Crash Team Racing is an absolute banger, but better yet it’s not just a banger but a sort of weird, off-brand, alternate universe banger: the best kind, and the rarest kind.
There are almost no off-brand bangers, you see, and I think that’s why CTR gets such a bad rap from the usual Franchise-Kart fans, what with all their blue shells and banana skins and other definitely-ripped-off-from CTR things. Crash Bandicoot, all ’90s eyebrow-wiggling and nu-metal jorts-wearing, is not a good enough character to be an entire platform’s mascot in 1999, let alone 2019; and the Crash Bandicoot Cinematic Universe is not even close to a good enough universe for it to get its own sixteen-character kart-racing spinoff – or, at least, so the received wisdom goes.
But the received wisdom, let me tell you, is wrong. There is no better franchise to hide an authentically brilliant racer in than Crash Bandicoot. Look past the jorts and the eyebrows and the extreme wonk of those characters – seriously, just take a second and actually look at them – and you’ll find an absolute gold mine, like popping open a tube of Prongles – “Once you pop… it’s great!” – and finding that they actually taste better than the original.