Crash Bandicoot has come speeding back on our consoles and this time he and his kart racing friends are nitro fueled.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled hit PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch last month and around the same time as Sonic Team Racing but can does it step out of the monalithic shadow of Mario Kart.
Let’s not beat around the bush, Mario Kart is the finest kart racing game of all time.
So it takes a brave developer to try and take it on.
But that has not stopped Beenox and Activision reaching for the nostalgia heartstrings with what is a remake of Crash Team Racing originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation in 1999.
It includes content from the games Crash Nitro Kart (2003) and Crash Tag Team Racing (2005).
The good news is this awesome little racer feels as slick as ever with plenty of depth and lots of additions to give it that ‘brand new’ gloss.
The cornerstones of what make CTR great thankfully remain and there is a wide variety of gorgeous tracks which will test every element of your handling skills.
There are also an array of single and multiplayer modes which means I am still playing with verve nearly a month on.
It’s not easy, though. Indeed I personally found Adventure mode often maddeningly tough.
The handling is key, though, and after some practice - and newcomers will need plenty of it - you soon slip into your old techniques.
But the steep difficulty curve is good - and it’s not like Mario Kart is a doddle is it? - because it too adds to the longevity of the game.
The track design is the crowning achievement and I would even say the CTRNF’s power sliding is a step ahead of Mario Kart.
Aesthetically speaking CTRNF gets a genuine makeover while the overall package makes it worth revisiting even if you owned all the previous titles.
The nostalgia element comes into play too making this not only a must-have for karting fans but also a genuine contender against Martio Kart for the genre’s crown.
Note for Switch gamers: I reviewed CTRNF on Switch and much preferred to play in handheld mode where it felt more at home.
Graphics did not hold up as well on the big screen, something I have seen referenced in reviews since.