Review by TheVoid00

"Regardless of what you've been told, this is NOT a racing game"

GRAPHICS: Good

SOUND: Above average. Surprisingly, it has a couple of real songs instead of just the standard platform/kart racing midi jingles.

GAMEPLAY:
This is more like one of the Crash Bandicoot platform games than like Crash Team Racing. Now if this game is not compared at all to a racing game, then it's a pretty good game.
As a platform game, it's very normal. Just the usual pits of lava, steam pipes, falling rocks and so on. To this platform game, they've added three other people who are also racing to the end. The characters you use are either dashers (can run up almost vertical walls), bashers (can break weak walls), and gliders (glide for short distances).
Using the powers reduces your power meter and this can be replenished by picking up white cans. You can also pick up green chunks (getting ten of these will allow you to use all three powers) and red bags for special weapons (yeah, chicken missiles, shields, the usual kart racing powerups)
One thing to note is that if something hits you, you lose your green rocks (not to be confused with red bags or white cans) in a Sonic's rings way.
So from platform games, you're running, jumping, climbing up ropes, swinging from vines. And from racing games, you're powersliding, shooting weapons, and tackling your opponents. You can also grind rails and perform stunts.
The problem is the ... balance of the game. In single player, the AI will speed up or slow down so that you're always close to them (makes sense since the stages are massive 3 minute 1 lap tracks). That kinda takes away from your feeling of accomplishment 'cos you never feel your progress. Regardless of how good you become, those li'l buggers will stick to you. So except the slight increase in times, you won't notice. But they'll shoot you and tackle you, so you might not even get better race times.
The multiplayer mode is nice 'cos you can play from 1-4 players and the AI fills in the empty spaces. More like deathmatch bots than kart racing AI. If the players are not of equal skill, the AI will stick to the person who is ahead, and the better person (and the AI) would finish like 1 whole minute before the newbie who will have a very lonely game. And except at the start of the race, you won't run into each other at all. But if you have two or more committed players, then you'll have a really really sweet game improved by the AI which will keep up and make things interesting.
I rented first, and then bought 'cos I got a couple of people who were really competitive and interested in playing it. Otherwise, the single player isn't really worth it.... but that's just me.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/25/02, Updated 07/25/02


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