WOAH! A ‘Crash Team Racing’ Remaster Is Coming!

Written by Megan Williams

The Game Awards 2018 was streamed live on Twitch and YouTube on the 6th December. The awards ceremony celebrates achievements in some of the past year’s video games, as well as give the public an insight into upcoming games. Out of all the trailers shown, there was a particular one that I was anticipating: ‘Crash Team Racing’.

Originally released in 1999 for the PlayStation One, ‘Crash Team Racing’ was the last ‘Crash Bandicoot’ game that was developed by Naughty Dog. As of writing, the game has sold over 5 million copies in Japan, Europe and the USA.

Rumours regarding a remaster started circulating via Twitter two days before the ceremony, when the manager for the PlayStation Access channel, Hollie Bennet, tweeted a photo of a pair of orange dice that she had received. This came with a note from an ‘anonymous’ source that read: ‘Sliding into the Game Awards on 6/12’. Immediately, fans stated that ‘sliding’ referred to the racing move within the game, which is used to get around tight corners and U-turns on the game’s various racing tracks. Furthermore, the dice represented Crash’s colourful appearance, as well as being an item that is typically known to be hung around the rear-view mirror of a car.

Well, on the 6th December, these rumours were confirmed as a reveal trailer for ‘Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled’ was shown…and it looks incredible!

Beenox Games will be taking the wheel this time in developing the game, and have built it ‘from the ground up’ according to Activision. The trailer gives us a glimpse of some of the tracks as well as staple characters to the franchise, including Crash and Coco Bandicoot and their enemy Neo Cortex.

It also looks like the game is going to give us another favourite past-time: offline multiplay! This feature is scarce nowadays, with the popularisation of online multiplayer, so I’m happy to see that this feature will not get removed. The game will have online play but, as someone who does not play online multiplayer games, I am glad that the offline option will still be available.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled’ will be released on 21st June 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Just in time for its 20th anniversary!

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Stormy Ascent – Crash Bandicoot DLC

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Written by Megan Williams

A month after ‘Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy’ was released on Playstation 4, developers Vicarious Visions attended San Diego Comic Con and announced the game’s first DLC: The ‘Stormy Ascent’ level for Crash Bandicoot 1.

‘Stormy Ascent’ is an advanced version of a level in the first Crash game (‘Slippery Climb’). However, the original developers, Naughty Dog, decided to take the level out of the original game due to its difficulty. They did leave the level hidden in the disc though, which meant that players were able to access it via a gaming code or software. And, now, it’s been made available without any usage of gaming software!

And….it’s F**KING difficult!

Now, is it the most difficult level in the whole game? No, that award (thanks to the tweaked controls) goes to ‘The High Road’, where I lost around 40 lives just to get the gem; I lost 20 lives and it took me an hour and a half to get a gem in ‘The Stormy Ascent’. So, not as difficult, but pretty close. I found the completely new bonus level more difficult than the main level itself.

During my first completed playthrough, I found the level a lot of fun and challenging. It mostly consisted of me going ‘Ohhh, I get it!’ as this level gives you differently timed platforming so the player can never get too familiar with the patterns that it offers. The lack of lives and checkpoints also add to the difficulty. Oddly enough, the tweaked controls work really well for this level, meaning each death (unfortunately!) can’t be blamed on anyone other than the player.

So, a fun but difficult challenge…and then we get to the time trial mode.

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I’ll be completely honest: I’ve never even gotten close to beating even the easiest time trial as it seems nearly impossible. For anyone who has beaten it, well done!

If you’ve been a long-time Crash Bandicoot player, or you just want a new challenge then I would definitely recommend this.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)

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Written by Megan Williams

The ‘Crash Bandicoot’ remaster has now been released on the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. So, to celebrate this, I thought I’d revisit the games on the Playstation 4.

‘Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy’ is a remaster of the original ‘Crash Bandicoot’ trilogy that came out on the Playstation 1 from 1996-1998, and has been developed (from the ground up) by Vicarious Visions (who developed the Crash Gameboy Advance games).

I am a huge fan of Crash Bandicoot: This was the very first console game I ever played, and I played it constantly throughout my childhood and well into adulthood (I even have a Crash Bandicoot tattoo!). Because I’m such a huge fan, I was excited but a little nervous about the remaster and whether Vicarious Visions would be able to revive a franchise that sadly died out back in 2008.

The game sold out very quickly when it was released on the Playstation 4 at the end of June last year, with physical copies being out of stock for the next few weeks after its launch. As you could probably guess from that, the remaster is fantastic! The updated visuals look beautiful and the music tracks sound awesome against the updated settings. The intro cut scenes also look great with the new and improved graphics, with most of the original voice cast reprising their roles in each game.

As well as just updating the games, Vicarious Visions have added some extra features: two new levels (the previously-removed level Stormy Ascent and a new level Future Tense), plus the time trails from the third game now also appear in the first and second games. This makes for a new and interesting challenge, as this wasn’t originally featured in the first two games. They’ve also made Coco Bandicoot a completely playable character in all three games, which gave each level a new perspective. Although, Coco seems to control better than her crazy brother Crash.

And now for the negatives!

And, honestly, there aren’t that many: The controls have been made to be more precise. However, they do appear quite sluggish and slow, making Crash/Coco feel like a brick. For the second and third games, these type of controls work quite well and it’s a case of getting used to them if you’re used to the original controls. However, with the first game, these controls make the easiest of levels seem nearly impossible (I’ve never rage quit over the games, but this was nearly a first for me!). The last negative point I have are the loading times, which take way too long for all three games.

There are more positives than negatives to this trilogy and it’s obvious Vicarious Visions are all fans of the original games: the trilogy has fixed any issues that fans had with the original trilogy. A couple of new features have also been added, making it somewhat refreshing despite the source material being over 20 years old. Overall, you’ll enjoy ‘The N. Sane Trilogy’ whether you’re a fan of the original games or you’re going into the Crash games for the first time.

Megan’s Rating:

4