Product Type: VU Games PS2 games
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Crash Nitro Kart (PS2)
Member Name: grown_up_girlie
Crash Nitro Kart (PS2)
Advantages: Great for all ages, value for money - great fun!
Disadvantages: Addictive and probably not for advanced gamers of the PS2
Wow! What a game this is... It's another great karting experience in the funny world of 'Crash Bandicoot'. First came Crash Team Racing (CTR) and now there is Crash Nitro Kart (CNK). This kart racing game has rivalled any major kart racing game ever seen before on the market such as 'Super Mario Kart'.
This new addition is actually developed by a different firm to the 'Naughty Dog' production company that brought us the first Crash Bandicoot game, 'CTR'. With different developers it has brought us the consumer, a whole new gaming experience whilst maintaining the thrill of kart racing. This game has proved so popular with people like me that is has gone platinum.
Crash Nitro Kart races challenges of a different kind in this high paced karting adventure game. Crash has been kidnapped by the evil Emperor - Velo. He has no choice, other than to race many challenges in Emperor Velo's coliseum, so that he has a chance of saving Earth from complete destruction. In order to complete every challenge, he must successfully race and compete against new and old faces (From CTR) before facing a final challenge against the evil Emperor Velo himself. To get to the end successfully you have to race each track to win trophies, CNK tokens and diamonds to unlock each world/level.
Crash Nitro Kart keeps that brightly coloured, cartoon appearance that has been loved throughout all of the 'Crash Bandicoot' games. Bearing in mind, this is for the Playstation 2 - the graphics are somewhat sharper than any of the Playstation 1 games I ever played. The sharper graphics outline and colour each and every level with complete perfection. With a noticed increase in graphics throughout each level, 'Vicarious Visions' have certainly paid great attention to even minor details such as character shadows. You would think that with this huge increase in graphic quality it may cause a slower response rate in game play but again, this is a noticeable improvement over the Playstation1 and is definitely what makes up half of the CNK gaming experience.….. It makes for very smooth play and therefore enhances the fast paced CNK adventure.
Being a cartoon based game, don't expect any smooth backing music to accompany the thrill of racing. Instead you are left with some very strange cartoon noises, music and effects such as the funny phrases 'Yahoo and Grrr, I'll get you for this!" - This all just adds to the joy of your game play. I just love the sound of the power-up meter charging up; it really gets you in the mood for a fast paced race! Regardless of those cartoon sound effects it does feature good sound through a normal TV set. Each sound is clear and distinctive to every individual character and level. Obviously still living up too the standards of 'Sony'.
Levels & Game Play
For up to 8 players you can race against your mates, or race against each character or even race AS each character. You are able to change your character with every race you play so that you can use each of them individually to enhance your racing advantage. The 12 characters each have their own kart design, and the weapons that ensure victories are consistent with the overall feel of the game. Each track you visit is designed differently with bold and chunky style race tracks. Great for both kids and adults!
There are over 17 different raceways in the Crash Nitro Kart world. Some of these raceways include secret passage ways so you are forever having to be alert. The worlds are set in jungles, erupting volcanoes, futuristic cities, space stations and battle arenas! In these 4 different worlds 'CNK' will have you entertained for hours as you race to win. Each track is uniquely designed with good style and is equally more challenging that the previous. There are also more individual pursuits such as crystal collection arenas so there is definitely a wide variety to this game.
Also available to play is the battle mode, this mode enables you to battle against your opponents in the wide-opened Battle Arenas. There is also a special arena editor function which allows you to create fully customised Battle Arenas for action-packed multiplayer battle.
There is tremendous single player action, so that when you are alone you can play one of the terrific adventure, arcade or time trial modes which gives hours of fun to anyone of any age. I sat for hours doing this. It's also good to play in one of these modes to practise and learn some of the skills/features of your chosen character.
Boosting is the key to completing the game - you can gain a blast of speed by simply catching air off a ramp, or by mastering the power slide function. Boosting by sliding isn't easy, but becomes the secret key to the finish line. After every task or track you complete there is an animated style head that pops up to advise you on helpful hints (Each tip is also archived in the memory so that you can make reference to it at any stage throughout the game - again I found this really helpful).
Karts & Weapons
Each individual kart adapts to their environment with a variety of special weapons, these include mines, missiles, tornado attacks and grenades, I love the 3 missiles that you don't even need to guide, and they will simply knock whoever is in front of you out! There is also a special and very fun time attack feature which helps you take your opponent out so that you can win the race. The famous crash crates that you have to drive into always contain a weapon of some kind for your benefit and to enhance your chances of winning each race. Weapons are also given extra power by collecting 10 'Wumpa Fruit' on from each of the tracks; this is another really beneficial thing to pay attention too.
There are some weapons that will cause havoc on your way through the various tracks. The TNT boxes - coming in green and red, I suggest that you master the art of using quick reflex action to ensure you miss each one that's been laid down just after a bend on the race course. These can really get on my nerves. But I suppose it just adds to the whole joy of game play.
The straight-up races are the most fun, with a team-up option that uses the R2 button to activate a short-term alliance and with rapid-fire power up access you can literally blast anything and anyone out the way with this useful feature. Its really great fun whizzing through all those fireballs and moving razor blades with the invincibility activated! You really should try it sometime - a great stress reliever!
Age & Ease of Use
This game is suitable for anyone of any age. Kids love it and adults alike. It has had me entertained for hours on end. It becomes highly addictive and you won't want to give up on a particular course or track until you have won that particular race. Some of the tracks are very easily won but don't be fooled, after the first few races you will start to become challenged a lot more.
You will learn and develop your karting skills throughout the game and you will hopefully beat that nasty Emperor - Velo!
It doesn't take an advanced user to play this game; you will pick up through practise, which button to press to perform each function so is very simple overall.
I must say that I got a good 45+ hours from this game so is great value for money in my eyes (See prices below).
Region PAL: Will play on UK and European Playstation 2's only.
Available for other consoles: such as the Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Game Cube and for the N-Gage.
Recommended Retail Prices
Playstation 2 - £19.99
Xbox - £39.99
Game Cube - £39.99
Game Boy Advance - £29.99
N-Gage - £34.99
For all of the above consoles I am sure that if you used the dooyoo search facility or www.google.co.uk you would be able to return a good competitive price from many internet retailers, one good place to try is www.play.com although they do have a tendency to sell out of stock very fast as their prices are very competitive.
This game is available to buy on the high street, but do be warned, you will probably pay a few pence more than over the internet.
I would certainly recommend this game to anyone. I think it is a very enjoyable pleasant game to play. You really get wrapped up in the whole thrill of the game and it certainly becomes more exciting as game play progresses.
I do think that the 'really advanced' game players of the world would probably not be too satisfied with this game as it really doesn't offer that same high paced thrill as a game such as Gran Turismo 4. But for someone who occasionally gets their console out of the cupboard then this is a must have game to add to the collection. It will give you hours of good fun.
Hope you enjoy the game as much as I did. I can't wait for the next new one.
4 S*T*A*R*S from me.
© Copyright of grown_up_girlie, October 2005.
Summary: Fun and very easy to play, addictive and value for money.