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Crash Nitro Kart, commonly abbreviated to CNK, is a game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Universal Interactive in regions outside of Japan, where it was published by Konami. It is the second racing game in the Crash Bandicoot series, following on the gameplay of Crash Team Racing. It was released on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox in 2003, along with a Game Boy Advance version in the same year. The Game Boy Advance version received an N-Gage port in 2004 and a separate mobile phone version was released in the same year.

Being a successor to Crash Team Racing, Crash Nitro Kart retains the concepts and mechanics first seen in the former game, such as the Power Sliding mechanic and the platform-oriented design of the racetracks, along with introducing some of its own, namely with the addition of anti-gravity, which lets players drive up certain maglev surfaces of any angle. Alluding to the name of its predecessor, the game also introduces team-based game modes which pit players together with a teammate against several other teams; the Adventure Mode seen in CTR also gets expanded to feature a more character-centric story depending on the team of characters the player has chosen. It is the first Crash Bandicoot game to feature full-motion video cinematics, instead of rendering animated cutscenes with the console's hardware.

Content from this game was remade and included in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.

Gameplay

Crash Nitro Kart is a kart racing game in which the player controls characters from the Crash Bandicoot series, all of whom drive karts of various specifications, around obstacle-based racetracks. Much like in most kart racers, the player can accelerate, brake, steer, and use items obtained from Power-up Crates in order to finish first out of the eight racers found in the game's racing modes. As in Crash Team Racing, the game is unique for featuring techniques that allow players to retain continuous speed boosts for an indefinite amount of time in the form of the Power Slide technique, in which players can fill a bar while steering that will give them up to three speed boosts, which can be chained with other forms of speed boost in the game. The game also features certain mechanics inspired by platformer games: most of the shortcuts in the game can only be accessed by hopping off of certain parts of a track, much like in a platformer, and the player can also get speed boosts from hopping off of high altitudes in what's known as a Hang Time Boost.

New to this game is anti-gravity, which opens up the general design of racetracks by allowing players to drive on surfaces previously rendered impossible to drive on in CTR. This addition is, for the most part, visual, as its only effect on gameplay is via the presence of seamless sections of track in the form of tubes players can steer indefinitely on or inside; furthermore, there aren't any shortcuts to be accessed in any of the anti-gravity sections players race on. The game also features the addition of two new types of crate that can be found on racetracks: Multiplier Crates contain three of a certain item and are found in hard-to-reach spots of a track, and Activation Crates alter certain elements of a track, such as the activation of ramps or traps.

Crash Nitro Kart features team-based modes, available for both racing and battle, in which players ally themselves with a teammate and compete against teams of two drivers; teammates are invulnerable to each others' items and can score wins for the entire team regardless of position. Team-based racing modes feature the Team Frenzy mechanic, wherein the player(s) can fill a bar present on their screen by driving close to their respective teammate; once full and activated, they will automatically obtain random items one after another for a temporary amount of time. Teammates that are computer-controlled will always correspond to the team the character the player chose belongs to.

Power Sliding sees an update in the form of a revised Power Slide meter, which sports a new vertical, curved appearance and is located close to the center of the screen, appearing only when a player initiates a Power Slide, or other types of time-sensitive boosts. Additionally, the game now features a counter for the consecutive amount of times a player has obtained a boost. This counter can be increased by chaining together boosts from Power Slides, known in-game as Slide Boosts, along with boosts obtained from driving on Boost Pads or jumping from a high altitude, and resets once the boost's duration runs out. Consecutive boosts are used as unlocking criteria for certain content in the game. Reserves also make a reappearance in Crash Nitro Kart, but they are of shorter duration.

Controls

PlayStation 2

Menu controls

  • Analog Stick - Select
  • Directional pad - Select
  • X button - Accept
  • Triangle button - Back

Race controls

  • Analog stick - Steer
  • Directional pad - Steer
  • X button - Gas
  • Square button - Brake/Reverse
  • O button - Use Power-up/Item
  • Triangle button - Toggle Map/Speedometer
  • R2 button - Team Frenzy
  • L2 button - Look Back/Rear View
  • L1 button/R1 button - Hop/Drift/Boost
  • Select button - Change View

GameCube

Menu controls

  • Analog Stick - Select
  • A button - Accept
  • B button - Back

Race controls

A
  • Analog Stick - Steer
  • A button - Gas
  • B button - Brake/Reverse
B
  • Analog Stick - Steer
  • A button - Gas
  • B button - Brake/Reverse

