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Retro Let's Play: "Crash Team Racing" (1999)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Retro Let's Play for late October 2018: Crash Team Racing

    Originally developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation (aka PSone) in 1999. The game is currently ranked number 26 in Hardcore Gaming 101's Top 47,858 games of all time.

    To find out what this is and why we're doing it, click here.

    Few people need introduction to Super Mario Kart. The series started on the Super Nintendo, with Nintendo looking to find a way to make a scaled down, slightly slower paced racing game that could fit within the bounds of their 16 bit console. Kart racing was chosen as a way to still offer a fun racing title, but have players accept the slower speeds that the game needed due to hardware limitations. Nintendo quite accidentally stumbled across a fantastically fun formula that would go on to span every generation of their console and handheld hardware from that point onwards.

    Enter Naughty Dog. Despite some utterly awful games in their back catalogue, the team were keen to exploit the power of the Sony PlayStation, and attempt their own mascot platformer game. While not coming anywhere close to Nintendo's Mario 64, the team did create the Crash Bandicoot character and series, which would go on to be a huge success on the PlayStation. Two sequels later, the team tried their hand at a Mario Kart style racer, and the result was "Crash Team Racing".

    In "Cup Mode", you can choose from one of 15 racers, all with their own unique attributes around top speed, acceleration, handling, cornering, and ability to take a hit from other players. From there, again in pure Mario Kart format, you choose your race, and start off with a three-tone countdown (complete with sweet spot to press the accelerator and get a boosted start, or blow it and burn out on the starting line being left behind by your opponents). Again similar to Mario Kart, using the shoulder buttons to jump your cart and drift gives a multi-power boost system that, when timed right, pushes you well ahead of the pack.

    As the race goes on, you must dodge obstacles, hit crash boxes for power ups (ranging from speed boosters to defensive shields, offensive weapons, and even a "blue shield" style projectile that takes everyone on the track out unfairly) and drive, jump, boost, fly and crash your way to victory in order to progress.

    Additionally in single player mode, there's an "Adventure Mode", which attempts to assemble a story and challenges around a variety of enemies from the Crash universe, battling them to win the day.

    And like Mario Kart, mutli player is where the game truly shines. In race mode there's a split-screen option available for two players to take each other, and the other 6 computer controlled characters on. Additionally there's the ridiculously fun 4 player "battle mode" that pits up to 4 human players in a split screen match who must attack each other with constantly spawning power ups. The first player to 10 hits is the winner, and generally gets a controller thrown at their head.

    Even with Mario Kart taking the crown for kart racers, Crash Team Racing is an amazing piece of work. The graphics are outstanding on such a limited console, and the tracks, audio and physics are all top notch, resulting in a game that just feels right to play.

    Playing the game:

    Sony offer the game for digital download on their PS3, PSP and PSVita platforms (sadly no PS4 option for their retro releases still, which is a crime):
    https://store.playstation.com/en-au/product/EP9000-NPEE00026_00-GCRASHTEAM000001

    Alternatively, check out the PlayStation FAQ thread on how to play either original PSone games on a variety of emulators and real hardware (remembering that Sony have quite an extensive array of backwards compatibility options for anyone with an original game disc and newer PlayStation consoles):
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/retro-faq-sony-playstation.1252732/

    More information:
    HG101: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/crash-team-racing/
    Bandipedia: http://crashbandicoot.wikia.com/wiki/Crash_Team_Racing
    Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crash_Team_Racing

    Original US CD jewel case art:

    22041-ctr-crash-team-racing-playstation-front-cover.jpg

    Adventure Mode long play:



    Battle Mode:

     
  2. jeremybh1

    jeremybh1 Member

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    Thank you for the write up. Playstation has come back into my life recently as I bought a PVM, made my own SCART cables (what a learning curve to get perfect!) and installed a mod chip. SCPH-9001 is my console of choice as it performs flawlessly for me - no stuttering FMV or CDDA and excellent RGB output. As for Crash Team Racing, I bought a used PS1 last week for a spare and inside it was CTR! over a 20 minute play session I found I didn't like it as the tracks were a little repetitive and only 30/25fps look - where as Mario Kart is silky smooth 60fps. Racing should be smooth for me so I gave it a miss and moved on to Time Crisis :D
     
  3. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Depends which one you're talking about. Mario Kart 64 makes internal calculations at 60Hz (50Hz for PAL), but draws to the screen at 30FPS (25FPS for PAL).

    Other games on different platforms vary. But if you want to make a fair comparison to CTR, N64 is the era-equivalent platform.

    There are hacks you can run on emulators for both, however, to make them run at 60FPS. But honestly, neither need it, and they run fine without. A generation of 144FPS PC gamers might subjectively feel different, but these games were still awesome in their original state.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  4. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Me and my mates pooled money together and bought a multi-tap purely for this game. We'd all take our controllers over to whoevers house was full of snacks after school, fight over who got the genuine and who got the shit aftermarket controller and play all afternoon til dinner time

    ahhh nostalgia
     
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  5. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    elvis likes this.
  6. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    never really played this, but my mates did, ill pass on it this time around as i am still bucket deep in Silent Hill.
     
  7. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Remember these threads stay open forever. You can always come back to these games later on.

    It's not like they're new, nor will talking about them become out of date this many years later. :)
     
  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I put my two youngest kids (11 and 12) in front of this, and gave them a few pointers.

    First two rounds were as expected, but third round and they got it. Powersliding, item using, all the good stuff.

    I asked them what they thought, and the response was that it was "really fun once you figured out the controls", and compared to Mario Kart: "yeah, I actually think better". High praise!
     
  9. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    nimmers and elvis like this.
  10. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Gave this a go on my PS3 given the $2.26 price tag.

    Graphics are very good for a PS1 game. Surprisingly fun, but not as polished as Mario Kart 64. Harder to just jump into.
     
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  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  12. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Remaster short:

     
  13. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    Looks like just the right amount of 'remastering' has been applied here.
    If it's the same studio this WILL be an equal success as nsane trilogy.
     

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