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Pedal to the Middle: An In-depth Crash Team Rumble Review


crash bandicoot and neo cortex squaring off

Image: Toys For Bob


Hey there, fellow gamers! Fasten your seat belts, we're about to jump headfirst into the kart racing mayhem of Crash Team Rumble. As the latest title in the long-beloved Crash Bandicoot series, expectations are high. So, let's break it down in this Crash Team Rumble review.


 

Gameplay (7/10)


The game is essentially a 3D platformer where you run and jump around arenas, collecting Wumpa Fruit and returning them to your goal. The gameplay is team-based, and you'll play on teams of 4. But there's more to the game than just collecting Wumpa Fruit and returning them to your base. The game has a surprising amount of complexity. You can claim a series of gems by standing on them for a while to get a Wumpa multiplier, and there are also relics scattered around that you can collect then use to activate bonuses like jump points and epic boosts that can terrorize your enemies. You also choose an ability before starting a match which can heal your team, provide bonus Wumpa, erect an attack structure, and such. All these elements work together to make an engaging gameplay formula.


However, the game is not without its shortcomings. One of the main issues players have raised is the lack of variety in the game modes and arenas. As it stands, the arenas are well-designed and offer unique challenges, but they repeat after only a few hours of play. There's a desire for additional modes such as mini-games and single-player challenges, which would certainly help extend the replay value of the game. The absence of local multiplayer content is also a missed opportunity

 

Visuals and Sound (7/10)


Visually, Crash Team Rumble holds its own. The game's colorful, cartoony aesthetic is pleasing, and the maps, while not revolutionary, are well-designed with a fair share of environmental obstacles.

Sound design in Crash Team Rumble is a mixed bag. Some of the sound effects and character voice lines are charmingly whimsical, fitting the game's overall vibe. However, the repetitive music tracks can start to grate after prolonged play.


 

Characters (7/10)


It's a delight to see the various iconic characters from the Crash Bandicoot universe included, such as Crash, Cortex, Coco, Dingodile, Brio, and Tawna. Each character plays completely differently, so experimenting with all of them is a great deal of fun, especially when you find one that really clicks with you. For instance, Dr. Neo Cortex has a handy long-range weapon that's good at taking out stationary enemy structures, while Catbat can freely jump-fly across the arena. The character roster is divided into three roles: "Blocker", "Booster", and "Scorer", which adds an additional layer of strategy to the game


 

Conclusion


Crash Team Rumble is a decent addition to the Crash Bandicoot series, but it doesn't exactly push the envelope. The gameplay is solid, the visuals are colorful, and the sound design is largely enjoyable, albeit repetitive. However, lack of true innovation in the mechanics means this game might not keep you hooked for the long haul.

Still, for fans of Crash Bandicoot or those looking for a casual, fun experience, there's plenty to like in Crash Team Rumble. The strategic platformer gameplay, the inclusion of beloved characters from the franchise, and the easy mechanics combine to create a fun and engaging multiplayer game. As for me, I'm looking forward to spending a little more time with the game and hope for future updates that could enhance the experience further.


Overall Score: 7/10

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