Xbox

Race controls

  • Left thumbstick - Steer
  • Directional pad - Steer
  • A button - Gas
  • X button - Brake/Reverse
  • B button - Use Power-up/Item
  • Y button - Toggle Map/Speedometer
  • White button - Team Frenzy
  • Black button - Look Back/Rear View
  • Left trigger/Right trigger - Hop/Drift/Boost
  • BACK button - Change View

Story

On Earth, Crash Bandicoot is asleep while Coco works on Crash's kart as Crunch complains to Aku Aku about a diet he's on, while their nemesis, Dr. Neo Cortex, paces across his laboratory floor wondering how he can defeat the Bandicoots and achieve world domination. Suddenly, both groups are abducted by a mysterious white light that takes them to a large coliseum somewhere in another galaxy. This galaxy is ruled by Emperor Velo XXVII, who plans on having the group race for the entertainment of his subjects, after hearing about their racing skills and overall prowess from Nitrous Oxide and N. Trance. He promises the Earthlings that winning the races will win their freedom, and threatens them with the destruction of Earth if they refuse to race. After both teams accept the challenge, Velo explains that the racers will compete on four worlds of his choosing, and promises a race against the galactic champion if the champions of those worlds are defeated.

When the champions of Terra, Barin, Fenomena and Teknee are defeated, the Earth racers go up against the galactic champion, who turns out to be Velo himself. Velo is defeated, but he refuses to send the racers back to Earth. When the Earth racers angrily demand a rematch, Velo readily accepts, on the condition that the Earth racers must first collect all his Time Relics. Velo loses once again to the Earth racers and literally explodes in a bout of fury, revealing himself to be a robot suit controlled by a small gremlin-like version of himself. The following events are determined by which of the two teams the player used to win the race.

If one of the Team Bandicoot characters win the race, Velo, having lost his influence over his subjects, dejectedly relinquishes his empire to the Bandicoots. Crash seriously considers becoming the next emperor of the galaxy (and having Velo's planet carved into the shape of his head), but decides otherwise and gives control back to Velo in exchange for sending the Bandicoots (with Polar, who was kidnapped by N. Trance[1]) back to Earth.

If one of the Team Cortex characters win the race win the race, Velo struggles with Cortex over the possession of his scepter, only to be stopped by Tiny. Cortex uses the scepter's power in an attempt to return to Earth, but the scepter breaks and sends Cortex, N. Gin and Tiny to Terra instead. When they are confronted by the natives, Tiny repairs the scepter and is subsequently revered as a king, much to Cortex's annoyance.

Adventure

The Adventure mode is a single-player game in which the player must race through all of the tracks and arenas in the game, collecting as many Trophies, Relics, Boss Keys, CNK Tokens and Gems as possible. The main objective of the Adventure mode is to win all the races in the five different worlds and win the freedom of the playable characters from the tyrannical Emperor Velo XXVII. The hub world of the game is Velo's Coliseum, otherwise known as Velo's Citadel, from which the player can access any of the five other worlds through special gates. Most of these gates are initially locked; the player must complete the races of one world to gain access to the next world. When inside a world, the player may access a race by driving the selected character onto a "Warp Pad". By winning a race, the player will receive a Trophy. When the player receives all three Trophies in a world, the player will be able to race against that world's champion, who acts as a boss character. If the player manages to defeat the world's champion, the champion will relinquish a World Key, which allows the player to engage in the special modes of that world and enables access to the next world. The player will receive tips on playing the game from Aku Aku or Uka Uka, depending on the team they chose, as they progress through the Adventure mode. The player can check their progress and review their hints through a technological assistant named "Sparky", which carries the functions of a regular pause menu.

New to Crash Nitro Kart's Adventure mode is a more character-focused story incorporating the game's team-based racing mechanics: unlike in Crash Team Racing, where the player could choose one out of eight characters to play as, the player is limited to selecting one of two teams, each with three characters that the player can swap between at any time; selecting a team will affect the cutscenes that play throughout the mode, and feature a different ending once the mode is completed. Teammates in the Adventure mode will correspond to the team the player selected, and can also win trophy races for the player provided they finish in first place.

When the player collects all the Trophies and World Keys, the player will be able to race against Emperor Velo on his personal racing track. If the player manages to defeat Velo in this race, the game is won. If the player collects all of the Relics, CNK Tokens, and Gems, the player will be able to race Velo once more, the game being completed 100% upon winning a third time.

Special modes

The special modes consist of the Relic Race, the CNK Challenge, the Crystal Arena and the Gem Cups, all of which return from Crash Team Racing's Adventure mode. These allow the player to collect Relics, CNK Tokens, and Gems, which are used to unlock content in the Adventure mode as well as in other modes outside of it.

