Crash Tag Team Racing Review: Should You Buy?

CRRT cover art

Crash Tag Team Racing Review: Should You Buy?

Take Crash Bandicoot to the next level with Crash Tag Team Racing developed by Radical Entertainment in 2005. This game was created for GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Xbox. 

Crash Tag Team Racing isn’t the average kart racer as it features a plot, platforming elements, exploration on foot, and a healthy collection of entertaining mini games. The game is littered with colorful characters and color commentary provided by a Howard Cossel sound-a-like chicken and his hip partner. Not only do they provide some entertaining dialogue, but they also explain how to play the game which is often overlooked. 

Engaging Environments to Race In

CTTR screenshot
Crash Bandicoot racing to eliminate his opponents.

The game takes place in an amusement park hub “overworld” area where Crash can interact with the people, get instructions from other racers and locate numerous cool objects. Characters in the world can be talked to by walking up and pressing the talk button. The platforming and mini games provide a few hours of entertainment which generally won’t frustrate young gamers because “dying” doesn’t mean being sent back to the beginning as characters just pick up where they left off. Players will be sent on numerous missions to locate Power Crystals and other items which will have you traipsing all over the game in search of them which results in unlocking new characters, mini-games, races and worlds.

Well Done Platforming in Crash Tag Team Racing

CRRT screenshot racing
Numerous character options to race.

For a racing game, the platforming elements are extremely well done and capture the Crash Bandicoot school of platforming to a tee. Aside from the usual camera issues inherent in every 3D game ever created, the control is pretty much dead on. 

When players get down to the racing elements of Crash Tag Team Racing – there are 5 categories of races to choose from: Race. Crashinator, Rolling Thunder, Run and Gun and Fast Lap – players will realize that vehicular combat is what it’s all about. Familiar trappings of the kart genre are in full representation with floating powerups to be obtained, however Crash Tag Team Racing adds one particularly interesting new element called Clashing. Clashing involves fusing the player’s vehicle together with an opponent to become a mutant-hybrid of the two, granting you temporary incredible firepower.

Crash Tag Team Racing’s Appealing Gameplay

crash katamari racing
Play fun side missions to obtain more coins and levels.

Von Clutch’s amusement park is the scene of the action. Unfortunately, the power crystals that power the rides have been stolen. By racing and exploring the amusement park players will find smaller crystals that they can use to feed a large machine that will help to find bigger crystals. Players will also collect coins, fight enemies and use their platform skills to navigate the various obstacles that are encountered in the park.

Clashing is an original concept that keeps kart racing interesting. It’s the ability to assimilate your vehicle with another to create a more powerful tandem hybrid. By activating your clash button all players have to do is slam into another kart and they will have a two-person vehicle. The AI will drive, allowing more accurate aim of weaponry which ranges from machineguns to grenade launchers. The weapon icons that players pick up when in this mode will allow them to launch incredibly ludicrous items such as grand pianos and submarines at adversaries.

Final Thoughts

Crash Tag Team Racing is a step in the right direction for the kart racing genre as it’s eclectic and unique and manages to teach an old dog new tricks. The colorful characters and environments will thrill young eye candy junkies while the ease of difficulty will give younger gamers a confidence boost because they’ll be able to see a lot of what this game has to offer. It’s definitely a rental for older gamers who are curious, but youngsters might want this in their collection permanently.

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