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11 Dec, 2003

Crash Nitro Kart Review

PS2 Review | Is this game going to pull you away from Mario Kart?
Crash Bandicoot was the unofficial mascot for the Playstation One back in 1996, and many things have changed, after Naughty Dog’s four titles they decided to move on and let another developer deal with the license. After Traveler's Tales created an uninspiring title in 2001, Vicarious Visions decided it was there time to revisit the Crash license by creating a near identical clone to the last Crash Bandicoot title from Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing.

Race... to save the world... again

Crash Nitro Kart is a kart racing game which has a small story - a new villian Emperor Velo has kidnapped Crash and his friends, as well as Dr. Cortex and his team, and forces them to race for his planet’s entertainment. Playing as either Team Cortex or Team Crash you must race through four galaxies (each spanning three tracks) and win all the cups. When doing this you can challenge Velo for your freedom. The story isn’t great, but it is a valid excuse for a race. Crash Nitro Kart features old characters from the previous incarnations and new characters. The most notable new inclusion is N.Trance, an egg-shaped character who brainwashes characters to race for him. Crash Nitro Kart has a main story mode, a single player mode, multiplayer mode and arena editor mode. The arena editor mode isn’t as exciting as it would seem, the only thing you can edit is where the items go, there is also a pre-requisite you must fulfill before you're able to test your track.


Let's do the timewarp again

Steal the bacon

Adventure mode is where you will spend most of your time. Adventure mode consists of races, relic races, coin collecting challenges and crystal collecting challenges. The aim is to bring team Crash safely back to Earth. Multiplayer consists of five different modes. Limit Battle sees you hit your opponent as much as possible, Last Kart Driving is an elimination event, Crystal Grab is a mode in which you collect as many crystals as possible, Capture The Flag explains itself and a new mode is included called Steal The Bacon. This is the most unoriginal multiplayer mode I have seen in a long time, the objective is to fight over one flag, instead of two.
Speed is extremely important in racing games and it is in this area that Crash Nitro Kart falls down. It constantly feels like you are going slower than normal, to make the game seem fast you need to keep boosting or wait until the higher levels where there are more turbo accelerators. Its predecessor was much faster and if you are used to that it makes Crash Nitro Kart easier because you have more time to process your moves. The tracks are basic and themed around recent Crash Bandicoot areas. There are only twelve tracks, which brings the lifespan down. It seems like Vicarious thought that by inserting an “arena editor” it would make the tracks new and fresh but the tracks are very similar to the ones in Crash Team Racing. There are a lot of characters to unlock, just about any character appearing in any of the games makes an appearance and fans will be pleased to know that N. Oxide is playable this time around. There are also cut scenes to unlock as well as new tracks. The cut scenes are surprisingly well crafted and add some polish to the game. There are just fewer than 20 power-ups which appear in-game. These power-ups do various things such as freezing opponents, shocking opponents and startling opponents. Vicarious has added some new power-ups which add variety to the game and give it less of a familiar feel.

Oh well, try again next time

The graphics look like a first generation Playstation 2 game, the lack of creativity in the tracks makes the game feel less evolutionary. It would be expected that due to the graphical sacrifices the game would run at a fast frame race, this is not the case and there is slowdown during erratic scenes. This dulls down how intense the battles can get and eventually becomes annoying.


Look familiar?

The characters go slow already and this means sometimes it is hard to tell if it is your character or the game slowing down. The loading in the game keeps below five seconds for every segment which makes progression to the next race easier. Unfortunately to switch between worlds you must go through a portal (so the game can load) and this means the free roam mode of the game is interrupted.
The character banter is atrocious and will become increasingly annoying. Each character would have a maximum of five lines, at times the banter is expressed at the wrong time. The sound is very formulaic. The usual Crash theme song is present with a bit of remixing to make it seem original. Tedious in-game songs make the game seem less like a race and more like a Sunday drive.

Don't get your hopes up, they will crash down

Crash Nitro Kart is a huge disappointment. It is inevitable to draw conclusions to Crash Team Racing and the fact the game was on an older console and is still better is telling. If you are a huge fan of the previous game then hire this game, it won't take very long to complete. Crash Nitro Kart is let down by some disappointing factors.


And again

Track design is lackluster and familiar and it always feels like you are in a slow state. If you don’t mind the lack of speed or unimaginative track design then this would be a good purchase for a budget title, but for $99.95 I cannot recommend it, over the cheaper Crash Team Racing. The few additions to the game all work, it is a shame there is not enough of them.
The Score
A lot more disappointing than expected. Worth a rent, that is as far as I would go though.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Crash Nitro Kart Content

Crash Nitro Cart announced for Gamecube
17 Feb, 2003 More Crash games on the way to the Gamecube.
Jak II: Renegade Review
27 Oct, 2003 Naughty Dog's more mature version of Jak retains everything that made the original good, and adds some much needed plot and atmosphere.
Vivendi Reveals Crash Nitro Kart
26 Apr, 2003 Vivendi Universal Games to release a new racing title featuring that crazy bandicoot.
4 Comments
1 decade ago
Where you playing the same game that I bought? It sounds like you either pulled out your old CTR game and reviewed it again or had too many pints while doing your review.

