“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end.”
We face a very real and present problem. Well, I do anyway, and when you start to think about it, you’ll understand. It’s like there’s a hole in my life. I’ve tried to fill that hole with all sorts of things but nothing quite gets it right.
There are times when I feel lost. There are times when I feel alone. Most of all, I feel as though my life is incomplete somehow. I’m not sure if this is a cry for help or even if it’s going to get me through the dark days but I think even if it just raises awareness, then it’s doing some good.
The crux of the matter.
Ladies and gentleman, I need a karting game. At certain points, nothing else will do. I’m desperate to drive around in little go-karts firing weapons at other cartoon characters. I know Mario Kart exists and I have a copy as well as a console to play it on but I want something on PS4.
It’s kind of like Sony and Microsoft are too scared to take on Nintendo. That’s understandable however, as Mario Kart is the definitive karting game. It’s almost untouchable in what it does. Game mechanics are slick, characters are likeable and the weapon choices are inspired, loved and pretty much a huge part of our gaming culture.
Now, I’ve never had an Xbox so I can’t say what kind of karting titles (if any) Microsoft has provided. As a Playstation man I can say that all but one karting title has pretty much bombed. The most recent ones were Little Big Planet Karting and F1 Stars. On paper, both seem like they could really work. Unfortunately, they didn’t. I bought LBP Karting and I couldn’t get on with it. The core of the game (naturally) seemed to be the building of tracks, design and putting your personality into the game. That’s not what I want from a karting game though. I want pre-designed tracks that stick in the memory. I want to switch the game on, play a grand prix and turn it off. So sorry, LBP, but I’m out.
Following that disappointment, I downloaded the F1 Stars demo. With a bit more work, I think this really could have been a winner. Unfortunately, the tracks were REALLY mundane and the weapons were even worse. Failure again!
That’s where we are now. Looking back through history, the title that went really wrong was Sonic Allstars Racing. Now this really should have been Playstation’s version if Mario Kart. It had all of the components! The characters, the tracks, even the weapons were decent! Annoyingly though, it was majorly let down by the control system. With Mario Kart, you don’t always feel in control of the kart. You can veer off a cliff at any given time and that’s what makes it entertaining. I never got that feeling with Sonic. It was all way too controlled and even felt quite blocky at times.
Moving even further back through the archives, we come to that one title that goes against the grain. For me, it’s the holy grail of karting outside of Nintendo.
Crash – a-ah – saviour of the universe. Crash – a-ah – he’ll save every one of us.
Crash Team Racing was the one that gave us what we wanted. Everything I’ve said about Mario Kart can be applied to CTR. I’d even go as far as saying CTR was BETTER than Mario Kart because it had a really good story mode to it. Basically, Crash’s world had been taken over by aliens. You had to drive around these caverns and as you progressed through the levels, you’d have to race the aliens (they were always quicker than you) to save a bit of your world. At least, that’s how I remember it.
The grand prix mode was every bit as good as Mario Kart’s and the same goes for the battles. It was just the perfect karting game. The thing that disappoints me most is that it was a PS1 title. We’re on the fourth version of the console now and that has pretty much been the only good karting game we’ve had.
Fortune favours the bold.
As I’ve already said, I don’t blame the other consoles/developers for not wanting to commit to this kind of game. It just doesn’t make good business sense. Any game they released would always be compared to Mario Kart and looking at how successful it’s been, you’d say anything else would always come second.
That rings true for the CTR developers, Naughty Dog. They’re probably in their most successful, most profitable period yet. Releasing games like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series, their reputation couldn’t be stronger. Why risk it on a game that’s not guaranteed to succeed?
So do you now understand? Do you see my life feels so empty? Do you feel the same?
I’ll just continue to pray that Naughty Dog will take a punt. Be bold. Give us a Crash Team Racing sequel. Please?