Combine and Conquer!
The game's tagline
Crash Tag Team Racing is the third racing game to feature Crash Bandicoot, and was released on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and PSP in 2005.
The gameplay of this game is very different from Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart, featuring heavy, full-sized cars in place of go-karts, with racing that places a greater emphasis on combat. This game's main highlight is the ability to merge two cars. As a result, one of the players shoots other cars, while the other one drives. Battle arenas return, along with the new addition of stunt arenas, which are designed for pulling off rolls and flips in the air to rack up points. Also, it is possible to explore the MotorWorld in adventure mode, where the player unlocks the game's many tracks, arenas, and minigames. While exploring the MotorWorld, Crash travels on foot and can do jobs for all the characters listed below in order to earn rewards such as new cars and weapon upgrades. He can go to each section of the MotorWorld and collect Wumpa Coins to buy outfits or crystals from Park Drones. When Crash collects enough Power Crystals he can unlock the Jump Pad leading to a Gem and unlocking the next area of the park.
There are 11 major characters in the game, with 8 out of them playable. The major characters are:
- Crash Bandicoot - More immature than before, enjoys annoying and attacking other people and creatures, especially chickens. He is trying to find the Power Gems in order to prevent Cortex from making a new base in the park.
- Doctor Neo Cortex - Even shorter, he is trying to find the Power Gems in order to own the park and make a new base.
- Coco Bandicoot - She is depicted to be more preppy with some "daddy's little girl" tendencies.
- Nina Cortex - More gothic, she likes violence and sadness and also, like Crash, acts a bit immature at times. She remains silent in FMV cutscenes though is now far more talkative in character missions.
- Crunch Bandicoot - Now has a personality very similar to Mr. T, including the Mr. Crunch costume.
- Doctor N. Gin - Now he has gray skin and black hair. He also seems to be a masochist and very effeminate.
- Pasadena O'Possum - A country girl who is loyal to Von Clutch and falls head over heels for Crash.
- Ebenezer Von Clutch - An eccentric German-accented cyborg. He lost his Black Heart Power Gem (a gem that acts as a heart to him) and now proposes a challenge: whoever finds his gem, will be the new owner of his park.
- Willie Wumpa Cheeks - The kooky Von Clutch mascot. Enjoys rhymes and riddles which tend to irritate others. Without anyone knowing, he was the one who stole Von Clutch's gem and escaped to Astro Land.
- Chick Gizzard Lips - The chicken commentator who talks the most in his reports. He acts as serious as a human reporter.
- Stew - Chick's co-commentator. He also keeps changing his hair or hat. He acts a little crazy in the cutscenes, saying wrong things at the wrong times.
|Unlocked by default||Orange||Wumpa Gun|
Doctor Neo Cortex
|Unlocked by default||Yellow||Chargeable Energy Balls|
|Complete the mission "Miss Demeanor"
Unlocked alongside Harm Aid
|Purple||Spinning Tornado Lightning|
|Complete the mission "Stay In Milk"
Unlocked alongside The Guzzler
|Red||Hot Rivet Gun|
|Complete the mission "Fusion Freak"
Unlocked alongside Nostalginator
|Pink||Sticky Lightning Gun|
|Complete the mission "Gothmobile"
Unlocked alongside Organ Grinder1/Tweenage Wasteland2
Doctor N. Gin
|Complete the mission "Gigawatts Of Power"
Unlocked alongside Extreme Surplus
Ebenezer Von Clutch
|Complete the mission "Der Ubermobile"
Unlocked alongside Zwergauto
Each character in the game can don one special skin, togglable in the character select screen, which can be bought from park drones for wumpa coins. Crash is the exception, with eight skins instead.
