CRASH TEAM RACING NITRO-FUELED is Fun When You Actually Get to Play

I’ve been excited for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled for a while. It’s made me think back to good old times with my best friends growing up. I was really excited when I got the game last week and overall, the game has been a blast.

The graphics aren’t the best (I’m playing on Switch), but they’re fine. I’m not going to complain too much about them. When you do a race or the adventure mode, it feels nostalgic in a great way. It’s fairly simple, but there’s a lot to master if you want to guarantee first place on Normal. This isn’t inherently a negative though, you just have to get used to boosting via drifting. The characters are also pretty well balanced.

With all this nostalgic fun, there are a fair number of problems with the game though. I’ll start small though with the simple fact that they don’t explain any of the game modes to you. There are a lot of different game modes,which is a great plus as it adds to the replay value, but one example of this gone wrong is when I went into Relic Mode. There was no explanation as to what Relic Mode was and so I started racing and then about halfway through I realized it was a time trial and by hitting boxes, it would freeze the clock to give you a better time. I still am not sure what the CTR Challenges mode is either.

Problem number two has to do with the in-game store. Most things in the store cost hundreds to thousands of Wumpa Coins. A new character will run 1500. The most I’ve ever gotten from a race is 40. In order to buy one new character, I’ll have to get first place 38 times. That’s a lot for one character. Now, some characters are unlocked in the Adventure Mode by beating them on a Boss level, but not all of them work like that. Update: I have since learned that you get more coins going online and playing, but the amount you get seems to vary. I have gotten 30 coins for finishing in 5th place and 300 for finishing in 6th. This is not only confusing, but it also irks me that you have to play online in order to get a decent number of coins at all and even then I can’t find any rhyme or reason to how many you will get.

The third problem I want to address is the load time for anything. It takes a solid minute at least to load a race after picking your characters. This is with a digital copy of the game installed on my Nintendo Switch. I don’t know of another game on the console that has that long of a load time. Not even ones with better graphics and more to them. In this day, the load times should not be this atrocious. I guess it adds to the nostalgia factor, but not in a good way.

The best part about all these problems is that I believe Activision could fix it via a patch. A patch that has a little bubble to explain the game modes better, a patch to address how much items cost or how much you win per race, and a patch to fix load times. I don’t think this is too much to ask of them. CTR Nitro-Fueled is a lot of fun, but if I don’t know what a lot of modes are and I can’t buy some of the characters or customization items without winning at least 13 races to get the smallest things.

In the end, the fun does outweigh the problems, but just barely. Even if only one of these problems is addressed, the fun factor will greatly improve.

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