Crash Nitro Kart - GameCube

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Karting
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Vicarious Visions Soft. Co.: Vivendi
Publishers: Vivendi (GB/US)
Released: 14 Nov 2003 (US)
28 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


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Crash Nitro Kart is Mario Kart, but featuring characters from the Crash Bandicoot series. And there you have it. Well, what more do you want from us? Oh, go on then…

Crash Bandicoot, the iconic PlayStation bundle of fuzzy tenacity, who was even effectively parodied on an episode of the Simpsons, has fallen victim to yet another evil deed by Emperor Velo. This time, Velo has kidnapped Crash in order to force him to race for the entertainment of the gathered evil-doers.

The basic, somewhat desperate plot sees Velo decide to destroy the entire world unless Crash can win a series of races against a ton of recognisable enemies from any of the umpteen games already released in the series.

The game, though a cutesy racer, is underpinned by this story, complete with signature comic cut-scenes, that see progression through a total of 17 raceway levels, each becoming more and more difficult. Set across four worlds, including dense jungles, erupting volcanoes, futuristic cities and space stations, single player action breaks down into adventure mode, arcade mode and time trial mode.

In a tip of the hat to Mario Kart, a massive slant on multiplayer gaming makes up perhaps the most concentrated opportunity for fun, with the GameCube’s LAN capabilities again dragged out for no particular reason. With Nintendo’s refusal to allow online gaming proper, you can hitch up two GameCube systems, both fitted out with broadband adapters, through a router. Get eight pads and two TV sets and you have two tellies displaying four boxes of action for eight players - an amazing achievement in itself, as much as for its stubbornness than anything else. As to whether anyone makes use of it is another matter.

Crash Nitro Kart delivers exactly what you would expect. It’s Mario Kart with different characters. If you’ve completed MK Double Dash, give this a go.