- 1 - Exclusive to console versions, but can be ported over to PSP via the PS2 version
- 2 - Exclusive to the PSP version, but can be ported over to PS2
Ebenezer Von Clutch, a German-accented cyborg, has created a highly dangerous racing theme park. However, the park's Power Gems and Von Clutch's Black Heart Power Gem have been stolen. He sets up a special event for his park in which anybody who finds his Black Heart Power Gem acquires the new ownership of his park, but nobody is interested, except for Pasadena O' Possum. During the last day that Von Clutch can keep on functioning without his Black Heart Power Gem, Doctor Neo Cortex, N. Gin, and Nina are chasing Crash, Coco, and Crunch Bandicoot near a roadway that leads to Von Clutch's MotorWorld. They crash through the gates of the MotorWorld, and Von Clutch persuades them to enter. At first, Von Clutch's proposal did not catch the Bandicoots' attention, but when Cortex decides to help just so he could acquire a new base for planning schemes to crush the Bandicoots, Crash, Coco, and Crunch have no choice but to find the Black Power Gem before Cortex and his companions do. At first, they must find the Power Gems needed to power other sections of the MotorWorld and one by one. Having entered the park, Crash sees the first gem on a statue gaining him access to the Mystery Island. There, he's finds the second gem on a small pillar, with perfect timing he swaps it with a small bag then proceeding to Happily Ever Faster. The third gem is guarded by a park employee dressed as a princess trapped in a tower, Crash tugs on his wig and the employee falls tower unconscious allowing Crash to take the gem and go to Tyrannosaurus Wrecks. Seeing a cow drop in from nowhere and press itself against the ledges, Crash used it as a bridge to get the fourth gem and move on to Tomb Town. Crash sees the fifth gem in the nose of an Egyptian Von Clutch statue, then he presses a nearby button which shakes the statue releasing the gem, having picked it up Crash heads for Astro Land.
Back in the park, Cortex enters the scene with bandages on his head shouting in frustration, "Curses, some sinister force is upstaging my evil plan. Curses! Curses! CURSES!!" Coco finds a link between all the stolen Power Gems in which there was a trail of Wumpa Whip at the scene of every stolen Power Gem. Crash is drinking Wumpa Whip at the time, so everyone blames him regardless of the fact that he found the other gems in the first place. Willie Wumpa Cheeks gets out of frustration for their stupidity, then gives himself up and turns out that he is the perpetrator, but at first, nobody believed him (except Von Clutch who went into denial) until he revealed the Black Gem in his bag before running off towards Astro Land, indicating that Crash is innocent.
Crash soon finds him about to blast off with the Black Gem in a rocket (which is actually a Rocket Simulator attraction) and pulls a lever to stop it from supposedly taking off. Crunch picks Willie up by his nose and Pasadena demands that Willie return the Power Gem, but Willie refuses. Cortex then shoots Willie from a simple flying machine, turning him into a blob, and then targets the Bandicoots and fires the trigger, but Crunch pulls up a piece of metal from the ground to block the shots. Then, Crash throws a chicken into the motor of the machine, causing it to fly out of control and off the MotorWorld. The Bandicoots are given the park's ownership as the reward but Coco decides to return it to Von Clutch, only to learn from a devastated Pasadena that he had stopped functioning. Pasadena sadly puts her hands on Von Clutch's back, making two doors open in his chest while Crunch weeps. Meanwhile, Crash is drinking some Wumpa Whip from Willie's nose and accidentally gulps something. He coughs up the Black Gem, which somewhat lands conveniently inside Von Clutch. He comes back to life and starts singing, giving unlimited free passes to the MotorWorld to the Bandicoots from then on. Von Clutch pats Crash on the back numerous times. Crash then pats him on the back and the gem falls out of Von Clutch's body. He then rushes back to the car he had at the beginning, smiles and drives away by himself before anyone could take action against him, leaving Coco and Crunch standing there. Coco then slaps her head while Crunch shrugs at a shocked Pasadena.
- Jungle Rumble (Mystery Island)
- The Tragic Kingdom (PSP only; can be aquired on the PlayStation 2 via PSP/PS2 connection)
- Extinction Party (Tyrannosaurus Wrecks)
- Fight Like an Egyptian (PSP only; can be acquired on the PlayStation 2 via PSP/PS2 connection)
- Hardly Ever Land (Happily Ever Faster)
- Space Stunts (Astro Land)
Upon release, Crash Tag Team Racing received mixed to mostly average reviews.
