Crash Nitro Kart Review
If you thought that Crash Team Racing was the end of it for Crash in a car, then you were wrong. Somewhat 4 years later after the release of the original, they released a new racing game in the Crash Universe: Crash Nitro Kart. Don't get me wrong, the first racing game was pretty decent. With music that suited racing and bright and vivid graphics, I'm sure the sequel (if you want to call it that) would be just as fun. But don't you think one racing game in Crash Banicoot is enough? All we'll see is a few new power-ups, lots of tracks that are hardly rateable to the Crash Universe, and a ton of new characters that you have never heard of before. And looks like I was right. Although the trailer looked decent, and you could drive up-side down, it just didn't motivate me to play it....mainly because it was on the Xbox and PS2, the two consoles I didn't want to own. But when it came on the GBA, I was looking forward to it.
So the story is....I don't know. The intro on the GBA was very limited. It tells me that Crash, Coco, AkuAku and Crunch get abducted and are forced to race for what seems like no reason. However, the Xbox one was more detailed, although I didn't read it as much. This competition determines who the next empire of the galaxy, or something like that. Why must it resort to something in space? Anyway, you accept, not like you have a choice or anything, and, well, drive. Depending on what team you choice (Team good, or Team Evil), the dialog will be slightly different, and endings will vary.
Much like Crash Team Racing, you race around a hub world to other races. You collect trophies to disable the force-field blocking you from other levels (because this is the most logical reason), thus progressing as you collect more trophies. You can get these trophies by winning first place in a race in the area. The races are executed fairly well. One thing to note is the starting lights are triangles, which is odd for a racing game. As you race, you break boxes to get weapons to use against your opponent. You also collect wumpa fruit to make you go faster. When you collect the max amount of wumpa fruit, you go slightly faster, I've never seen the difference. Also, if you happen to have 10 wumpa fruit, and you collect a weapon, that weapon will be stronger then normal.
A nice thing is that you can snake pretty much anywhere in the track. You can drift and get three boosts in one go, but drift too long and you'll spin around. It's tricky to get used to, but provides a great bonus. Despite this, the difficulty and controls are hard for beginners. I found myself losing several times on the first and second race. It almost seemed impossible....Hey wait a moment, is that Nitrus Oxide? Didn't he leave Earth and vowed never to return or race again after being defeated? and he was so ashamed that he was defeated, that I'm almost certain that he would keep it. So why the hell is he back? It's nice you can play as him (unlike the original, in which is was impossible, country to popular belief), but seriously, please keep with plot lines and keep them. There isn't even a reason for it.
The graphics are decent. You can see they were trying to make good graphics, the colours were vivid, the backgrounds were nice to look at, and the way you drive and the way the track was rendered was great, but there seems to be missing something. I'm not sure what, but it's missing something. The music isn't that bad, but seems repetitive and not as catchy. The boss races are just plain silly. They start off with repeating releases of TNT boxes, then they go up to repeating releases of Nitrous Boxes, then I don't know what comes the boss after that. It's the same formula as the first game, almost exactly the same in fact, and seems lazy as an idea.
One thing I really have a big problem with is the jumpy speedy things. If you jump exactly at the right time, you'll jump higher, but do it a split second too soon, and you'll jump over it, causing either you falling, or becoming last in a split second. This can be really annoying, but at the same time, helpful. Some of the CPUs actually fall on these jumpy speedy things, giving you an edge. But this could happen to you via a missile hitting you at the right time. This seems unfair.
Another thing that annoys me is Fake Crash. After exploring what seems like every inch of the game, completing everything there was, I couldn't unlock him. I looked on the internet for some leeway on what could be done to unlock him, but all I could find is this fake cheat that tells me I have to do 51 drift boosts in a row in Team Evil. I didn't know how this would work, so I tried what I could, but nothing. I gave up. Then, seven years later, I found a video telling me that I could find Fake Crash in a track. This never occurred to me to go on an accrual track to unlock him. It was one of the desert levels, and you had to go out of the track itself to find him. This was one of the things you would never find out on your own, unless you really did explore every inch of the game.
You can unlock cheats, which you can use in time attack as well as the story mode. You could be small, be light thus jumping higher, have extra speed, even have infinite bombs at the start. These are nice end-game cheats, but even if you used this for time trail, and entered the code on the website, it wouldn't matter. People lie on it, and get ridiculously short times like 3 seconds, as there is no proof of you doing it.
Overall, I give it a 6.4/10 It's a decent game, but something see,s to be missing that makes a good game. The music, the game play, the graphics, they all seem to be missing something that would give it its edge. It's worth a play, even if it is flawed. I think the Xbox and PS2 versions are better, but this is a good substitute. I hate it when hand held consoles have limited versions of a game....