Shots fired, come at me! Yes, I said it: Crash Team Racing was better than Mario Kart 64 way back when in the fall of 1999 and I’m confident that it will be a showstopper in 2018 (fingers crossed!).
For those who don’t remember Crash Team Racing, it was an addition to the ever-competitive cartoon racing genre. With heavyweight contenders such as Mario Kart 64 launching in 1996 and Diddy Kong Racing in 1997 on the Nintendo 64 console, it was high time for the PlayStation to take a chunk of the pie.
Drawing from the characters zaniness that they bring with them, Crash Team Racing incorporated the best from the Crash Bandicoot universe, and what gamers want in a party go-kart game: balance, control, diversity, and most importantly, fun (even if you lost). But what makes Crash Team Racing such an amazing karting game to make people favor it over the Mario Kart franchise? Buckle up and bring Aku Aku along for protection as it's going to be a bumpy ride explaining 10 reasons why Crash Team Racing Remaster will be better than Mario Kart!
10. Fun Immersive Soundtrack
Have you ever played a game and just got so into it that you got lost in the world? Gameplay aside, there's one thing that makes it more realistic, and that's the musical scores. Music is something that makes or breaks the game. It sets the mood, the ambiance, and environment — which are critical aspects of any game and its immersion.
According to TGX racing (who has humbly said that Crash Team Racing is the best karting game), the soundtrack is one of the best in games of that generation, where each map is perfectly paired with a soundtrack that not only fits the theme of the map but also seems to draw the player into the game's environment.
9. Actual Story Mode
Something that Mario Kart doesn’t have is a single player campaign. No, I’m not talking about simply raising the CCs to race faster; I’m talking about actual levels with objectives to complete. Having things to achieve in a game is a sure shot way to engage players and keep them on their toes, as completing tasks and missions allows players to unlock bonuses. Not only that, but the single-level missions are packed with the hilarity that we come to expect from Crash and his cohorts.
8. Vast Unlockable Features
As it is with every game, once a player achieves something, they are usually rewarded with an unlocked ability as a prize. Unlike Mario Kart where the unlockable is mundane and predictable, Crash Team Racing allows players to unlock a multitude of characters (actual real characters from the Crash Bandicoot universe, not just baby versions) to levels and modes the player can join. The rewards feel more fulfilling than what other normal racing games hand out.
7. Rewards Skill Over Luck
Mario Kart seems to have a common theme with all players, where even if you are coming first you may not finish first. With most players that are in the bottom half of the racing positions, they get power items to assist them in getting an edge on their competitors. What this can lead to is major power shifts when certain items get employed. Furthermore, Mario Kart has a simple boost method where holding drifts will boost your speed.
Crash Team Racing has all of the above however managed to pump it up a bit more. Items can be powered up, your maximum speed can be increased by collecting wumpa fruit, and boosts can be achieved more freely. However, hopping off-and-on jumps allows for a small speed boost that can shave seconds off your time. All this creates depth in playing and something further to think about rather than just racing and drifting.
6. Tons Of Variety
As mentioned in unlockable, once certain conditions were met, amazing things are made accessible to the player. This comes in the form of items such as Boss Races, relics, and CTR tokens. Further to that, additional challenges can be unlocked, such as gems, which, when completely attained, will unlock playable characters. Having challenging collection and completion tasks that are attainable will let the player have a sense of achievement and motivate them to unlock more items.
5. Creative Track Designs
One of the best things to come out of Crash Team Racing are the tracks that the player can scoot around on. Everything from the level's design, the track layout, and the subtle secret shortcuts that it holds make it so much more enjoyable than Mario Kart. Each turn and maneuver the player makes is met with options and decisions that will either boost the player forward or punish them by falling off the track.
With over 15 tracks to play on, Crash Team Racing will keep players entertained — especially if they want to tackle those challenges.
4. Tight Racing Mechanics
Too many games have been published where the controls and the way characters interact with the world aren’t fluid or they feel clunky. According to Hardcore Gaming 101, the controls are tight and are extremely responsive to the touch. With the improvements with technology in this golden generation of gaming, this is expected to only improve by leaps and bounds. As mentioned before, Crash Team Racing introduces an additional level of play with their boosts and jumps, allowing the player to be granted a small speed boost. Both those concepts coupled makes Crash Team Racing a complete racing game that is a pleasure to play unlike other games in its genre.
3. Hilarious Voice Acting
The quality of voice acting and the content they have will add much depth to a game, displaying personalities, and traits of character. Crash Team Racing prided itself with extensive dialogue and quotes from all the characters, with many karts zooming past and making snide comments as they lap you. Unlike Mario Kart where most characters made funny noises, in Crash Team Racing there was a dedicated team of voice actors churning out the one-liners and delivering the characters we all know and love.
2. New Gen Console Power
At the time that Crash Team Racing came out, it was using the best of console technology at the time: the PlayStation. The graphics at the time were cutting edge and everyone couldn’t get enough of what it could produce. Fast forward nearly two decades in the future, and the new Crash Team Racing Remaster will most likely be released on the PlayStation 4. Boasting dazzling 4K resolution capability and online play, a gamer can only dream how Crash Team Racing will utilize these features.
1. No Blue Shell Effect
Probably the best fact on this list is that mischievous blue shell. This annoying item, which can easily turn the tables on a player coming in first, is one of the worst items to ever be generated in a game, let alone a karting game. To explain what it is, a player who is usually placing poorly in a race may be gifted the blue shell. It's an attack which cannot be blocked. It will knock the first position player sky high and immobilize them for a good few seconds. There is an item called the Warp Orb that will run into the person in first place and damage players along the way. However, its effects can be mitigated if the player has an Aku Aku or power shield on, giving the player a fighting chance to still win the race.