Relic Race

Relic Races are a variant of the game's Race Time Trial mode, where the player attempts to complete three laps on a track in the fastest time possible, with the inclusion of Time Crates spread throughout each track. When the player drives the character through a Time Crate, the clock will be frozen for the number of seconds indicated on the Crate. If all of the Time Crates on a track are destroyed, the player's final time will be reduced by ten seconds. The player wins a Relic by beating the time indicated on the screen.

CNK Challenge

CNK Challenges are played like normal races, except that the player must also collect the letters C, N and K scattered throughout the track. If the player manages to collect all three letters and come in first place, a CNK Token is awarded. These tokens come in four different colors. If the player collects four tokens of the same color, the player will be able to access the Gem Cup of the corresponding color.

Crystal Arena

Crystal Arena challenges require the player to collect all the crystals scattered throughout a battle arena under a time limit, and award the player a CNK Token. Nitro Crates will be spread throughout the arenas in this mode, which the player can destroy using weapons from Power-up Crates. All CNK Tokens awarded this way are the same colour, meaning that the player can ignore these until they have completed the Gem Cups of the other colors before attempting any of these.

Gem Cups

Gem Cups function identically to Cup Tournaments, in that they are racing tournaments held against computer-controlled opponents through three consecutive tracks in a set order. Gem Cups are accessible through a special gate at Velo's Coliseum which leads to Velo's Vault. If one of these cups is won, a Gem is awarded. Gems are also used as unlocking criteria for certain content outside of the Adventure mode.

Events

Hub area Race
Terra Inferno Island
Jungle Boogie
Tiny Temple (2 trophies required)
Temple Turmoil (Crystal Arena) (1 key required)
Terra Championship (3 trophies required)
Barin Meteor Gorge (3 trophies, 1 key required)
Barin Ruins (3 trophies, 1 key required)
Deep Sea Driving (5 trophies required)
Frozen Frenzy (Crystal Arena) (2 keys required)
Barin Championship (6 trophies required)
Fenomena Out of Time (6 trophies, 2 keys required)
Clockwork Wumpa (7 trophies required)
Thunder Struck (8 trophies required)
Desert Storm (Crystal Arena) (3 keys required)
Fenomena Championship (9 trophies required)
Teknee Assembly Lane (9 trophies, 3 keys required)
Android Alley (10 trophies required)
Electron Avenue (11 trophies required)
Magnetic Mayhem (Crystal Arena) (requires all 4 keys)
Teknee Championship (12 trophies required)
Velo's Citadel Galaxy Championship (requires all 4 keys)
Velo's Vault Red Gem Cup
Purple Gem Cup
Green Gem Cup
Blue Gem Cup
Hyper Spaceway (requires all 4 gems)

Game modes

Outside of the Adventure mode, Crash Nitro Kart features several modes of racing and battle gameplay, a great wealth of which return from Crash Team Racing functioning almost exactly as they did in the latter game. Some modes are free-for-all, while others can be played as a team.

Race modes

In race modes, players drive around obstacle-based racetracks using weapons in order to finish first out of eight racers. There are six racing modes in Crash Nitro Kart. Some modes can be played by one to four players, while others can only be played by one player.

Quick Race

In Quick Race, the player competes against computer-controlled drivers in any track of their choosing. The player can also select the difficulty of the computer opponents and the number of laps in the track. This mode can only be played by one player.

Team Race

Team Race functions identically to Quick Race, except the player allies with a computer teammate against other teams. This mode can only be played by one player.

Single Race

Single Race is the multiplayer equivalent of both Quick Race and Team Race, where players can adjust enabled weapons, toggle computer racers, and set teams. This mode can be played by two to four players.

Cup Tournament

In Cup Tournament, racers compete through tournaments of three consecutive tracks in a set order. After finishing a race, the top four racers receive points based on their ranking: first place earns the racer nine points, second earns six, third earns three, and fourth earns one, while fifth and below get zero points. The racer with the most points wins the cup. Players can select the difficulty of the computer racers. Teams are not available in this mode. This mode can be played by one to four players.

Unlike Crash Team Racing, cups in this game only feature 3 tracks; additionally, the tracks featured in the Wumpa Cup, Uka Cup, Aku Cup, and Nitro Cup are exactly the same as in the Red Gem Cup, Green Gem Cup, Purple Gem Cup, and Blue Gem Cup, respectively.

