Why Crash Team Racing Needs The Remaster Treatment, Too
As the new millennium dawned, I spent my Christmas holidays having my mind blown by a cartoony racing game that didn’t take itself too seriously: Crash Team Racing, Naughty Dog's kart racer based on its Crash Bandicoot franchise. The story was awesome and the boss races offered a nice change of pace and challenge. Most importantly, although the one player mode was great, traditional couch multiplayer was reigned as the go to.
The recent Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy remaster by Vicarious Visions has fans talking about a potential CTR remaster. There are also plenty of rumors that the team will remaster this classic racer too - especially, as The Sixth Axis reported, with the list of N Sane Trilogy trophies referencing the old Crash Team Racing TV ads. The game is a joy to play but it is admittedly a little rough around the edges 18 years on.
Crash Team Racing was a great introduction to the kart racer for people who didn’t own an N64. If Mario Kart 64 started “kart mania”, then CTR helped it surge forward with the inclusion of a single player adventure mode that would go on to become a staple of the genre. This surge saw a lot of other properties to throw their engines into the ring, such as Muppet Race Mania, Nicktoons Racing, Crystal Dynamics’ Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour and Land Before Time: Great Rally Racing Adventure.
The quality of these kart clones could only be called mixed. While Muppet Race Mania was actually pretty good, others that jumped on the bandwagon, such as the dinosaur racer Land Before Time, suffered from woeful controls. That said, regardless of the quality, the influence of CTR could be seen on all of these titles.
Nowadays, however, we have seen a huge drop-off in the genre's popularity. Outside of the continuous presence of Mario Kart and some gems, like the recent Micro Machines remake, we seem to have moved back to serious driving. Perhaps, much like the 3D platformers that inspired many of these games, CTR can rekindle the kart mania of the early noughties?
Needs A Lick Of Paint
Crash Team Racing is not perfect. It was a PS1 game and it has all of the graphic hang-ups inherent with that generation of gaming. The otherwise brilliant Adventure Mode has an overworld hub which at times can be difficult to get around.
Just like CTR, the PS1 platformers needed some polish – particularly Crash’s jumping and movement in the first game. Although some people have slammed Activision’s blog post in which they said they changed the jumping physics in their remake, in my view, they had to do this as retaining the original’s flaws would make this game extremely dated. Likewise, the aforementioned flaws and glitches would need to be ironed out of a potential CTR remaster.
Get With The Times
Online play is also very important and has been a staple in the racing genre for many years. The remaster, like the N Sane Trilogy, needs to have modern-day inclusions so that it retains its relevance in today’s highly competitive gaming market, where on-rails racers have been replaced by sprawling open worlds.
Just like the N Sane Trilogy, all Vicarious Visions needs to do is fix up the graphics without changing the core gameplay – whilst adding the bonuses of modern day gaming, like HD graphics, achievements, and online capabilities.
Do you think Crash Team Racing deserves a remaster, or much like the Time Trial collectibles, do you think it’s a relic that belongs in the past? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out our latest articles on the N Sane Trilogy, such as the following: