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11-Year Nostalgia Trip: Crash Team Racing
Yon Troper

[table of contents]
Introduction and On
I've been in a nostalgic mood lately, and for me, you can't get much more nostalgic than this. So, let's revisit a piece of my childhood with Crash Team Racing.

I was one of the lucky ones who got a PS2 around the time when it first came out. I was 6 years old, and felt like a king. Look at me with my PS2, everybody! Now, while I did get some PS2 games with it, they were still selling PS1 games around this time, and in my early days of playing it, that was generally what I played. Among these was Crash Team Racing - my first video game, and what an introduction. I was captivated by its speed and control, not to mention the fact that I was hopeless enough at gaming that I would spend whole days (literally, whole days) just playing it and trying to win for once. I don't think I ever beat it fully, but whatever, I was never a 100% Completion type.

Long story short, the disc got all scratched to hell so the music would glitch out and it frequently wouldn't work, and I think I lost it sometime around 2006. But now, having got an emulator and acquired the game through totally legal means, let's finish what my six-year-old self started.

Side note: I am intentionally avoiding all walkthroughs and spoilers for the sake of this liveblog. I've forgotten a lot of stuff, so if I miss something obvious, that's why.

Opening sequence

Let's start with the opening cinematic. We're in the Ghibli Hills, and there's a sign advertising a kart racing tournament. Now, we all know what that means - it's all gonna get disrupted. And indeed, it is! We cut into space, and meet our antagonist, sitting in a spaceship. This here is Nitros Oxide (ha ha, I get it!), the self-proclaimed "fastest racer in the galaxy", i.e. racing punchbag for our protagonists. He "travels the stars looking for creatures to test his skills", and then proceeds to call it "survival of the fastest". Come on, Oxide, bring us a third Incredibly Lame Pun and bring it on home! His "game", as it turns out, involves Oxide challenging the best racer on the planet, i.e. you, to a race. If you win, he leaves the planet alone, but if he wins, he makes everyone his slaves and turns the whole planet into a concrete parking lot!

OK, hold up. How does that even work? Is he just going to dump concrete all over the planet, or use some kind of alien magic science voodoo whatever, or what? And what about the inhabitants of Earth who get in the line of fire, or whatever it is he uses? Is he going to abduct everyone beforehand? Does he expect them to work in a concrete parking lot for him afterwards? That can't sustain life! And the spaceship... yeah, that's not going to hold six billion people and/or talking animals. So the story barely holds itself together, but hey, it's an Excuse Plot. Let's just have fun racing... in the next installment.

And just as an aside, I always thought Oxide was incredibly annoying. For one thing, he's just ugly (or maybe it's the late-90's 3D graphics) - his green skin and purple clothes do not match, and because his mouth is kind of on a trunk, it flops around when he speaks. Oh, and I'm going to avoid the obvious jokes about the phallic shape of his head, but... his voice! It sounds like someone who smokes fifty cigarettes a day inhaling helium and talking through a vocoder at the same time. Yeah, I want to beat this A-hole even more now, so that I never have to look at him (or listen to him) again.

So after Oxide gargles out "get ready to race for the fate of your planet!", we get a montage of our characters preparing for the race, set to a nice jolly marimba. Y'know, because that fits with a fight for the very survival of your planet I'll just run through that:

OK, let's skip over the menu screen because there's not much to comment on there, and go straight for Adventure Mode. You get eight racers to choose from here, so let's scroll through them.

So, what we basically have is four models of character, in eight bodies. I tend to go for the "speed" characters, because I'm a reckless idiot, so let's play as Tiny. Wait, I Lied, I just want to see how he gets in his kart. Since I'm hoping to get Jah on my side for this race, I named my file "RASTA" (which is what I will be calling Tiny from now on).

First few tracks, coming up in the next installment!
3rd Jan '12 9:38:57 PM flag for mods
comments
A Liveblogger that will have fun with the thing they're about to tell others about? Check. Commentary that is both well-written and humourous? Check. A person that points out positive notes about someone's first enstallment as if reading from a check list? ...Uh, yeah, that'd be me. Best of luck, mate!

Also, on a mostly unrelated note, I think I first owned a PS 2 around the launch of Kingdom Hearts, and the first game I played on it was Dark Cloud. Good times, good times...
EndarkCuli 3rd Jan 12
Hey, I used to have Dark Cloud. Never did very well, mostly because I thought having to keep hydrated and so on was stupid. I still have my PS 2, but I don't think I have Dark Cloud any more.
YonTroper 3rd Jan 12
Hey, this looks like fun. I believe on my first profile I played as Dingodile :D

I recently had a go on it and ended up finishing the whole story mode in one go. I even beat that cheating bastard Oxide on the first go!
MrMallard 4th Jan 12
Embarrassingly, I had to start over every time I tried this when I was younger, because I didn't know how to save...
YonTroper 6th Jan 12
Me and my brother just played through this game back in September. What a classic.

JobanGrayskull 9th Apr 12
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