It’s been a week since Crash Team Racing came back into our lives, wowing critics and speeding its way to the top of the charts. For fans of the original PlayStation classic, these past seven days have no doubt been Nitro-Fueled by adventure mode binges, perfecting lap times, and throwing down online against the global Crash community.
These seven days have also given us time to reflect on certain things we’d like to see Beenox add to the game in future. A few of these could be interpreted as missing features that should have really been there on day one, though their omission isn’t enough to overshadow the incredible time we’ve had with Nitro-Fueled thus far – just see our Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled review to see what we mean.
Beenox has already announced free Grand Prix content updates, the first of which arrives next week with a new track, new characters, and challenges. Hopefully, this means that we can also expect the team to be working and refining the game’s features.
Trawling fan forums, Reddit, and social media, we were able to get a clear picture of what the CTR community want to see.
Changeable character stats
Right now, the current Crash Team meta (a phrase I never imagined myself typing) favours the larger characters like Tiny and N. Tropy who have a speed stat of 7. As outlined in our guide on the game’s fastest racers, this means that most of the CTR roster tends to go unused, at least in competitive multiplayer. Ideally, we’d love away of picking or tweaking individual karts to get a different balance of speed, acceleration, and turning stats, letting us race as whoever we want.
Easily overlooked by dyed in the fur Crash Team Racing fans, this remake doesn’t do a particularly great job of showing you the ropes. While it’s easy to wrap your head around the basic controls and weapon types, important elements such as powersliding, collecting wumpa fruit, and shortcuts are all resigned to loading screen tips or lines of dialogue from the game’s adventure mode. In truth, you can easily learn everything there is to CTR without any hand-holding, but having the option would be great for casual players and complete newcomers.
If there’s one thing we love about this remake, it’s the suite of options now available to change the look of your favourite Crash characters. Each one has a selection of colour types and at least one cool alternative skin. Karts can also be modified with bodies, wheels, and stickers, but there’s currently no way of saving or bookmarking your favourite combos.
Time trials & ghost fixes
This is a fairly minor quality of life issue. In order to beat the times set by N. Tropy or Nitros Oxide you need to record a worthy record time before the game will even let you try, but when you reach this milestone you can’t simply select the ghost you want to race against and reset the track. Instead you have to drop back out to the time trials menu and select a ghost these. A minor gripe, though frustrating all the same.
Online career stats
For a kart racer, even back in the day CTR gave players plenty of bang for their buck, it’s story mode littered with tons of bonus challenges. However, we can see most Nitro-Fueled fans glueing themselves to the game’s online multiplayer. Therefore, it’s a bit naff to find that the game isn’t logging any race stats. Keeping track of finishing positions, best/worst maps, favourite characters, weapon accuracy and such is something we’d like to see in future, please.
We’re quite used to seeing this same carrot at the end of the stick in most video game genres, but it’s missing here. Having some kind of experience points system or persistent rank would help justify all those hours spent racing online.
This ties into our previous point. Right now – unless Beenox is hiding some kind of clever sorting system – there isn’t a way of grouping racers together based on their skill. A good nine times out of ten we find ourselves in races where there’s a clear disparity between players.
Although some cosmetic items are tied to certain in-game achievements (such as beating N. Tropy’s time trials to unlock him as a playable character) the rest can purchased using Wumpa Coins. However, the game does nothing to explain how these are distributed per race. Sometimes we see larger payouts when finishing further down the table, while getting a paid pittance for coming first. What’s going on, Beenox?
Pure racing mode
Beenox won’t want to fragment its online player base right now, though there’s already some vocal support for a no-weapons-allowed mode for those who want to compete online using only their raw racing skills and none of these fancy-shmancy power-ups!
If there’s one complaint we have with Nitro-Fueled, it’s the underuse of tracks pulled from Crash Nitro Kart. While still accessible in local and online play, it would have been nice to see CTR’s Adventure Mode accommodate them, complete with token and relic challenges.
With the Nitro Tour Grand Prix just around the corner, there’s a chance that Beenox will also be rolling out new changes. We’ll won’t hold our breath too long, but hopefully these include big additions to the Adventure.
That’s our list, but let us know in the comments what you’d personally like to see brought to Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled in the future?