TeamXbox's Matthew Fisher praised the clashing mechanics as an addition to the gameplay and the variety in the tracks and weapons. GameSpot's Alex Navarro echoed similar sentiments, stating that "the racing isn't exactly the star of the show, but Crash Tag Team Racing 's supplemental elements pull the whole thing together into a unique and most enjoyable experience." By contrast, Navarro criticized the PSP version's loading times, referring to them as "painful."
Greg Ford and Kathleen Sanders, two reviewers from Electronic Gaming Monthly, criticized the repetition of completing tracks and worlds to unlock new things and dismissed the game being for younger players. Ford, on the other hand, said that the gameplay's different elements were "inoffensively competent."
GameSpy's Hector Guzman praised the game's clashing mechanic, but criticized the platforming camera for its "horrific clumsiness." G4's Justin Speer felt that Crash Tag Team Racing was short and shallow despite the platforming and racing elements being decent. Nintendo World Report's Karl Castaneda criticized the racing, lack of weapon variety, vehicles, and the fetch-quests, labeling them as "bland." However, he found the game's Stunt mode to be entertaining. The overall difficulty was criticized for being too easy, and a lack of online multiplayer, especially in the PS2, Xbox, and PSP versions, was also criticized.
The game's graphics drew in positive remarks, noticing the cartoonish, colorful, and well-animated, but less than impressive landscapes. Fisher, who voiced this sentiment, said that "the overall look is only hampered by occasional bits of slowdown, and some lacking level design." IGN's Charles Onyett and Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson noted the game's high degree detail and extra moving parts, but Gibson noticed that some levels were dimly lit and Onyett criticized the graphics in the Die-O-Rama cutscenes compared to those in regular gameplay. Navarro praised the explosive car destruction as "one of the great joys in the game", but noticed that the Nintendo GameCube version had some frame-rate drops. Guzamn praised the cutscenes as "admirably animated", but described the overall visuals as "garish". Castaneda considered the presentation to be passable, elaborating that "The frame-rate is a tad buggy at times, but never during races, so it isn’t much of a bother. The character models fit the cast well enough, but it still doesn’t look that much better than the 32-bit version of the last game.
The game's overall audio received mostly negative remarks, but Gibson praised the sound effects and music as "great" and "excellent". The overall voice-acting received a more positive response. Navarro praised the comedic quality of the voice-acting despite the occasional obnoxiousness, and singled out the henchmen and the "woefully underutilized" chicken commentators Chick and Stew as "great fun". Castaneda was also impressed by the voice-acting, and claimed that the "clever writing and dynamite delivery will definitely make you laugh out loud a couple times". Guzman described the character banter as "rich, colorful, and amusing". Fisher felt that the voice work was merely decent, while Onyett found some of the character voices, particularly that of Pasadena O'Possum, to be annoying.
- The PSP version has noticeably graphical downgrades. Certain visual effects are missing and many bits of scenery in hub worlds have been omitted.
- The PSP version also forces you to stay clashed in co-op mode.
- The PSP version also has soundtrack downgrades. The music for the main park does not transition according to areas, only changing when you enter a new hub world. The losing position themes for race tracks will also always play in third laps, regardless of your position.
- One exclusive car for 5 characters (Crash, Cortex, Pasadena, Crunch, and Nina) and 2 extra battle arenas can be unlocked by connecting the PSP version to the PS2 version. The data for the PSP levels exists in the PS2 version by default and can be accessed via hacking.
- When the loading screen appears, you can press the action buttons ( or on PS2, and for PSP, A and B on GCN) to cause a burp or fart sound effect to play, respectively. The sound can also be made lower and higher by moving the right Analog Stick up and down on the PS2 and the control stick on the GCN.
- The PSP version also maintains all changes made in the PAL PS2 version.
- The NTSC version included hidden commentary by the cast by halting the credits sequence. Other regions keep the ability to stop the credits, but the commentary option is omitted.
- In the NTSC version, the FMV intro features dialogue on the news captions. This is edited out in the other regions.
- The NTSC-J version uses the Japanese Crash skin by default, whose animations are fully completed. Most other unlockable skins were also redesigned to match the Japanese look.