Wumpa Cup Uka Cup Aku Cup Nitro Cup
Inferno Island Jungle Boogie Tiny Temple Barin Ruins
Meteor Gorge Deep Sea Driving Thunder Struck Clockwork Wumpa
Assembly Lane Out of Time Android Alley Electron Avenue

Race Time Trial

In Race Time Trial, the player attempts to complete three laps in the fastest time possible on any of the tracks in the game. In this mode, opposing drivers and Power-up Crates won't appear. After finishing a track, the player can save a "ghost" of their attempt, which they can race against. Setting certain times will allow the player to go against the best times of N. Tropy, represented by a ghost version of himself; beating all of his times will unlock him for use as a playable character and unlock Velo's best times, which there is no reward from beating. This mode can only be played by one player.

Lap Time Trial

Lap Time Trial has a similar concept to Race Time Trial, altered to be more specific to lap times. The player attempts to set their best time for a single lap of any track; after setting a new record on a lap, a ghost of the player's newest record appears for the player to race, which will be replaced with a newer ghost as the player beats it. As laps are infinite in this mode, it can be played indefinitely; the player is able to quit anytime by exiting the game from the pause menu. This mode can only be played by one player.

Battle modes

In battle modes, instead of racing on tracks, players speed around battle arenas collecting weapons and attacking opponents. There are five battle modes in Crash Nitro Kart. Each mode can be played by two to four players.

Limit Battle

In Limit Battle, the objective is to attack opponents with weapons and traps while avoiding attacks unleashed by the opponents. Offensive and defensive weapons can be collected by smashing through Weapons Crates. A point and time limit can be set by the player preceding gameplay. Whoever earns enough points or has enough points when time runs out is the winner. This mode can be played free-for-all or with teams.

Last Kart Driving

In Last Kart Driving, players take turns attacking each other until they run out of lives, after which they are eliminated from the match, much like the title suggests. A player loses a life every time they are hit by a weapon or hazard or fall into a pit. This mode can be played free-for-all or with teams.

Crystal Grab

This is a multiplayer version of the Crystal Arena mode seen in the Adventure modes of this game and its predecessor. Players must fight to collect all the Crystals in the arena. When a player is hit by a weapon or hazard, they will drop any Crystals they've gathered, allowing opponents to steal them. This mode can be played free-for-all or with teams.

Capture the Flag

In Capture the Flag, Two teams attempt to capture each others' flag and bring it back to their respective flags. Players must race to their opponents' side of the map and drive over their flag to grab it. They must then drive over their own flag's base to score a point from the flag they have captured. A flag that has been stolen can be dropped if the thief is hit with any weapon. Stolen flags that have been dropped can be returned back to their respective bases. Due to the weight of the flags, any kart carrying one will be slowed down. The game ends when time runs out or when one of the teams has gotten enough points. This mode can only be played in teams.

Steal the Bacon

Steal the Bacon plays identically to Capture the Flag, with a few exceptions: instead of each team having a flag, the game mode is played with one flag that is situated in the middle of the arena. Both teams must attempt to take the flag and bring it to their base. This mode can only be played in teams.

Courses

Crash Nitro Kart features a total of 13 racetracks and 5 battle arenas, of which 1 racetrack and 1 battle arena must be unlocked (denoted with an *). All the racetracks in the game feature in-race minimaps, except for Hyper Spaceway which does not display any whatsoever.

Terra Barin Fenomena Teknee
CNK Inferno Island Thumbnail.png
Inferno Island
CNK Meteor Gorge Thumbnail.png
Meteor Gorge
CNK Out of Time Thumbnail.png
Out of Time
CNK Assembly Lane Thumbnail.png
Assembly Lane
CNK Jungle Boogie Thumbnail.png
Jungle Boogie
CNK Barin Ruins Thumbnail.png
Barin Ruins
CNK Clockwork Wumpa Thumbnail.png
Clockwork Wumpa
CNK Android Alley Thumbnail.png
Android Alley
CNK Tiny Temple Thumbnail.png
Tiny Temple
CNK Deep Sea Driving Thumbnail.png
Deep Sea Driving
CNK Thunder Struck Thumbnail.png
Thunder Struck
CNK Electron Avenue Thumbnail.png
Electron Avenue
CNK Hyper Spaceway Thumbnail.png
Hyper Spaceway*

Battle Arenas

CNK Temple Turmoil Thumbnail.png
Temple Turmoil
CNK Frozen Frenzy Thumbnail.png
Frozen Frenzy
CNK Desert Storm Thumbnail.png
Desert Storm
CNK Magnetic Mayhem Thumbnail.png
Magnetic Mayhem
CNK Terra Drome Thumbnail.png
Terra Drome*

Unlock criteria

Course Criteria
Hyper Spaceway Win the Teknee Championship in Adventure.
Terra Drome Collect all the purple CNK tokens in Adventure.

In the GameCube version, these courses can be unlocked immediately by connecting to the Game Boy Advance version.

