Replay Value: 9.7
When Naughty Dog's first Bandicoot title was released, the game pushed the PSX to some of it's limits. The title was an instant success for Sony and Naughty Dog, and after a while Crash Bandicoot became Sony's official mascot. A year later Crash 2 was released and that time around Crash's second title boasted graphical performance as well as some gameplay enhancements. Another year another Crash title. Crash makes his return in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the 3rd title featured excellent graphics great gameplay, and selling tons of copies. Now Naughty Dog releases a go-kart version a'la Mario Kart 64. Every mascot has his own racing title, so why shouldn't Crash. Mario's got his Mario Kart (N64), Sonic has his Sonic R (Saturn) and Crash now has Crash Team Racing. How does CTR fair? Keep reading to find out.
As usual the bandicoot's game boasts excellent graphics that shine everywhere. All the characters have been designed to look smooth, polished, and the final outcome is excellent. Not only that but the game has some great backgrounds that are filled with lush colors. These colors are what give this game more characteristic. CTR also has very nice looking environments as well. In a few of the stages that have icy floors, while driving over them you will see an excellent reflection of you and your vehicle. That just shows how much detail Naughty Dog put into CTR. The most discussed thing in CTR is it's frame rate during a multi player game via multi tap. I'm happy to say that the frame rate is close to being as crisp as it is during single player as it is in multiplayer, the frame rate only drops on a very rare occasion. The track design is great in Naught Dog's title, all the racks look very good in terms of detail. Also if you compare CTR to Mario Kart 64 you will find the outcome not too surprising, because Crash Team Racing excels Mario Kart 64 in almost every category. Everything from graphics (yes graphics!) to gameplay to replay value.
Crash Team Racing features some of the best gameplay to ever grace the Playstation period! It features tons of great modes like, Arcade (single race), Adventure (story mode), Time Trial (duh!), Battle (4 player battle), and Versus (2-4 player race). Each mode is filled with excitement especially the adventure and battle modes. These are the two modes that give the game that special something. Without these modes the game would really be crappy, but that would never happen because Naughty Dog knows better. Like the 'other Kart' title, CTR features weapons 12 of them to be exact. Some of the weapons are, TNT Crate, NITRO Crate, Bomb, Homing Missile, Green Bubble, Invincibility, triple homing, and triple bomb, turbo boost, and super boost. The game features an extensive amount of characters 8 from which are playable and 4 secret. 18 tracks and there should be 4 hidden ones. As most of you know CTR features a hang time meter. The longer you are in the air the bigger the boost will be when you land. The multi player mode is something that should be savored for months. The stages in CTR are a lot bigger than the ones seen in Mario Kart and Diddy Kong, adding more freedom toward the game. And on a final note weapons are picked up by smashing into crates.
The sound is purely awesome. There is some voice acting during the Adventure Mode, and the voice acting may not be the best but it is very good. When Aku-Aku speaks to you, the quality of speech is very very good, never any break up and the sound always stays crisp and clear. The game features some catchy tunes that you will be humming the whole day. And the sound of the engine has a nice touch to the sound effects.
The control does take time to get used to. The turning at first might be a problem but once mastered the problem is gone. Powersliding is an important feature in this game and it has to be mastered. To pull of a powerslide press and Hold R1 while turning, and when your exhaust smoke turns black quickly hit L1 for a boost. Unlike other kart racers, Crash Team Racing doesn't feature the same handling for every single character. Every character has his/her own stats. So once you master a character, make sure you stick with that character. As of the control layout, it's fairly simple, X is to drive, Square is to Brake, O is to use a special, Triangle is to switch between map or speedometer, L1 and R1 are to powerslide, L2 to switch view, and R2 is to look back.
The replay value is the game's true shining point. Crash Team Racing features a great variety of tracks, a ton of characters, excellently designed courses, multiplayer mode via multi tap which runs at an excellent frame rate, and an adventure mode that will last a life time. Crash Team Racing is a title that will keep you going forever. It beats out every other battle game and every other kart racer out there. I don't care who you are, you need to stop reading this review and buy the damn game, NOW! Oh, and don't forget the multi tap.