Crash Team Racing proves to be the epitome of childlike wonder
Game review: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fuelled, PS4/Xbox One, 9/10
As far as great games go, it's hard to beat the original Crash Team Racing. As far as a hefty sucker-punch of nostalgia goes, it's nigh-impossible to beat the iconic kart racer.
Where Mario Kart won hearts with its charming aesthetic and silky-smooth controls, Crash Team Racing had a more rough and ready appeal, served with a healthy side of typical Crash Bandicoot absurdity.
Crash Team Racing's cartoonish style belied its true nature as far-and-away the most technical and difficult kart racer of its era. The maps were punishing and the surprisingly deep mechanics of the game greatly highlighted gulfs in quality between casual and more skilled players.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fuelled has perfectly captured the beautifully intertwined moments of elation and torment of its original, while also combining elements of various Crash Team Racing games to form a wonderfully complete package.
Nitro-Fuelled comes complete with an Adventure game mode, both local and online play, five battle modes, and three challenge modes building on the original's foundations.
All of this would be considered nothing more than fan-service, should the game itself not feel totally authentic, but also tweaked in order to conform to the gaming standards we are currently afforded the luxury to joy.
And indeed, the game feels as wicked, fast and visceral as ever. Drifting around corners is by no means effortless, but it feels more intuitive and responsive than ever. Better still, with clever timing it is possible to chain together huge boosts and power slides, allowing you to very quickly make time on your opponents.
In terms of powerups, everything has been sourced from previous Crash Team Racing titles. Thankfully, developers Beenox have opted to continue the shunning of catchup items.
These powerups, combined with the twisting maps and ferocious speeds mean that Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fuelled is a game of near-relentless intensity and probably not one to play during a casual get-together.
Nitro-Fuelled has got it all right. To some critics, the original is game nearly as perfect as any other title ever made. The epitome of childlike wonder, polished back to a gleam for the benefit of a more mature eye.