As expected of a game that remasters the original Crash Team Racing, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled also includes the classic Adventure Mode that made the original stand out from many others in the same genre, even the more famous Mario Kart series.
Essentially, as a single character (in classic mode) or a hodgepodge of other racers, you’re dropped into a connected overworld,, where there exist various portals that take your character to the different races. The story goes that an alien by the name of Oxide suddenly assaults the planet, and challenges Crash and his friends, rivals, and enemies to a race. Whoever wins out of the Crash Bandicoot cast will get to be the representative in the race againstt Oxide, leading everyone to start preparing for a competitive set of races… except for Crash, who’s sleeping by the coast as usual.
Each area of the world comprises of four races, as well as a boss race, before the player is allowed to progress onwards. While the races for the trophies aren’t anything special other than the fact that you fail if you don’t get first place, the bosses are something else altogether. In these 1v1 races, Crash must face off against quick bosses who will each spam a different item, meaning that these are unfair fights from the get-go. I had to race extra careful against the likes of Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, and more, but fortunately, you’ll unlock the character for multiplayer as well once you beat them.
I had memories of playing through Adventure Mode as a kid, but I never got far after the first area as my PlayStation did not have a Memory Card. With the remaster, I was able to take a closer look at the details of the areas, and it’s surprising how fun it is to just drive around the areas even though the hubs don’t offer much to do but go into races. I also really appreciate the theming of the hub areas and how the environments would fit the theme in the area, which is something that even Mario Kart avoids nowadays so that course selection feel more diverse. It really put the ‘adventure’ into Adventure Mode for me.
Finally, in Adventure Mode you have Relic Challenges and CTR Coins just like in the original. In Relic Challenges, players must clear a certain time limit by playing through each race while collecting boxes that stop time for 1-5 seconds. CTR Coins make players have to collect the letters C-T-R scattered around the racetrack while still winning. These two modes help madd even more objectives for players to complete, and thanks to this, you’re never left without an objective to complete, adding to the depth of Adventure Mode.
Thanks to the various objectives and unlockables in Adventure Mode, the game is worth it for players looking for a meaty singleplayer mode. The Mario Kart series hasn’t gotten anything rather than standard arcade races since Mario Kart DS, and CTR is back to remind us that this sort of extra effort really goes a long way.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.