Crash Nitro Kart - Xbox

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Also for: PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Karting
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Vicarious Visions Soft. Co.: Universal Interactive Studios
Publishers: Vivendi (GB/US)
Released: 14 Nov 2003 (US)
21 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Unit


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The celebrated rat-like marsupial is speeding his way onto a console near you, complete with all his friends (and enemies) in this latest kart racer from Vivendi. In a kind of follow up to 1999's PlayStation release Crash Team Racing, Crash Nitro Kart does the whole karting thing again, but overhauled for the current crop of hardware.

The game is held together by a rather sinister story, which tells how Crash and friends have been kidnapped by the ruthless Emperor Velo and forced to race in his galactic coliseum. The Earth is under threat and, in order to save it, Crash must speed his way to victory, against foes old and new, before the final showdown with Velo himself.

CNK features the rudimentary options of both Arcade and Time Trial, but the main game is to be found in Story mode. This mode sees you select your chosen team of varyingly talented drivers and compete for the aforementioned goal. It's all mapped out in similar style to Diddy Kong Racing, in the fact that, from the outset, you drive around a central hub in order to access the different zones, themselves progressively unlocked as you successfully complete each race.

Not dissimilar to another particular well-known karting game, Nitro Kart features simple, arcade-style controls that place strong emphasis on the good old power slide. The collection and use of items and weapons also plays a major role throughout, whilst the tracks themselves are full of boosts, jumps and hazards, and can all be played at an advantage with a well-timed start.

There are 17 high-speed raceways to work your way through, set across four diverse worlds featuring jungles, erupting volcanoes, futuristic cities and space stations. And with the inclusion of the obligatory 4-way, split-screen multiplayer option, it means there's a fair amount of life to be found in the game.