Course times

Ghosts

Listed below are the times represented by N. Tropy and Velo, as well as the times needed to unlock the former:

Track Time required to unlock N. Tropy's ghost N. Tropy's ghost Velo's ghost
Inferno Island 2:01:00 1:51:59 1:38:44
Jungle Boogie 2:08:00 1:56:91 1:35:00
Tiny Temple 2:49:00 2:39:67 2:24:62
Meteor Gorge 2:20:00 2:10:17 1:59:94
Barin Ruins 2:46:00 2:35:55 2:08:71
Deep Sea Driving 3:09:00 2:59:31 2:39:46
Out of Time 3:14:00 3:04:22 2:35:19
Clockwork Wumpa 3:09:00 2:59:11 2:37:15
Thunder Struck 3:48:00 3:34:49 3:21:05
Assembly Lane 3:08:00 2:58:34 2:32:76
Android Alley 3:42:00 3:32:47 3:05:71
Electron Avenue 4:28:00 4:14:22 3:55:52
Hyper Spaceway 5:06:00 4:58:93 4:29:41

Relic times

Listed below are the times needed to obtain each Sapphire, Gold, or Platinum Relic:

Track Sapphire Gold Platinum
Inferno Island 1:35:00 1:15:00 0:55:00
Jungle Boogie 1:40:00 1:18:00 0:55:00
Tiny Temple 2:05:00 2:00:00 1:40:00
Meteor Gorge 2:00:00 1:53:00 1:25:00
Barin Ruins 2:10:00 1:58:00 1:45:00
Deep Sea Driving 2:20:00 2:05:00 1:50:00
Out of Time 2:35:00 2:15:00 1:55:00
Clockwork Wumpa 2:30:00 2:15:00 2:20:00
Thunder Struck 3:00:00 2:38:00 2:15:00
Assembly Lane 2:35:00 2:10:00 1:45:00
Android Alley 2:35:00 2:23:00 2:10:00
Electron Avenue 3:15:00 3:03:00 2:50:00
Hyper Spaceway 4:00:00 3:45:00 3:30:00

Characters

Crash Nitro Kart features a total of 16 playable characters: 8 available by starting the game and 8 that can be unlocked through the game's various modes. The 16 characters are split in teams of 4: Team Bandicoot, headed by the titular protagonist Crash Bandicoot, Team Cortex, headed by the evil scientist Dr. Neo Cortex, Team Oxide, headed by the villain of Crash Team Racing, Nitrous Oxide, who makes his debut as a playable character in the game, and Team Trance, headed by master of hypnotism N. Trance who makes his debut as a playable character in the series of Crash Bandicoot racing games. Each team features a unique kart which all members of the team drive, and each team is protected by a certain mask: Team Bandicoot and Team Cortex are protected by Aku Aku and Uka Uka respectively, while Team Oxide and Team Trance are protected by the newly-introduced Velo Mask.

The game features the return of Crash Team Racing's starting roster of 8 characters, with Dingodile, Polar, and Pura being moved to unlockables, as well as Dr. N. Tropy and Fake Crash, who remain unlockable characters. For the game's new additions to the roster, it introduces 2 characters that have appeared in Crash Bandicoot games following Crash Team Racing to the series of Crash racing games: Crunch Bandicoot from Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, who forms part of Team Bandicoot, and N. Trance from Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, who heads his own team with characters that he hypnotized; as previously stated, Nitrous Oxide also makes a playable appearance after remaining a boss character in Crash Team Racing, heading his own team with characters that are new to the Crash Bandicoot series overall.

The Adventure mode also features boss characters with attributes identical to that of playable characters, in the form of Velo's champions and a version of himself. These characters are, however, not available for use.

