too including the classic Ripper Roo and the Komodo
dragon Joe, each of which give you a boss key allo wing you to reach the
next area of the game.
What did I just say? Area? Thats right, Naughty Dog found it impossible to
stray entirely from platforming with Crash. The game actually has a pretty
big world containing five areas, and you get around by driving. You enter a
level on warp panels (or something of the like) and race from there. Its
really neat way to do a racing game and its much more fun than picking
and choosing what to do from a menu.
The Adventure mode also has extra stuff to get. Youll be about 38% done
with the adventure if you quit after getting the 16 trophies; each level also
has a CTR token and relic. There are also four battle courses to get CTR
tokens on plus a handful of gems. So as you can see there is a lot to do in
the main mode, but to be honest its not all that difficult to complete overall.
Still, its fun to do and lasts a while, and does present a few challenges. I
can almost guarantee youll play through this mode more than once if you
own the game.
Almost all of the games 16 courses are really great. Theyre not exactly
creative for the most part, but theyre extremely fun. Its hard to choose a
favorite when theyre all so awesome! Most of the tracks are dedicated to
one specific character. Several of them have shortcuts that can be taken
by jumping with perfect timing and they can be quite difficult to make, so
more advanced racers can take the lead with ease (provided theyre really
good at getting the shortcuts, that is).
Of course, there is also a regular Grand Prix mode like any other racing
game. You probably wont get around to it until youve beaten the adventure
but its there. There is also a battle mode also like most other racing games
as well as multiplayer (of course).
The time trial mode of CTR is really good. Not only do you go for the best
time possible, you can stop the clock by hitting yellow boxes with numbers
on them. This adds a cool element to the time trials and makes it so that
you can get huge cuts in your times.
There are quite a few characters in the game. You start with eight: Crash,
Cortex, Coco, Tiny, N-Gin, Dingodile, Polar, and Pura. You can later
unlock the adventures bosses too, as well as a couple other characters.
The original eight characters can be used in the adventure but only one
per save file and you cant change them. Weight isnt an issue in the game,
but turning, speed, and acceleration are the main statistics.
Graphically, CTR kept up with the times. Theyre really not bad at all and
playing it today isnt an eyesore. The sound effects have always been a
strong point in Crash games and CTR is no exception to the rule:
everything from shooting a missile to getting hit by one has a great sound
effect. The music is pretty good too and youll undoubtedly agree that its a
true classic in that sense.
Overall, CTR is an excellent game. Its the most solid racer Ive ever played,
and it adds more to the normal racing formula with a great adventure
mode, a neat time trial method, and having everything else your average
racer of the day should have had. I highly recommend you get this game if
you have any of the PlayStations, its one racer not to be missed.
FINAL SCORE: 9.1/10
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