The graphics in the game are way better than the older CTR and are much better than any of the other games I have. I bought Double Dash and returned it the next day. The graphics in that game are all flat and look like they belong in some kiddie arcade game. The game play in Double Dash was more suited to 5 year old. Though if the reviewer was a 5 year old I could understand them liking Double Dash more and thinking that CNK was too much for them.

As for the gameplay in CNK it was exactly what I was hoping for. It was just like my favorite CTR with new tracks and crate placements to learn. I wasn't looking for a totally new game, I just wanted more of CTR that I loved and was made for my new system. (I sure didn't want to have some stupid monkey sitting behind me dealing with my power-ups!)

I also like the story that the game give. The movies are very nice (By the way where are the Double Dash story movies? I was never able to see any in the game).

I really liked all the new multiplayer modes that CNK had too. My only wish was that they would have been able to put in a LAN or especially an internet mode.

So if you aren't someone that is blinded by the Mario myth, then I think you will really love this game as much as I do.

-Polar99
1 decade ago
Polar99 wrote
Where you playing the same game that I bought? It sounds like you either pulled out your old CTR game and reviewed it again or had too many pints while doing your review.

The graphics in the game are way better than the older CTR and are much better than any of the other games I have. I bought Double Dash and returned it the next day. The graphics in that game are all flat and look like they belong in some kiddie arcade game. The game play in Double Dash was more suited to 5 year old. Though if the reviewer was a 5 year old I could understand them liking Double Dash more and thinking that CNK was too much for them.

As for the gameplay in CNK it was exactly what I was hoping for. It was just like my favorite CTR with new tracks and crate placements to learn. I wasn't looking for a totally new game, I just wanted more of CTR that I loved and was made for my new system. (I sure didn't want to have some stupid monkey sitting behind me dealing with my power-ups!)

I also like the story that the game give. The movies are very nice (By the way where are the Double Dash story movies? I was never able to see any in the game).

I really liked all the new multiplayer modes that CNK had too. My only wish was that they would have been able to put in a LAN or especially an internet mode.

So if you aren't someone that is blinded by the Mario myth, then I think you will really love this game as much as I do.

-Polar99
dont you know that the reviews are made from nfos and other reviews
not afther playing the game
1 decade ago
Polar99 wrote
Where you playing the same game that I bought? It sounds like you either pulled out your old CTR game and reviewed it again or had too many pints while doing your review.

The graphics in the game are way better than the older CTR and are much better than any of the other games I have. I bought Double Dash and returned it the next day. The graphics in that game are all flat and look like they belong in some kiddie arcade game. The game play in Double Dash was more suited to 5 year old. Though if the reviewer was a 5 year old I could understand them liking Double Dash more and thinking that CNK was too much for them.

As for the gameplay in CNK it was exactly what I was hoping for. . It was just like my favorite CTR with new tracks and crate placements to learnwasn't looking for a totally new game, I just wanted more of CTR that I loved and was made for my new system. (I sure didn't want to have some stupid monkey sitting behind me dealing with my power-ups!)

I also like the story that the game give. The movies are very nice (By the way where are the Double Dash story movies? I was never able to see any in the game).

I really liked all the new multiplayer modes that CNK had too. My only wish was that they would have been able to put in a LAN or especially an internet mode.

So if you aren't someone that is blinded by the Mario myth, then I think you will really love this game as much as I do.

-Polar99
Just FYI i don't own a Gamecube and have only played Mario Kart a few times, so i am not blinded by the myth. The sense of speed in CNK is appauling, at the very beginning it feels like you are going at a snail's pace.

The "story" the game gives is just to string things together, it is nothing deservant of an award but i commented in my review that the story was decent enough.

Just your quote
Quote
It was just like my favorite CTR with new tracks and crate placements
For a $99.95 game i would expect more than 12 tracks and a small adventure mode which lasts shorter than five hours. Mario Kart's graphics are vibrant, this game is full of a lot of browns, greens and yellow's, The tracks are smaller and the graphics are most certainly no innovation. I must add i did not review Mario Kart so i will not give a judgement on the graphics of the game.
I stand by my judgement that CTR is a better game than CNK, more tracks, more longetivity, faster sense of speed.I didnt say the game was extremely bad, i didn't give it a 2 or 3 i said it was average. Maybe you should take a look at the PALGN review guidelines, a 5 is average and this is the most this game deserves, After 5 years and a console later i expected more.
Graphics better than any game you have? Did you not notice the slowdown and the collision detection at times?
1 decade ago
i thought it was gonna be great but after reading that review I'm let down with the game but i'm still gonna check it out.
And i so wanna play as the freaky guy you can't play as on the one on ps1.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  Vivendi Universal
Developer:
  Radical Entertainment
Players:
  1

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