Addressing more personal mental issues is novel in gaming and that much is admirable but trying isn’t always enough. Storytelling matters as much as — if not more than — the story you’re trying to tell and the game’s clumsy script and amateurish performances demonstrate how one side can spoil the other.
Despite those bumps in the road, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is both a respectful reimagining and a superb, modernized kart racer in its own right. It accurately borrows from its inspirations and enhances their qualities in ways that feel true to what Naughty Dog would have done if it had the hardware.
While it’s a bummer for those without VR, the game’s commitment to virtual reality is something the medium could always use more of, even if it comes alongside a foul-mouthed Eyehole Monster who once fucked shrinkle when he thought it was a dinkle.
Whereas the first episode was a promising start and the second episode seemed like anomaly, this third episode appears to disprove that by setting a disappointing tone for the rest of the season. And we’ll have to wait yet another four or so months to see if that’s accurate or not.
While the gear system is full of unwanted fluff, Trials Rising is not. Its collection of well-designed tracks are wonderful playgrounds for its familiar yet still addictive physics-heavy biking gameplay. Familiarity in this case is not a bad thing because of how satisfying it is to improve your technique and overcome new challenges throughout its bevvy of additional modes.
A remaster of this scope can’t give the game a better camera, liven up the combat, or spruce up the tacky pre-rendered backgrounds. It’s a shame too since somewhere in this game lies a decent core that could serve as a fantastic base for a more fully fledged remake willing to go beyond a simple touch-up.