While fans of modern racing are waiting for news about the next Forza, outside of a pin is about to break out the holiday. A month later, a remake of Crash Team Racing, one of the gems of the first PlayStation. Fans held their breath in impatience. One question on everyone's lips: "How is it?" The cheapdeveloper.com team tested the preview version for strength, and we have something to tell.
At the start...
Once Crash Bandicoot was a real star. The hero of three successful platformers, a symbol of the popular console Sony, a favorite of children around the globe... Today it's hard to believe, but the furry animal in blue pants and sneakers forced to move even Mario and Sonic — and this is a real achievement.
Naughty Dog could continue to milk his (then) superprofit brainchild. However, the creators of Bandicoot build other plans for the promising series. Instead of the fourth number adventure Studio decided to conquer the unknown peaks — and in the autumn of 1999 developed a Crash Team Racing (CTR), racing action in the style of Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing.
It sounds like a recipe for a terrible fiasco, but there it was: the novelty was a real hit. Dynamic, colorful, with great tracks and good ideas — inexperience contrary, the team made a masterpiece, still considered one of the best representatives of the genre.
Classic Crash Team Racing for PS1— the race is not quite normal. Unlike Forza or, say, Need for Speed, here each race resembles a war: you need not only to hold the steering wheel firmly, but also to Dodge all kinds of attacks. And, of course, to fight back — pacifists here is not the place.
Rockets, bombs, turbo boosters, masks, giving invulnerability - everything goes in the course, just to finish first.
Over the years, the original game has formed a real army of fans — experts, perfectly remembering all the cuts and characteristics of the characters. Make a decent remake in this case — not an easy task. Everything should be on the nose, with familiar mechanics, but a spectacular picture, not ashamed for the release of 2019.
Hard? You betcha. One mistake — wait for fans with pitchforks at the ready. Fortunately, judging by the hour spent with Nitro-Fueled, The Beenox team coped with a difficult task.
You get behind the wheel — and as if there was no pause in the length of 20 years. Muscle memory does not fail: fingers mechanically drumming on the buttons (good management left intact), and the track recreated to the last blade of grass. After a trial run and a little acclimatization if transferred to childhood. Instinctively find the familiar cut and easily jumps on hard courts, along the way leaving annoying, but blunt bots far behind.
The authors of the remake managed to recreate the gameplay exactly: the speed of racing maps, jumping and drift physics. Kept even the differences between the pilots. The characters, as before, different characteristics — someone revs faster, someone better turns. Skills acquired on the first PlayStation, work now!
Something, however, designers could correct: items are still issued strange. For example, the invulnerability is not once or twice gets the leader of the race — although this bonus is needed rather to those who are in the tail. Anyway, Mario Kart balance a lot more: leaders — garbage, and no good weapons. Immediately everything remained at the level of 99.
A different story with graphics: Beenox went to the full part of the edits. Once static, albeit picturesque by the standards of PS1, the scenery is now full of life. Monkeys jump on vines, boatmen from Crash Bandicoot 3 swim near the shore, polar bears watch the competition from the cliffs... And that's not to mention the subtle but atmospheric touches like wind-blown sand on the beach.
What used to be imagination, now in all its glory here on the screen.
But the most impressive — this time such decorations do not seem superfluous. Remaster 2017, I remember, divided the fans into two camps. Most liked the new look, but some found it insipid. Say, the color scheme is not the same, models and animations have lost charm, not a couple of classics. CTR Nitro-Fueled, despite the fact that it uses the same assets, does not cause such emotions. All to a place, and details easily and not to notice at high speeds.
Another new feature is the customization. In the original 1999 drivers had identical cars: depending on the character, the only change is the color, Yes the rudder size. And in the remake added the map setting for yourself. Preview version is poor in this regard: only three available housing (including the design of the Crash Nitro Kart), one additional skin on the rider, a couple of stickers on the hood and other crumbs. Not much, but in the full version of the details will be much more. Purists, by the way, nothing to worry: the gameplay is not affected by tuning. It's just a way to give the hero a slightly more unique look for online battles.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled leaves a very pleasant impression. There are, of course, roughness — for example, HitBox fire on the track Tiger Temple is very peculiar. But in general, the game copes with the main thing: really catchy. And the reason is not nostalgia, as it often happens - for 20 years the mechanics are not outdated, and the design of the locations is still on top.
Nevertheless, the conclusions to do early: press Activision showed only a small proportion of new items. The remake will include not only locations and characters from CTR and Crash Nitro Kart but even a car from a much later Crash Tag Team Racing. The news is interesting, but it did not come to the demonstration.
Is this cause for concern? Hardly. Preview build showed — in Beenox carefully reproduced all the best that was in the original and did not spoil anything. And even added a luxurious visual range, which is up to the ideal is not enough only 60 fps. Classics in safe hands — and it sincerely pleases.