Review – Crash Team Rumble

Come On and Crash, and Welcome to the Bash

Overview

Developer Toys for Bob
Publisher Activision
Genre Adventure Brawler
Platforms PS4, 5 (reviewed), XBOX 1, S|X
Release Date June 20, 2023

Toys for Bob has taken the well-known Bandicoot into a new experience. Crash Team Rumble is a point-scoring, brawling, online multiplayer game that started with skepticism and was met with surprising enjoyment after release. Let’s review why that is.

Content Guide

Spiritual Content
Easter Island religion and culture affect some characters, like Papu Papu and the masks Uka Uka and Aku Aku. As well as other masks, they grant magical speed, invulnerability, and other superpowers.

Violence
Cartoonish violence, like smacking everyone around with spinning, gun lasers, and explosive crates. There’s no blood or gore. When players die, they turn into angels.

Language/Crude Humor
The only crude humor would be players scratching an itch on their butt. No language.

Sexual Content
There’s none.

Other Negative Themes
90’s character hijinks.

Positive Content
According to Lore, the Wumpa collecting harvest became a game that was made so popular that good and bad guys stopped what they were doing to play. It brings everyone together for the sake of competition and fun.

Review

Storyline
There is no storyline other than the “lore” discussed in the positive content section. A storyline may be added later. Toys for Bob has discussed the possibility, but they are more focused on making the multiplayer aspect balanced and fun.

Characters
You can expect the titular characters: Crash, Coco, Cortex, and Tawna. There are some deep cuts, like N. Brio, N. Gin, and what many are hyped for, Ripper Roo. Some speculation exists that Spyro and some characters from that game will appear. Only time will tell. There is also a new character named Catbat. This exciting new entry introduces new possibilities for the future.

Gameplay Mechanics
As the timer for the round starts, players can choose between three different types of players: Scorer, Booster, or Blocker. Scorers have a deeper pocket for holding Wumpa and are versatile in their move sets. Boosters are mainly for grabbing gem platforms that add a multiplier to your team score and for grabbing relics to stations that give arena goodies. They can find more relics than the other roles. Blockers are the powerhouse of the team. They can’t hold as much Wumpa, but their attacks are strong.

After choosing a player, they can choose their power-up. Examples of the power-ups available are a healing fridge, a gasmoxian alien that electrocutes the ground around him, and an acid-spitting Venus flytrap. Players must play their role to charge up their power-up.

Once that is done, players will wait until the timer is done and can customize the look of their character with the time they have left. The game predetermines the stage.

The goodies obtained from relics range from a ball that knocks enemies back and negates damage to specially placed pylons with rockets or other artillery to keep back competition. There are bigger relic stations that help teams, such as Oxide flying in the air firing a laser or Uka Uka granting shields to all teammates.

The first to 2,000 Wumpa is the winner. Crates and piles of Wumpa are scattered around the arena and respawn after a minute. Wumpa can also be collected from other players by knocking them out or having a character that can steal them. Players can go around the map, except for the opponent’s starting point. Blockers can camp out on the enemy point platform, boosters can access any station, and scorers can grab any Wumpa they see. But the same is also true of the opponents. Each player has a health bar, a Wumpa counter, a multiplier counter if activated, and a power meter underneath their character. The HUD can show all other info like the points on each team, which power-up players have, and when the big relic station unlocks. There is also an announcer for these things as well.

Game Modes
There is competitive Matchmaking, Private Sessions, and playing with bots to date. Like the story, Toys for Bob has expressed interest in and intent to create more game modes. In fact, on the season 1 roadmap, there is a symbol of lightning in the “new” game mode, but we haven’t heard much about it yet.

The game has a first for the Crash franchise: a Battle Pass. This has points for your characters to level up and cosmetics. There are no characters that can be potentially missed, and there are no power-ups to miss out on. All of that goodness is in-game. The game starts with three characters; the other six must be unlocked through specific criteria. In the future, the other characters will be released this way. The battle pass only serves to gain cosmetic rewards, songs, and trinkets.

Audio Visuals / Soundtrack
The wacky sounds, announcer phrases, and repeat Wumpa collecting noises are fine-tuned. The soundtrack has recycled music from Crash 4: It’s About Time and Crash the N. Sane Trilogy. Even with the recycled music, it’s slim pickings, but when the action is going, there’s a slight background jam that pleasantly keeps playing without disturbing a player’s concentration.

Conclusion
As a long-time fan, I was immediately invested and was ready to like it regardless of problems. Admittedly, the game is not entirely worth its 30-dollar price range because of the lack of game modes and story. But this is only the beginning. Toys for Bob handled Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, and after a year of release, giving players characters, cosmetics, and free tracks. So, I am not worried about the future of the game; I am only excited. I am excited that players who haven’t played Crash are trying this out and enjoying how different it is. LJ, our resident fighter reviewer, played it and wishes Mario and Sonic now have their own Rumble game. I believe that since they created such a unique game experience, they are focused on perfecting it and will somehow give us more of this.

The Bottom Line

 

It's worth playing now, and it'll definitely be worth playing much more in the future.

 

9.0

Johnathan Floyd

Writer, Editor, President, and overall complete goofball.

Leave a Comment