- The PAL PS2 version has a 25/30 second framerate, though other versions maintain 50/60 second framerate.
- The PAL version features a few bug fixes and extra animations that were missing in the NTSC version.
- This is the first game in the series to feature the Skins.
- The game was originally going to be developed by Traveler's Tales Oxford (developers of Crash Twinsanity), and was called "Crash Clash Racing". It had the same concept as the final game: fusing two cars together. According to one of the developers of the project, the game would have been set in Crash's head, with the rest of the team traveling inside his brain, with the all tracks based around Crash's dreams and memories. Interestingly, Evil Crash was intended to be a playable character in their version.
- The sound the coins make when picked up is recycled from The Simpsons: Hit and Run.
- The game was also going to be like The Simpsons: Hit and Run, another game by Radical Entertainment, with a bunch of free roam levels and more activities.
- The game was planned to have a Nintendo DS version. It was in development for 9 to 10 months before being cancelled, with only 1 or 2 months left until it was finished. Despite the smooth progress, the developers, Sensory Sweep, were told by the publisher that the game was going to be cancelled, as Mario Kart DS was scheduled to come out at the same time, and the publisher didn't think it would sell as well as they hoped with the direct competition. While this was the "official" reason given by the publisher, there were rumors around the Sensory Sweep office that the publisher had some problems with their management, thinking that Sensory Sweep wasn't exactly the best run studio, so this is what most likely caused the game's cancellation.
- Crash Tag Team Racing was chosen as the Best 2006 Video Game in the Nickelodeon magazine, and Crash was chosen as the Best Character, winning a total of 2 Golden Thumb Awards.
- This is the first game in the Crash Bandicoot Series to be rated higher than E in NTSC-U regions (E+10) and higher than +3 in PAL regions (+6 and +7, depending on the country). This was done due to the explicit violence that occurs in the game, particularly in the Die-O-Ramas.
- However, Cortex still refers to the game as being rated E in one of his voice clips, likely due to the recording being made before the game was actually rated.
- In each track of the game, the music changes after two-thirds of the race. Each track has a final lap for racing in 1st & 2nd place, racing from 3rd to 5th place and racing in 6th to 8th place.
- In Crash of the Titans, Tiny Tiger breaks the fourth wall by complaining that he wasn't invited to "the last game." While the developers meant Tag Team Racing by this, the last game before Titans was Boom Bang!, which Tiny featured in.
- In one cutscene, Von Clutch breaks the fourth wall by telling the Bandicoots, Cortex, N. Gin and Nina, "I have all your games!" They just look at each other, confused.
- From here on out until Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, Crash "talks" through gibberish noises, courtesy of Jess Harnell, who was also Lo-Lo in Wrath of Cortex and Spyro in games such as Spyro: A Hero's Tail.
- Remixes of Crash Twinsanity's theme can be heard at certain times in the game.
- Around the time the music in Happily Ever Faster or Deep Sea Driving end;
- During Tomb Town;
- "Critter Clobber" mini-game;
- Ending cutscene "I Hate Chicken";
- The Tragic Kingdom battle arena played on the PS2 plays music is also recycled from Twinsanity, "Rooftop Rampage".
- This would be the last Crash game to be released in Japan until the release of the N. Sane Trilogy.
- A Japanese model of Crash was made for their release. He still does the infamous Crash Dance, whenever standing still in adventure mode or in a race.
- This is the only game since Crunch joined the Bandicoots that neither him or Coco were captured or frozen successfully in any way, as in N-Tranced, Crash almost gets captured, but Aku Aku saves him.
- This game is the only Crash game made by Radical Entertainment which doesn't involve jacking Titans.
- Enabling the Japanese Crash cheat code will cause the original Crash to have minor glitches like: Crash's pupils float above his head and his shadow shows him in the "T" position sticking his arms out.(the "T" position is a pose that 3D character models stand in when they have not been given any movements to perform.)
- Like in Twinsanity, the music was made by the acappella band Spiralmouth, but this time with Radical's songwriter, Marc Baril.