Character Stats Status Unlock Condition Team Mask
Crash-0.png
Crash Bandicoot
Speed: 4/7
Accel: 5/7
Turn: 3/7
Returning Unlocked by default Bandicoot Aku Aku
Coco-0.png
Coco Bandicoot
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 6/7
Returning Unlocked by default Bandicoot Aku Aku
Crunch.png
Crunch Bandicoot
Speed: 6/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 2/7
Racing debut Unlocked by default Bandicoot Aku Aku
Cortex-0.png
Dr. Neo Cortex
Speed: 4/7
Accel: 5/7
Turn: 3/7
Returning Unlocked by default Cortex Uka Uka
N.Gin.png
N. Gin
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 6/7
Returning Unlocked by default Cortex Uka Uka
Tiny-0.png
Tiny Tiger
Speed: 6/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 2/7
Returning Unlocked by default Cortex Uka Uka
Oxide-0.png
Nitrous Oxide
Speed: 4/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 4/7
Playable debut Unlocked by default Oxide Velo Mask
Trance.png
N. Trance
Speed: 4/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 4/7
Racing debut Unlocked by default Trance Velo Mask
Polar-0.png
Polar
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 7/7
Returning Win the Blue Gem Cup in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Trance Velo Mask
Dingo-0.png
Dingodile
Speed: 7/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 2/7
Returning Win the Red Gem Cup in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Trance Velo Mask
Zem-0.png
Zem
Speed: 7/7
Accel: 2/7
Turn: 4/7
Series debut Win the Green Gem Cup in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Oxide Velo Mask
Zam-0.png
Zam
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 7/7
Series debut Win the Purple Gem Cup in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Oxide Velo Mask
Pura-1.png
Pura
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 4/7
Turn: 7/7
Returning Perform 50 consecutive boosts as Team Bandicoot in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Trance Velo Mask
Fake Crash-0.png
Fake Crash
Speed: 2/7
Accel: 2/7
Turn: 2/7
Returning Perform 50 consecutive boosts as Team Cortex in Adventure or connect to the Game Boy Advance version (GameCube only) Bandicoot Aku Aku
N.Tropy.png
N. Tropy
Speed: 6/7
Accel: 6/7
Turn: 4/7
Returning Beat all of N. Tropy's times in Time Trial Cortex Uka Uka
Real Velo.png
Velo
Speed: 7/7
Accel: 7/7
Turn: 4/7
Series debut Complete Adventure 100% with both Team Bandicoot and Team Cortex Oxide Velo Mask
Krunk.png
Krunk
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask
Nash.png
Nash
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask
Norm.png
Norm
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask
Big Norm.png
Big Norm
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask
Geary.png
Geary
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask
Velo.png
Emperor Velo
N/A Series debut Not playable Velo Velo Mask

Weapons

Like in Crash Team Racing, players can receive Weapons by driving through a Power-up Crate, which can be Juiced Up by collecting ten Wumpa Fruits. However, the weapon roster has been altered a bit, with some weapons being replaced by new ones. Additionally, Crash Nitro Kart introduces Multiplier Crates, which will exclusively give the player three of a certain weapon, and are placed in hard-to-reach locations.

Weapon Description
Blue Ice Mine.pngPurple Ice Mine.png
Ice Mine
A blue mine that can be dropped onto the track similarly to N. Brio's Beaker from CTR. It will freeze anyone upon impact, causing the victim to spin out.
When Juiced Up, the mine becomes purple. Anyone hit by the purple Ice Mine will take longer to thaw out and have reduced traction
Can be found in threes in a Multiplier Crate.
CNK TNT Crate.pngCNK Nitro Crate.png
TNT Crate
Dropped onto the track behind the user. When someone hits it, it lands on their head and starts counting down. The victim can try to shake it off by jumping repeatedly, but if they fail to do so before the end of the countdown, it will explode, knocking over anyone in the blast radius.
When Juiced Up, it becomes a Nitro Crate, which explodes immediately upon physical contact.
Can be found in threes in a Multiplier Crate.
Crash Nitro Kart Bowling Bomb.png
Bowling Bomb
Thrown in a straight line either in front of or behind the user, and detonates either when it hits something, or when the player presses the "Fire" button again. Anyone caught in the blast radius will tumble and crash.
Blast radius is bigger when Juiced Up.
Can be found in threes in a Multiplier Crate.
Crash Nitro Kart Missile.png
Homing Missile
Targets the nearest opponent in front of the racer that used the item, knocking them over if it hits. If a racer is targeted, a crosshair appears on their kart.
Faster and more accurate when Juiced Up.
Can be found in threes in a Multiplier Crate.
Purple Static Orb.pngPink Static Orb.png
Static Orb
A magenta, spiky sphere that emits purple electricity, which can be dropped behind the user on the track. Anyone running into it will not only spin out, but they will also be slowed down temporarily and get their weapon changed, not unlike CTR's Red Beakers.
When Juiced Up, the Static Orb will emit red electricity, causing anyone running into it to additionally get their controls reversed for a short time.
Crash Nitro Kart Turbo Boost.png
Turbo Boost
Gives the player a quick speed boost to zip past or squash opponents.
Gives an even bigger and longer speed boost when Juiced Up.
Can be found in threes in a Multiplier Crate.
Crash Nitro Kart Green Power Shield.pngCrash Nitro Kart Blue Power Shield.png
Power Shield
A green, temporary shield that prevents damage from a single weapon or obstacle (other than N. Tropy Clocks). Drivers under the shield can also touch another driver to knock them over, but can't be fired (contrary to CTR).
Becomes blue when juiced up. The blue version is not restricted by time.
AKU AKU ITEM CNK.pngCrash Nitro Kart Uka Uka Icon.png Crash Nitro Kart Velo Mask Icon.png
Invincibility Mask
Provides temporary invulnerability and increased speed. Anyone the driver touches will be knocked over. Unlike Crash Team Racing, the mask does not protect against the N. Tropy Clock.
Players will get a different mask depending on which team their racer belongs to. Team Bandicoot gets Aku Aku, Team Cortex gets Uka Uka, and Team Trance and Team Oxide get the Velo Mask.
Lasts longer when Juiced Up.
Crash Nitro Kart N. Tropy's Clock.png
N. Tropy Clock
Makes every kart except the user spin out and be slowed down for a few seconds, during which time they cannot collect or use weapons. Will also affect those who are using a Power Shield or Invincibility Mask.
Lasts longer when Juiced Up.
Exclusive to races.
Tornado Top.png
Tornado Top
Much like the Warp Orb in Crash Team Racing, it chases down the driver in first place, making them, along with anyone else who gets in its way, tumble and crash.
When Juiced Up, it will target every driver ahead of the user one by one.
Exclusive to races.
Crash Nitro Kart Super Engine.png
Super Engine
Temporarily provides a constant turbo boost for as long as the driver is accelerating.
Faster and longer-lasting when Juiced Up.
Exclusive to battles.
Crash Nitro Kart Invisibility.png
Invisibility
Makes the user invisible to both their opponents' eyes and their Homing Missiles.
Lasts longer when Juiced Up.
Exclusive to battles.
Red Eye Missile.png
Red Eye Missile
Transforms the user into a giant missile that they can steer towards other opponents. Explodes on impact, knocking over anyone in the blast radius.
Has better handling when Juiced Up.
Exclusive to battles.

