And trust me, I didn’t think I’d ever have mixed feelings about a Crash Team Racing remaster!
Don’t get me wrong, the first emotion I felt when I heard that Crash Team Racing was being remade was excitement. Although I haven’t played the game since the age of 12, I remember being spellbound as a child. In fact I don’t think I’d ever experienced a racer before, and I was mesmerised by the notion of unlocking new tracks and topping my personal bests. I think, at one point, I even tried to make my own version of the game using paper and felt tips!
So the whole notion of this title being rebuilt for the current generation of consoles makes me a wee bit giddy. I’m certain that people will buy it, and I know that it will be a sales success (and perhaps even a critical one.) Nostalgia is a great currency for developers at the moment; the idea that you can “relive your childhood” by replaying Spyro or investing in a PlayStation Classic is one that’s paying off for developers and hardware manufacturers alike. And being reminiscent is not a bad thing. I certainly can’t wait to don my reading specs (albeit rose-tinted ones) and tear through some nitro-fuelled fun-times with my favourite bandicoot.
But I mentioned “mixed feelings” so I think it’s fair to be honest about my reservations, slight as they may be. The first of these is the tiiiiiny pang of disappointment that it’s not actually an all-new, fully-fledged Crash Bandicoot title. I mean, in a way it might as well be, given that I can remember so little about the original Crash Team Racing (other than the fact that I enjoyed it.) But I would love to see a brand new ‘pillar’ release in the Crash-Bandiverse, along the lines of the N-Sane Trilogy but with some new ideas and mechanics on display. (I suppose there’s nothing to say that this can’t still happen, but in light of this news it looks like I’m going to be waiting a while.)
I also feel a wee bit sorry for Team Sonic Racing – the Sonic karting game which has been beset by delays and uncertainty since its announcement. It now has a release date of May 2019, which is only a month before Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled hits the shelves. Both games arguably cater to similar audiences, and I can’t help but worry that Crash will overshadow his spiky blue rival in both the racing and the nostalgia stakes. It’s a shame that the two titles aren’t more spaced out; ideally I’d have Sonic in stores at the start of the year and then have Crash available to play in the summer. With this setup, I think there’s a good chance that some gamers will resist purchasing Sonic and will instead wait for their Crash Bandicoot remaster a month later. I can’t be the only one thinking this, right?
All that being said – and perhaps more positively – we now have a brand new Sonic game and a brand new Crash Bandicoot game to look forward to in 2019, with a star-studded Sonic the Hedgehog movie to boot! (Well, it’s got Jim Carrey in it…) I guess it’s my job as a consumer to simply enjoy all these things and let the investors do all the worrying about target demographics and sales graphs.
Out of interest – which game are you more excited about? Would you consider investing in both Team Sonic Racing and the new Crash? Or will you watch the pennies and only purchase one of these games in 2019? Let me know in the comments below.