Crash Bandicoot is a character that has been thrown into many different things, for better or worse throughout the years. Like Mario and Sonic before him, Crash Bandicoot has done everything from racing to party games that bring multiple people together. Now Crash is getting injected into competitive arena games with Crash Team Rumble on PlayStation and Xbox Series consoles. And while it’s an interesting idea that works out well for Crash Bandicoot the character, a number of technical problems cause the game to crash and falter for players. It’s too bad because what Toys for Bob made here is actually a smart and clever way to utilize these characters.
Crash Team Rumble pits two teams against each other in a race to collect Wumpa fruit. You break boxes and pick up Wumpa fruit in different stages and bring them to a goal on the map. The idea is to do this before the opposing team, so you’ll have to work as a team to get the job done. This is where the game is at its best by having every character fit a given role that can assist the team. Certain characters you pick are ideal for different scenarios, whether it’s scoring or hindering the other team in a variety of ways. If you have a good team of players who can stick with their job in a match, you can end up winning pretty easily.
That is until you have to deal with the barrage of technical issues that pop up during gameplay. Balancing for the game is hit or miss, depending on the map you’re on and the team you find yourself in. A few characters have big hitboxes that can cause them to get smacked by incoming attacks easily or knocked back, causing you to fall off the map or get KOed pretty fast. Matches can get very chaotic with everything happening on screen, between players dropping abilities or items and crazy instances being activated on the map, it can be difficult to judge how to approach skirmishes at times.
But the most egregious thing to happen is the game crashes that spontaneously occur. On the PlayStation 5, the game can suffer from random crashes at the worst of times, including when you’re about to finish a match or when you just complete it. While this doesn’t give you a penalty for online matches, it can be very annoying when it happens multiple times. Updates and patches will definitely address this, but at launch, it’s a big point of concern.
When that isn’t happening, Crash Team Rumble can get very competitive. You’ll want to explore all of the different characters available to use in order to find the best combination for your own play style. Do you like scoring points for the team? Try using Crash or any of the characters labeled Scorers. Like being a problem for the other team? Blockers like Dingodile and N. Brio are great for being an absolute menace to the other team all the time. But for everyone else who likes to be the support person, characters like Coco and Cortex help out by gathering relics to activate special abilities on the map. Each class of character has pros and cons that can be exploited in matches to great effect.
Because of how wild some abilities can be for certain characters, balancing in matches can be a major issue for this game. Certain matches will have you matched with a team that uses more of a certain class over others, rather than balancing things out. When that happens, you might be out of luck when the opposing team dominates you by one or two means, preventing you from scoring or completely taking over everything on the map. As more updates for Crash Team Rumble are released, the balance may or may not get better with time. But for now, there are definitely certain characters that will dominate the majority of matches online over others, mainly because they have the most benefits in nearly every match they are in.
The game also has a lot of unlockables that you’ll gain over time by playing matches. Music from throughout the Crash Bandicoot series can be played at the end screen of matches, artwork for your online profile, as well as custom items you can equip to every character. There are enough rewards to go around to the point that you might find yourself getting something new each time you finish a match. The customization is limited to the items you unlock through the game’s Battle Pass and Challenges you complete, but the majority of items can be equipped for nearly every character. At the start of the game, you’ll need to play different classes to unlock the full roster by completing challenges. A few of them can take a while due to the nature of what they ask from you, such as blocking opponents from scoring points, but are achievable after playing a bunch of matches online.
Online matches can be either hit or miss, depending on who you get matched with and if you pick the right character for the skirmish. The connections and frequency of matches are pretty solid, but the load times may annoy some people. When matched online, you’ll definitely need to play your role with the character you choose because other players might not do so often. It can definitely get frustrating when you’re thrown into a match where your teammates are not helping out after you’ve been filling your role the whole time. A lot of patience is needed in times like this, but eventually, you’ll get paired with others where the team synergy works out very well.
Crash Team Rumble is a game that will only really resonate with Crash Bandicoot fans who love the series. Even those who enjoy arena-style games might not be too quick to jump into this, especially with the balancing issues and other technical problems that pop up frequently. If you can get over that, there is a solid foundation here for anyone who takes the time to play, with a good roster of characters and fan service from throughout the Crash Bandicoot series. One would wish that many of the big problems would get ironed out in patches so that more of the better aspects of Crash Team Rumble can stand out better to everyone.
Are you a fan of Crash Bandicoot? Will you be checking out Crash Team Rumble on any platform? Let us know your thoughts about it down below in the comment section!
Crash Team Rumble
The game has a very solid concept that works, as well as a great roster of characters to play as. But the game crashes and other technical problems can be a real problem for some people. Balancing online needs adjustment for competitive matches. Crash Bandicoot fans will enjoy this, but everyone else might not take a liking to it as easily.
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