- When Willie gives himself away, he's standing next to Nina, but when he tries convince everyone that he's the culprit, he's standing in front of them. In the same scene, Coco is nowhere to be found.
- Chick Gizzard Lips and Stew are parodies of Howard Cosell and George Foreman, respectively. They are sports commentators with the same kind of voices and speech patterns.
- Many of the game's vehicles were re-used in Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D and Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. In addition, Crash's Crikey greatly resembles the jeep from Wrath of Cortex.
- Aku Aku makes a cameo appearance in one section of Tiki Turbo. When you pass through this section, the sound that plays in the first few games when an Aku Aku Mask is collected can be heard. However, he was intended to have more than just a cameo in the game, as he would have had appeared in the pause menu and at the end of a race.
- In this game, the spelling of N. Gin's name has changed to N-Gin.
- One of the things that Coco may say if damaged during a race is, "Aw, derriberries!" This is a reference to Debi Derriberry, who has done Coco's voice ever since Wrath of Cortex.
- The clashing feature bears a strong resemblance to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, as in this game, two characters occupy the same vehicle.
- This was the first Crash game to have elements named after Wumpa Fruit, but not include them as a collectible directly. It was also the first racing game to have a shortcut on every track (except Rings of Uranus).
- There are a lot of references to The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which is another game developed by Radical Entertainment. The people walking around the park say many lines from that game, and one of the game's text hints is: "Have you played Hit & Run? Man, that was a great game." Coco Bandicoot also says the line: "Man, this video game sucks!" if she loses a race, which is also said by Homer Simpson in Hit & Run. The coin sound effects and the explosion animations come directly from that game, as Crash Tag Team Racing runs on an updated version of its engine.
- The ticking sounds for the Wumpa Whip timer were reused in Crash of the Titans for the Mojo Multiplier.
- Pasadena shows evidence of a possible romantic interest in Crash in some of her vehicle mission clips. However, whenever she mentions the possibility of kissing, Crash makes a "vomiting" gesture, although some parts of the game reveal Crash acting like a dog showing that Crash may actually have feelings toward her.
- The Nega Crash outfit is based on Evil Crash from Twinsanity.
- There were originally supposed to be more than eight playable characters.
- There are a handful of Star Trek references in the game such as Nina's quote: "Warp factor 10" and the Star Crash outfit that resembles a Star Trek uniform.
- A few more racing and free roam levels were going to be added, but then got cancelled.
- Tire & Ice's music has a remix of Korobeiniki, the theme of Tetris.
- The character's designs are mostly similar to the ones in Crash Twinsanity.
- Unused quotes for Cortex make mentions to Uka Uka, Tawna and Dingodile.
- A demo version was included in the OPM Issue #98 (November 2005) disc. It contains two race tracks and one mini-game. The demo's time limit is about 15 minutes.
- In Happily Ever Faster, if the player speaks with the gem guy, he will mention Mr. Men, referring to The Mr. Men series by Roger Hargreaves.
- It is possible to get into Happily Ever Faster early by stepping onto the drawbridge's collision box and ledge-grabbing the platform leading to the entrance.
- It is also possible to skip the launchpad in Happily Ever Faster by double-jumping off its base and grabbing the ledge.
- With these methods, it is possible to beat the game without entering any racetracks. However, the player will always be at least one Crystal short unless they unlock the PSP-exclusive arenas.
- In 2005, people had a chance of winning one of ten copies of Crash Tag Team Racing from an official contest sponsored by Universal Interactive. The contest was held through the now defunct website, Candy Stand. Contestants would have to achieve a high score through Crash Nitro Mini Golf.
- Beginning with this game, Crash's voice would no longer be re-dubbed for the Japanese versions of Crash games.
- In the cutscene where Willie Wumpa Cheeks confesses his crime of stealing the Power Gems from the park and Von Clutch's Black Heart Power Gem, He says "And I would've succeeded too if it weren't for you meddling Bandicoots." which is a reference to "And I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids", which is a famous line heard in the famous Hanna-Barbera & Warner Bros. Animation cartoons, Scooby-Doo, and The Flintstones.
- With the exception of Willie, all characters who debuted in this game wouldn't appear again until Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.