Crash Tag Team Racing
|a game by||Radical Entertainment|
|Platforms:||XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.7/10 - 11 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games, Crash Bandicoot Games|
Considering that this is a sequel to one of the best arcade racing games of the PS One era, Crash Tag Team Racing has some big shoes to fill. Taking some inspiration out of some other popular kart racing titles helps this game feel like a competent racer, despite its many shortcomings.
One thing is clear: Crash Tag Team Racing is at its best whenever it embraces its kart racing roots. Unfortunately, the game has an identity crisis due to it wanting to adapt to the general Crash Bandicoot formula. This is the second sequel to Crash Team Racing, the first being Crash Nitro Kart, a game that’s not as well-received as its predecessor. Let’s see how developers Radical Entertainment tackled the Bandicoot’s kart shenanigans this time.
Whenever we talk about kart racers, there’s one particular Italian plumber that has a monopoly in the genre. This time, Radical Entertainment saw potential in the Mario Kart: Double Dash cooperative racing formula and decided to implement a version of it in Tag Team Racing.
Unlike Double Dash, Crash Tag Team Racing offers a more combat-based approach at the two drivers mechanic. Instead of choosing a duo of racers, players will be able to forcefully board another player’s car, getting into a turret of sorts. From there, the game becomes more like a Twisted Metal title than a Mario Kart 64 one.
Although this combat mechanic can be undeniably fun, there’s a clear lack of balance, with some characters having much more superior weapons than others. There’s also the fact that the driving mechanics aren’t as solid as those in Crash Team Racing – in fact, they’re worse than what we saw in Crash Nitro Kart. The removal of the traditional boost mechanic makes the game feel sluggish – and the unsteady framerate doesn’t do it any favors either.
Crashing the Bandicoot
Despite being advertised as a racing game, much of the action in Tag Team Racing takes place in an open-world platforming environment. Players return to this hub world between races, offering them the chance to collect bonus material and unlock new races.
While there has always been a hub world in the Crash Bandicoot racing games, this is the first time when said hub resembles the mainline Crash games. One moment you’ll be playing Tag Team Racing, and the following, you’re roaming around a Crash Bandicoot: Warped Level.
It wouldn’t be so bad if only the platforming mechanics weren’t as slippery as they’re here. That said, there are many fun secrets to find in the hub world, making it fun for fans of the Crash series to explore.
Old and New Faces
Crash Tag Team Racing’s modest roster includes some fan favorites from the Crash series, along with some new original characters. Crash, Coco, and Crunch Bandicoot all return in this game, along with Doctor Neo Cortex, Doctor N. Gin, and Cortex’s niece, Nina.
The new additions to the roster are Ebenezer Von Clutch, the owner of MotorWorld looking for his Black Power Gem, and Pasadena O’Possum, a Texan racecar driver. There’s also a good amount of new characters introduced in the game’s entertaining story mode.
Not as fun as its predecessors, Crash Tag Team Racing can only be recommended to the most die-hard Crash fans out there. The combat mechanics can be fun, yet the lackluster driving and disappointing track designs detract from the game’s overall quality.
- Unleashing chaos with the weapon mode can be fun
- Nicely detailed hub world
- The new characters fit in well with the rest of the cast
- Unresponsive controls
- Unbalanced combat
- Poor performance