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Jango

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (June 21st, 2019)

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Here's some gameplay without commentary!

Music sounds very close to the original. Sound effects could have more PUMP to it, especially the karts. They sound like lawn mowers here ūüėē

Man, the voices... Are annoyingly good. Characters can get a little too chatty tho'. ALSO, AKU AKU'S OOGA BOOGA, WTF? Why they changed it?!?! Sounds like they got someone's uncle to record.

Again, these animations are amazing, holy shit.

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Just watched the gameplay, and I'm not feeling it. It looks like they've managed to approximate the gameplay pretty well (though it's definitely something I'd have to play before I know for certain), but it's the presentation that's got me iffy. I do agree that there's a lot of extraneous detail in Polar Pass and Dingo Canyon that makes it more difficult to parse information, and Dingo Canyon in particular suffers from really powerful lighting and a colour palette with reds and oranges that bleed into each other too easily - never mind the characters with similar colour schemes like Tiny, Pura or Crash (y'know, the main character? The one racer that should at least stand out from any given environment). But the thing that's really got me apathetic is the arrangement of the music.

They attempt to capture the same mood as the original versions, but there's a variety of issues with the instruments, mixing, and even arrangement choices that just don't work. It's possible we're listening to unfinished versions and maybe they'll be tweaked before the game's out, but I want to put this out there all the same.

Firstly, the overture that plays just before you begin the race is missing the brass that was in the original (or is much less noticeable in the mix). The brass was used to add this brief sense of grandiosity to starting the race that made it feel a bit more exciting, which isn't as prevalent now.

Polar Pass is missing a couple of major instruments that lessen the distinct flavour the original version had: the electronic buzz that catches your attention before playing the melody alongside the pizzicato strings to make it more prominent, and the bells at 0:17 that provide that jolly wintery feeling in a way that none of the other instruments can.

Crash Cove isn't too great either. The steel guitar that plays throughout the song isn't as distinct, and the steel drums that play the main melody are barely there. They show up for a couple of bars, but they're almost impossible to hear over the brass that's trying to harmonize with it - which just makes the melody sound less impactful and 'strong' than it used to. The original track used the steel guitar and drums to really convey that feeling of cruising at a beach and having a fun time, but that's gone now. 

Dingo Canyon's not so bad, but the jew's harp (that boingy sound) is definitely a lot harder to hear than before, which detracts from the desert feel of the level to an extent.

But the biggest issue, and what crosses from taste in instrumentation into being a genuine misstep, is that the theme that plays when you grab the Aku/Uka mask comes straight from the N-Sane Trilogy. In the original CTR, the mask theme was meant to be a remix of the invincibility theme from the platformers, using the same drums but adding a melody over the top that gave it this sense of progression and bounce that was more suited to a kart racer. But for whatever reason, it's just the N-Sane invincibility theme without anything added on top. I really hope this means that the soundtrack's not completely finished, because this is a really confusing omission otherwise. It's not like we're discussing the exact "Obbligok!" sound Aku-Aku makes when he picks you up from an abyss - it's a pretty obvious aspect of the music that's just not there all of a sudden.

I don't mind the idea of these new arrangements going in their own direction, but only if that was clear from the off-set. If they went all-out on completely reinterpreting the originals or adding new touches to provide their own unique take on the music, I'd be more than willing to accept whatever they do (for example, I quite like how Crash Cove's track adds some extra percussion during the final lap). But they're trying to recreate the same mood as the old songs, and there's just a lot of stuff that needs work before I can confidently say that they've nailed those moods.

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Huh, haven't had to update this in a while.

*Lifts off the Vector/Espio fuel file to reveal a much dustier tome, as if untouched for fifteen years. It's labelled Dingodile/Komodo Joe fuel*

Also Pura is so adorable aaaaahhhhh

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Never heard someone not happy with instrument choice. I'm sure it will be tweaked. But anyone that grew up on the original would be hard pressed to not see this is a excellent upgrade

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25 minutes ago, Meta77 said:

Never heard someone not happy with instrument choice. I'm sure it will be tweaked. But anyone that grew up on the original would be hard pressed to not see this is a excellent upgrade

Thing is, I am one of those folks who grew up with the original - hell, it was the first game I ever remember playing when my family got a PSOne back in 2000 - and I'm just not seeing it as an excellent upgrade at this point. It looks perfectly fine for what it is, but to paraphrase the Gaming Brit when he talked about the Crash remakes, I'm not looking at this and thinking "BETTER!"; I'm thinking "Oh. That's different."

It's a similar situation to the Spyro remakes from a few months back. I love the originals to bits, and nothing about the remakes struck me as being that much of an improvement (not to sell Toys for Bob, or Beenox in this case, short - they're doing a fairly good job, but I just think that the end result could still be better). Like I said, I'm just not feeling it. Maybe I'll change my tune when it comes out and it turns out to be the best feeling kart racer in gaming since... well, the original CTR. :) But until then, I'm going to keep an eye on it, but not a terribly optimistic one.

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Maybe I'm too nostalgic but I really hate the sound effect used when power sliding. In the original there was some real 'oomph' to it, but here it just sounds dampened. In the original it was really notable when you got to each additional level because the sound effect got progressively more potent.

A minor thing I do like however is that the exhaust pipes glow differently when power sliding at each consecutive levels, that's something I really appreciated about the original CTR, because it was a visual aid which helped you go at top speed. Only nitpick here is that I wish they let the fumes burn as widely as they did in the original, because it was really satisfying to see the wide glow when going top speed, and keeping that throughout the race.

