Crash Team Racing: Switch gets another classy kart racer

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The best thing about the Switch port of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on Switch is that it’s often easy to forget you’re even playing on a handheld. Switch delivers a genuine contender in the search for a definitive release of this remake: you get a 30fps kart racer with every track included – just like PS4 and Xbox One – along with the option to play on the go. Of course, there are cutbacks in current-gen comparisons – most noticeable when playing docked – but this is an accomplished port nonetheless.

First, off cramming the entire game into a 6GB install is no small feat. Next to the 16GB used on PlayStation 4, it’s not the most extreme case of downsizing we’ve seen, but it’s worth touching on why there’s a difference at all. As always, movie files within the install are a prime area of compromise. To trim the install size down, the quality of pre-encoded videos are dropped on Switch, mainly affecting the campaign mode with more obvious compression artefacts. Generally speaking, the port gets away with it – if partly due to the fact that the mobile screen hides most of the compromise. It’s a different ballgame on the big screen of course, but these scenes are rare enough it doesn’t hamper the experience too greatly.

First impressions are great otherwise and feature-wise everything’s included from PS4 and Xbox One. Every track is accounted for, including the remakes of the PS2-era Crash tracks. The menus are slick and everything flows beautifully, plus you get a choice between the original and remastered soundtrack in the options, with similar quality to the other console builds. Certainly, the music doesn’t show heavy signs of low bitrate encoding, unlike recent Switch ports like Assassin’s Creed 3. The only weak point that sticks out is the sound effects quality on selecting an option, but elsewhere Switch delivers the goods.

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