Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
Game Reviewed: Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
Developer: Naughty Dog, Been
Reviewer: Samuel Gronseth II
Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One
ESRB Rating: E10
Back in the late 90s, Crash Bandicoot was one of the flagship franchises for the budding Playstation brand. Before Naughty Dog sold the license to Crash to start work on Jak and Daxter for the Playstation 2, there were three Crash Bandicoot games and a kart racer that many have said was better than all the Mario Karts in all the world.
…well okay, I said that. And some other people too. It was really good, is the point.
And they finally put it back out there on modern consoles, with a major graphical overhaul, online play, and new features! Much like Mario Kart, the game pits players against each other in races through colorful areas, each filled with various items they can use to try and get the upper hand against their opponents. With a bit of ingenuity, luck, and a whole lot of speed, players try to be the first one across the finish line.
I mean you know how racing works, so… let’s just talk about whether it’s appropriate for your kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Players can get a variety of items that will help them in the race, some of which result in some mild cartoon violence. Players can roll bombs or shoot missiles at each other, which make one’s kart bounce and flip through the air. There are also hazards on the maps that produce these results.
Crash Team Racing takes elements from the Crash Bandicoot series at large, including the sort of voodoo-looking mask Aku-Aku that serves as protection for Crash in the series proper (as well as his evil brother, Uka-Uka, who shows up when racing as the villains).
One character can be seen picking their nose and eating the booger. Crash has a victory dance that includes a couple pelvic thrusts.
A Child’s Perspective:
Here’s a child’s perspective: mine! I played the original a ton as a kid and absolutely loved it. As have many other children and friends in my life. Kids love it.
It can be tempting, especially 20 years after the heyday of Crash Bandicoot, to pass this off as a nostalgic relic of the past. That, in my opinion, would be a mistake.
There aren’t many great kart racers out there. Mario Kart is pretty much it, though some would argue that the Sonic racers are pretty good, and others have fond memories of the equally old Diddy Kong Racing. You’re not exactly hurting for options in this genre. And aside from just being an incredibly fun and mechanically solid kart racer, CTR brings a number of unique things to the table.
Part of this is a robust single-player mode, complete with overworld maps and a variety of challenges that help the player to really learn the game’s mechanics and memorize its racetracks. Another part is the turbo slide mechanics, which allows players to gain extra speed by turning their corners in a more skillful way through expert timing and spatial awareness. And it just plays smooth as butter. It’s an extremely solid, wildly fun kart racer that didn’t deserve to fade into the depths of time like it did.
Now, it’s back, and it’s just as family-friendly as before. You can play with your family, you can play online with distant loved ones, and I guarantee you’ll have a ton of fun.
Samuel Gronseth II
Samuel Gronseth II is an avid video game enthusiast who manages Video Game Reviews at TheSource4Parents.com. He has experience teaching about video games, and is passionate about their storytelling potential. Sam's favorite movie is The Empire Strikes Back, and his favorite video game is Persona 4. Sam lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife, Jimi. To see more of Samuel, check out his Youtube series Games as Lit. 101, where he examines the stories of beloved video games to see what we can learn from them: https://www.youtube.com/gamesasliterature.