Yeah, I'm a hardcore CTR fan ūüėõ¬†

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So apparently Crash's original voice actor is returning to CTR:NF as opposed to his N-Sane voice. Which I originally thought was to be the case. And also Confirmation of NEW character that were Not in the original CTR. Let it be Spyro!

 

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I'll politely guess that she got it wrong. It's clearly Jess Harnell (NST). 

He even tweeted about it no much time ago:

This is from January 21st... The demo has his recordings and it's from a week ago at best. 

So or they're either very fast at implementing the voices into the game (which should be fairly easy)... Or he was recording for something more down the line, not for Nitro Fueled. AFAIK, Debi (Coco's VA) tweet about Nitro Fueled a while ago, way before Jess... Maybe they just recorded in different days... 

Anyways, new characters? Sure why not. We knew that.

 

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7 minutes ago, Jango said:

I'll politely guess that she got it wrong. It's clearly Jess Harnell (NST). 

Yeah I thought so too. That's why I was a little confused after seeing the gameplay and then hearing about him having a voice different than N-Sane.

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:58 PM, Jango said:

Here's some gameplay without commentary!

Music sounds very close to the original. Sound effects could have more PUMP to it, especially the karts. They sound like lawn mowers here ūüėē

Man, the voices... Are annoyingly good. Characters can get a little too chatty tho'. ALSO, AKU AKU'S OOGA BOOGA, WTF? Why they changed it?!?! Sounds like they got someone's uncle to record.

Again, these animations are amazing, holy shit.

Jebus, I just noticed something in this video ūüĎÜ A trophy is unlocked after N. Gin wins on Crash Cove... It simply says "Congratulations!".

Er... Aren't trophies only added when the game is close to go gold (finish production)?

 

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15 hours ago, Jango said:

Anyways, new characters? Sure why not. We knew that.

 

I'm going to keep repeating this. The game is a remake, they will very likely not add much new content. At most I'm expecting one new character and one new race track.

Don't build yourself up for disappointment.

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I wouldn't bank on too many new characters. In my personal opinion, though, if they did add to the playable roster, they should stick to the Naughty Dog-era characters that aren't already playable.

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1 hour ago, Plasme said:

I'm going to keep repeating this. The game is a remake, they will very likely not add much new content. At most I'm expecting one new character and one new race track.

Don't build yourself up for disappointment.

Why not? If a remake of the main titles added a new characters and 2 new stages, why not a kart game which is perfect. 

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Its also a remake of one game instead of 3, which really doesnt have much content compared to other cart racers today. I think its safe to assume they'd add a few new things to justify the price tag. It's  already been stated that there would be stages beyond the ones from the original game. Plus, we've seen new content in the form of alternate carts, which I really doubt we've seen all of. I'm personally  expect atleast 4 tracks and a couple new characters.

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Well, there's already one "new" playable character, which is Nitros Oxide. Tawna, N. Brio, Komodo Moe, Koala Kong, Lab Assistant, Baby T. all these characters already have models ready to go. Wouldn't take much to turn then playable. I feel like at least Brio and Tawna are very, very likely. 

Also, Spyro as a playable character was hinted, and a concept art for a track based on his world was found. Chances are, we're getting a whole new cup worth of new tracks. Perhaps it could go like this:

1 totally new track

1 track from CNK

1 track from CTTR

1 track from Spyro.

Pipe dream? Maybe. 

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6 hours ago, Jango said:

Well, there's already one "new" playable character, which is Nitros Oxide. Tawna, N. Brio, Komodo Moe, Koala Kong, Lab Assistant, Baby T. all these characters already have models ready to go. Wouldn't take much to turn then playable. I feel like at least Brio and Tawna are very, very likely. 

Also, Spyro as a playable character was hinted, and a concept art for a track based on his world was found. Chances are, we're getting a whole new cup worth of new tracks. Perhaps it could go like this:

1 totally new track

1 track from CNK

1 track from CTTR

1 track from Spyro.

Pipe dream? Maybe. 

I know I got blasted to hell last time I said this a few months ago, but curb your enthusiasm. Maybe they will add all that new content, but I seriously doubt it, we've no evidence whatsoever that they are going to add so much crazy new stuff. 

I think Spyro is very possible due to the hints about him and it would make sense with the two remakes, but what you are hoping for above is too optimistic. I mean it would be great if I'm wrong, but just exercise caution.

And the addition of Oxide is great! I remember beating his ghosts on PS1 because of the widespread rumours he would be playable :P It'll be good to play as him without using a gameshark on emulators. 

 

On a separate note, I do wonder what they will do with Penta Penguin. He was always a weird character; unfinished on NTSC and absurdly broken on PAL. Either way he was only available with cheats and had seemingly no relation to the game. I wonder if he is actually unlockable now, I wouldn't imagine they would leave him as just a chear character. I also doubt they'll cut him.

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On 2/7/2019 at 8:27 PM, Jango said:

Penta should be kept, c'mon. His stats could be like Polar or Pura instead of ALL MAXED OUT LOL 

Maybe unlockable at 101% completion?

I'm British so I grew up with Penta as the broken character of the game. It kind of wouldn't be the same if he wasn't OP.

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3 hours ago, Plasme said:

I'm British so I grew up with Penta as the broken character of the game. It kind of wouldn't be the same if he wasn't OP.ÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅ

As an American, it wouldn't be the same if he doesn't shout "Penquin Yay One" in a monotone voice. Also, I wonder if Beenox is going to keep/expand the cheat codes like Toys for Bob did with Spyro Reignited?

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