Crash and burn!
The game offers a surprisingly decent amount of modes. Adventure, Arcade, Time Trial, VS and Battle Mode. Adventure features a very silly story where a new enemy, Nitros Oxide threatens the earth, so now Crash, Coco and their enemies must join together in multiple races. The game is set up in a hub world, not unlike Crash 2 or 3's, where you must eventually go through 16 tracks and 5 boss races. In theory, it's a great idea, but in practice you have to beat each stage at least three times. The first time you must finish in first place, the next one you have to beat a certain time record and the third one you must collect three letters(CTR) and finish in first place(And no, you can't do this on your first time throught). I guess if you like racing games, the repetition won't bother you to much, but for me it was too much. There's also the four unlockable Crystal Collecting missions which were, on someone like me, way too challenging. The game does allow for cheat codes to unlock all the unlockables, but if you want 100% save file, you gonna have to work.
The gameplay is just as with any other mascot Kart Racing game, you go through a track, usually 3 laps around it, and if you collect boxes, they grant you an item(Usually a weapon) which you can use to attack your enemies. Weapons are fairly varied and aren't as strong as Mario Kart's counterparts, which means skill matters a little more than luck, but just a little. Borrowing from Mario Kart SNES, you can collect Wumpa fruits(up to 10) to raise your max speed, plus, having 10 Wumpa Fruit will "super charge" your item, making it much stronger, however, getting hit or falling off the track will cost you some fruit. Lastly, the game has drifting in the form of "Power Sliding", which is done by pressing R1 or L1 when turning the wheel. What's more, holding the slide for a while will make the exhaust pipes' gas will turn black, pressing the opposite shoulder button will grant you a little boost, for up to three boosts in a row. Unlike Mario Kart, you have to earn your boost, and they end up being much better as they can make you zip through the track. Be warned that if you miss your window you lose a boost, and holding a slide for too long will make you spin out.
Overall, I liked Crash Team Racing. The racing feels very good, the power sliding mechanics seem overwhelming at first, but after you get the hang of them, they become a very fun mechanic, and tracks feature some unique pieces that I haven't borrowed by other games. My one complaint, but a big one in my book, is just how much the game expects you to replay each stage, maybe it's because I don't particularly like the Racing Genre, since I had no problem with the Crash Bandicoot games, but at least three times to get 100% is a bit too much, at least there's cheat codes!
8.0 out of 10.