Extras

Arena Editor

The Arena Editor is an extra mode that allows you to edit the object placements of the game's Battle Arenas, for use in multiplayer Battle matches.

Selecting the editor allows the player to choose any of the game's Battle Arenas, after which they will be placed in the Arena they selected with Crash Bandicoot as their driver. The player can perform every driving technique in the editor, while the Arena won't play its background music.

The editor allows the player to place several kinds of crates in all of the locations they can reach with their driver, as well as crystals and flags for the game's Crystal Grab, Capture the Flag, and Steal the Bacon modes. In order to save their custom object placements, a certain quota of objects needs to be reached. A total amount of 50 objects can be placed in the editor.

Object Availability Amount required Limited to one?
Wumpa Crate All modes Not required No
Power-Up Crate All modes x3 No
Multiplier Crate All modes x1 No
TNT Crate All modes Not required No
NITRO Crate All modes Not required No
Crystal Crystal Grab only x1 No
Red Team Flag Capture the Flag only x1 Yes
Blue Team Flag Capture the Flag only x1 Yes
White Flag Steal the Bacon only x1 Yes

Battle Arenas with custom objects placements are known as Custom Arenas, and can be accessed separately from regular Battle Arenas in the game's multiplayer Battle mode. Only one Custom Arena can be saved to a Battle Arena. Trying to load a Custom Arena with no prior Custom Arena data will send the players to the regular version of the Battle Arena.

Controls

  • [Toggle Map/Speedometer] - Change object/Enable destroy mode
  • [Use Power-up] button - Place object

Cutscenes

All of the game's full-motion video cinematics can be viewed numerous times through this option. Cutscenes are split into two categories, Team Bandicoot and Team Cortex, each for the cutscenes involving the respective team in the game's Adventure mode. A cutscene is only available once the player has viewed it for the first time.

Nintendo GameCube – Game Boy Advance cross-connectivity

The Nintendo GameCube version of Crash Nitro Kart allows owners of the Game Boy Advance version of the game to use the Nintendo GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable in order to unlock content for both versions of the game. Players can do this through the GBA Link option in the Extras menu.

Connecting to the Game Boy Advance version will unlock Hyper Spaceway, Terra Drome, and all playable characters excluding N. Tropy and Velo for the GameCube version with no prior game requirements needed in either version.

Crash Party

Main article: Crash Party USA

The GameCube version of Crash Nitro Kart can also be connected to a Game Boy Advance in order to play Crash Party, a simple rhythm-based game, without the need of a copy of Crash Nitro Kart for the Game Boy Advance. Players can do this through the Crash Party option in the Extras menu.

Reception

Overall, Crash Nitro Kart has received mixed reviews, being dismissed as a generic kart racer while commented positively on its Power Slide system.

