Countdown to Grand Tourismo: Crash Team Racing

It’s a long while ’til Grand Tourismo on the PSP, so I’ll be looking at some of the racing games that have personally redefined the way I looked at racing games.

Today’s game is: Crash Team Racing

600537boxart_160wThis game was released in the later half of 1999 and held its position as a Mario Kart clone on the PS1. It did its job, though, as it was one of the few battle-racing games that actually had a cult-following to it besides Mario Kart. A loveable mascot (then), Crash Bandicoot was the staple icon for when you said Playstation, much like how Mario is to Nintendo and Sonic was to Sega. Of course, having Sonic R on the Saturn and Mario Kart on the N64 (or SNES, if you’re going off-generation) prompted Sony and Naughty Dog to produce this awesome and memorable racing game.

The game’s modes were enjoyable and trumped the modes Mario Kart originally had. This game, though, rose to its status because of the many characters you could choose from. In the game there are 15 characters in total, with 8 of them playable from the start, and they are: Crash, Cortex, Tiny Tiger, Coco, Dingodile, Dr. N. Gin, Polar, and Pura. 4 of the 5 Adventure-mode bosses, Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, Komodo Joe, and Pinstripe Potoroo become available as you beat them. By achieving certain things, 3 more competetors become available: Fake Crash, Dr. N. Tropy, and Penta Penguin. The main antagonist, Nitros Oxide, does not become available for play, unless you owned a Game Shark or the like.

I remember finding this most enjoyable when I played it back then.It had a learning-curve, of course, in getting the timings right for when you braked or skid for that extra boost. In a day’s practice, though, you’d be able to compete in a fairly good level. This would be where the fun starts, because playing against a 2nd player (or more) was always stressful yet enjoyable. The sheer intensity of besting your opponent in the many different and confusing courses kept you glued to this game for a good while.

Truly, for those who aren’t fans of racing games, or if one didn’t want to learn how to control and steer a car with “realistic handling”, then a brainless and fun battle-racing mascot game like Crash Team Racing is a good choice for Playstation owners everywhere.


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