PS2 Crash Nitro Kart Review - 8/10

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Crash Bandicoot, now that's a name we've heard plenty of times before, for both good and bad reasons. So whats different about this installment? Crash and his friends have switched to the genre of racing for the second time in the history of the series, the first time being the superb Crash Team Racing on the original Playstation. The question is, will Crash's latest adventure be as successful as his last, which have sold over thirty million copies worldwide? Or will it be a failure, much like The Wrath Of Cortex was?

Its typically Crash to not have much of a storyline, but heres the main chunk of it: Crash and Cortex are whisked away from their surroundings and forced to race for Earth's future, now where have we heard that before? *Cough* Crash Team Racing *cough*

Not too bad, but there is plenty of room for improvement. Like all Crash games, the graphics are bold, bright and colorful, the aesthetics being aimed at appealing to the younger generation of gamers, but where there's a positive, there's a negative, that negative being that the graphics get fairly cheesy after a while. The attention to detail is quite stunning, and the menus and light and appealing, giving a good first impression.

The games worst point, the audio is disastrous, repetitive, annoying, boring and cheesy. Firstly, the characters, whoever did the voice-overs needs to be shot, they are nerve-racking, repetitive and plain stupid, if hearing a quote that doesn't make sense five times a minute isn't bad, then what is? Secondly, menu music, a continuous loop of awful audio, the less said about it, the better. Thirdly, the special effects, they aren't too bad, but they don't exactly shine either, the use of a weapon is the one to look out for. Finally, race music is on par, it fits in with the environment of the circuit, but isn't very detailed.

Above average, gameplay makes up for the lacklustre performance that sound puts in, the controls are simple, and easy to get into, leaving you no excuses when you drive off of the track. Secondly is multiplayer, you can have everything from two player races to eight player deathmatches, this adds game time, and i the gameplay department there isn't much better, after all, what is better than shooting your 'masterful' friend off of a cliff? Thirdly, the new team system, it gives each racer an ally when racing, and together, they can attack the opposition with twice the power of one, and use Team Blasts, which make the team go faster and get a bunch of weapons. Next up is the sheer variety of modes you can play in, from the story-based adventure, to arcade style cups and battles, no shortage of variety at all, the same sentence sums up the gameplay department.

Quite a while for todays market, a perfectionist could spend a fortnight and still be playing, and then there's multiplayer, combine that with all the stuff that can be unlocked and mastered and various modes and tracks, then you're onto a winner alright.

Characters, circuits, characters and er.. characters, need I say more?

Final Recommendation:
Not a bad little game at all, although sound does ruin it slightly, the vast amount of different stuff and good presentation will leave both the younger generation and hardcore racers happy. Not one of them? Then maybe a rent is your best choice.

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