Manny LaMancha of GamePro concluded that the gameplay of Crash Nitro Kart was addictive though not innovative. Playstation: The Official Magazine said that Crash Nitro Kart was "satisfying and challenging at the same time" and "a great way to fill that need for speed." Nintendo Power praised the karts as "fast" and the power-ups as "creative". Official Playstation Magazine concluded that "Vicarious Visions did all it could to emulate the Naughty Dog classic (Crash Team Racing) and just added a PS2 coat of paint." Play magazine said that the game was "a little generic and heavily recycled, but the powerslide system from CTR pulls it together." Matt Helgeson of Game Informer dismissed the game as "probably one of the least exciting racing titles I've played recently." Demian Linn of Electronic Gaming Monthly noted that the gameplay was "nearly identical to Crash Team Racing's, even down to the speed-boosting wumpa fruits, so if you loved it before, you'll still love it, and if not... not."

The game's controls were well received. Manny LaMancha of GamePro concluded that the controls were easy to pick up, but hard to master. Official Xbox Magazine praised the game's "solid control" and "innovative boost system". Michael Laffery of GameZone said that the interface was "simple to use" and that the game requires no learning curve. Tony Guidi of TeamXbox noted that the "simplistic" controls allowed the game to be played by anyone and that due to the different boosting and sliding techniques, "mastering the control will separate the great racers from the newbs." Ryan Davis of GameSpot stated that while the powerslide system "can give you a serious advantage in the race ... [it] is also very difficult to pull off, requiring flawless timing." Steven Rodriquez of Nintendo World Report said that the karts "control pretty nicely, but can be hard to handle consistently at top speed," and added that power sliding was "easy to do".

The graphics of the game were positively received. Manny LaMancha of GamePro said that the visuals were brightly colored and smoothly animated and noted that the Xbox version's graphics were slightly cleaner than the PlayStation 2 version. Michael Lafferty of GameZone praised the environments as "lush and richly textured" and the cutscenes as "very well done". Tony Guidi of TeamXbox commended the graphics as "clean and crisp" and added that the cutscenes were "beautifully polished". Ryan Davis of GameSpot noted that "Crash Nitro Kart maintains the brightly colored, cartoony look that has been the hallmark of past Crash Bandicoot games, though with slightly upgraded graphics. Ed Lewis of IGN said that the graphics for the single-player modes were "bright and cheery and smooth", but decreased in quality in the multiplayer modes. Kristan Reed of EuroGamer concluded that "CNK stays in exactly the cutesy ballpark you'd expect from the Day-Glo series, neither straying in any way from the generic cartoon worlds of old nor providing any graphical trickery that surprises hardened gamers looking for a splash of eye candy with their cartoon frippery." Steven Rodriquez of Nintendo World Report noted that "if you've played any of the other Crash Bandicoot games out there, then you have a pretty good idea what this one looks like." Russ Fischer of GameSpy said that the game "some nice graphics, which use a solid framerate and loads of color to capture the old Crash magic."

The audio received mixed reception. Manny LaMancha of GamePro said that the in-game voice acting (provided by such stars as Debi Derryberry and Billy West) was "clear and entertaining". Tony Guidi of TeamXbox also noted that the character voices were "done well" and that the music "isn't annoying". However, Michael Lafferty of GameZone stated that the music can become "a little tiring" and "annoying" after a while. Ryan Davis of GameSpot concluded that the sound was "respectable", but added that the "attitude" of the character sounds bites seemed "forced". Ed Lewis of IGN said that the "saving grace" of the "Looney Toons-style repartee and sound effects" is that "it was done professionally and while it's pretty silly if you listen to it, it doesn't grate and get under the skin as other games can." He added that the music was "bouncy and peppy and, once again, cartoony". Steven Rodriguez of Nintendo World Report described the music and sound effects as "generic" and "plain" respectively, and noted that the best part of the game's audio was "that sexy talking mask that gives you advice between races, but even he gets rather annoying."

Script

See: Crash Nitro Kart script

Gallery

See: Crash Nitro Kart/Gallery

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クラッシュ・バンディクー 爆走!ニトロカート
Kurasshu Bandikū Bakusō! Nitorokāto
Crash Bandicoot Explosion! Nitro Kart

Trivia

  • This is the final game in which Clancy Brown voices Dr. Neo Cortex and Uka Uka, having voiced the former since Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Brown would be replaced by Lex Lang as the voice of Cortex from Crash Twinsanity onwards.
  • This title marks the last time Coco's laptop is seen until Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and the only time it's a color other than pink (the character select screen in Adventure mode and the Team Bandicoot cutscene following Nash's defeat portray it as the same sky blue as her jeans).
  • This is the final game to give Crash a different voice between the Western and Japanese versions.

References

  1. Crash Nitro Kart Xbox manual, pg 21
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