In Crash Tag Team Racing, players can combine their car with
an opponent's mid-race to make a super-car equipped with a
powerful turret gun. When clashed, players can either get
behind the wheel and drive or fire an onboard weapon. Each
character has his or her own uniquely deadly 360° rotating
turret. Players can continue the action out of the car where
they can explore the entire world on foot and collect upgrades
for their cars and unlock bonus tracks...
going to come clean here and admit to never really being a
fan of Crash the Bandicoot. In his early days he looked like
he was going to be the character to sell the Playstation when
it first launched. Sega had Sonic and Nintendo had the Mario
Brothers, and Playstation had Crash. And then along came Lara
Croft and made Crash look like the dull, football mascot character
that he was. All of a sudden platform games seemed so outdated,
and Tomb Raider was the new, sexy format being pushed
to sell the Playstation.
the years there have been several Crash games, but
none really took my fancy. I've never been a huge fan of platform
games, to be honest, and Crash brought nothing new
to the genre. So, when Crash Tag Team Racing arrived
in the office, I wasn't really impressed when the reviews
editor slung it my way. First impressions were a little negative.
Crash should have been put out to pasture years ago. It seemed
that the bandicoot was doing a Mario Brothers (trying to move
over to another genre - from platform to racing game), but
about 5 years too late.
to make matters worse we received no instructions with this
game, and there's not really much in the way of on screen
I persevered. And I have to say I'm glad I did, for this game
has a lot to offer. You start off entering a huge theme park.
This place is frequented by little chidlers, teenagers, adults,
and strange creatures that look like Snorky (from the Banana
Splits) wearing a sort of suit of armour. Only one of
the various theme worlds is open to you in the theme park
(you have to collect power gems in order to open other areas
of the park). But before you venture off to your first world,
it's worth examining the main park, as there are quite a few
fun items and mini games that can be played.
you stroll around the park, you'll bump into the rest of your
opponents. All of them have a quest for you which, when completed,
will unlock other parts of the game and extra vehicles. Also
in the main park are some great mini games (including a clay
pigeon style shooting range and a bowling alley game) and
various comedy cut sequences (known as Die-O-Ramas) that you
can access when you approach an object and see a small triangle
or square appear on screen. Numerous Die-O-Rama sequences
are also littered around the theme worlds too.
you enter the first theme world it's back to familiar territory
- this is a Crash platform game, but with a bit more
going on. The whole theme element keeps this section of the
game feeling fresh, as you jump around the various themed
environments. As you progress through each level you must
collect Wumpa coins - which can be
exchanged for things like gems or a
a change of costume - which can be bought from those Snorky
like characters that are dotted around the levels.
you've wandered around for a while you'll eventually stumble
across the section of this game that is new to the Crash
universe - the car racing stages. There are several modes
to this section of the game. There is the straight forward
racing mode (beat your opponents to the finish); Fast Lap
(race against the clock to complete one lap); Crashinator
(drive into the obstacles on the track to destroy as many
as possible); Rolling Thunder (shoot and destroy as many of
your opponents as possible during one lap); and Run and Gun
(Shoot as many of the off track targets as you can). If you
manage to come first, or destroy the required number of targets
you will be rewarded with Wumpa coins and gems.
the main race game you can merge your vehicle with another
in the race. This gives you the added benefit of two guns.
And you can also switch between driving and firing the weapons
that you pick up around the track, and firing the car's other
hidden around each theme world is a Destruction Derby style
game where you have to drive around a large dome shooting
at your opponents. Destroy a certain amount before your opponents,
and you win another gem.
I found this game to be fast and furious, I did have some
problems with the controls. Firstly it's a little annoying
that at the end of a race (after being asked to tap "X"
to move to the score page, that if you then tap "X"
again you get kicked out of the race mode and then have to
re-enter the room to start again. If you are lucky you will
see that you can retry the level by pressing the square button,
but how many people will be caught out and have to spend wasted
minutes waiting for the level to reload? Also I found the
camera to be a little bit of a problem. Sometimes it's not
easy to position it so that you can see where you need to
go - jumping blind is the only solution here.
nice little touch are the belching and breaking wind noised
that you can create by tapping "X" and triangle
while you are waiting for a level to load - although be warned
that you may accidentally start a race because you tapped
"X" just as the loading screen finished.
the end of the day, this game does manage to revitalise an
old character in ways I never thought possible. Crash Tag
Team Racing is fun, and there are so many fresh mini-games
and different gaming styles crammed in here, that you'd have
to be a bit of miserable bugger to not find something to keep
you amused for hours.
fans will no doubt love this, but it also has a wider appeal
to gamers who don't usually go in for platform games.
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