E3 2003: Crash Nitro Kart Hands-on Impressions
There are times I just wish Naughty Dog was the rightful owner of the Crash Bandicoot license. But, playing Crash Nitro Kart on the PS2 gives me hope that a decent sequel to Crash Team Racing is quite possible. Crash Nitro Kart felt pretty much exactly like Crash Team Racing did. The controls at the show were missing the ability to play with the right analog stick, so I had to settle with X and Square. Thankfully, the Vivendi representitive seemed confident that usage of the right analog stick is something that will most likely end up in the final build. The build playable at E3 allowed to choose four characters, and race on three stages.
The stages didn't seem to have that certain pizzazz that made the stages in Crash Team Racing so very enjoyable. Then again, it could've been because they were the earlier and more easy going stages of the game. Regardless, it still seems a bit obvious that the direction between the two games is completely different. That said, Crash Nitro Kart still packs a lot of potential to be a great kart racer. The build at the show didn't give much of an indicator of what the game offers in terms of depth. But, it did play well and show its potential to be a very likeable party game later this year.
5/18/2003 Arnold Katayev