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Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a nitro boost to the original

Break out the nitrous oxide

After the release of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, fans were wondering if they’d ever see a remake of the beloved racing game. But while Vicarious Visions was hard at work with remastering the PlayStation trilogy, developer Beenox was eyeing Crash Team Racing.

The upcoming remake includes all the characters, tracks, controls, and power-ups from the original game. Beenox didn’t use any of the original Naughty Dog source code, a representative told Polygon at a recent press event — the studio recreated everything from scratch.

Impressively, there’s an attention to detail in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled that reflects a longtime love.

“We used to play Crash Team Racing during our lunch breaks,” a representative from Beenox told us. “If you lost a race, you had to forfeit your spot. So if you wanted to play the whole hour, you had to be the best.”

comparison screenshots of Polar Pass from Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and Crash Team Racing
Left: Polar Pass in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Right: Polar Pass in the original Crash Team Racing.
Beenox/Activision, Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment

Nitro-Fueled isn’t just the old game with a fresh coat of paint; new character animations add another layer of loving detail for HD screens. There are all kinds of nuances that, while they may be overlooked on their own, work together to create a brighter, richer version of a beloved classic. Whether they’re sitting idle or featured in the winner’s screen, the cast of Nitro-Fueled exude attitudes of their own.

New modes and features like online multiplayer and leaderboards will also be coming to Nitro-Fueled. And for those of you who remember the mess of the Multitap days on the original PlayStation, a local split-screen mode for up to four players is also included.

As someone who poured hours into Crash Team Racing, picking up Nitro-Fueled was natural, even easy. I appreciated that Beenox stuck to the original soundtrack, even if the developer did recreate all of it on its own. Memories came rushing back as I slid my way through Polar Pass and dodged pairs of rolling seals. All of the same shortcuts are still in these tracks, and my muscles showed me the way before my brain caught up to where I was — it was fantastic.

“I remember this!” I yelled, as I gleefully whizzed past the wreckage of a pirate ship. A few seconds later: “Oh god, no, I remember this.”

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will be released June 21 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Watch 10 minutes of gameplay above.