The game is a blast to play, but it’s not likely to be the most popular title in the world.
Cruis’n Blast is a racing game that was released by Midway in 1997. It has been given an 8.8/10 rating on Metacritic, and has received good reviews from IGN, GameSpot, and PC Gamer.
Since Cruis’n USA was launched on the Nintendo 64 in 1996, I’ve been a fan of the Cruis’n series. Sure, it wasn’t the most glamorous game or even had the best gaming mechanics (they were terrible), but something about the crazy, high-speed action enthralled me and my buddies. Even though the San Francisco levels made me want to hurl my controller across the room in disgust, there was something attractive about racing across different parts of the United States at breakneck speeds. After many revisions and a lengthy break since Cruis’n in 2007, Raw Thrills has finally released Cruis’n Blast, perhaps the greatest game in the series to date.
Cruis’n Blast is a racing game for the uninitiated. It’s not, though, your standard racing game like Forza, WRC, or Gran Turismo. Cruis’n Blast, on the other hand, is an arcade racing game adapted from its original arcade form and published on the Nintendo Switch. As an arcade racing, you won’t have to worry about the finer points of car control or even environmental obstacles. In Cruis’n Blast, your primary goal is to reach to the finish line as quickly as possible while taking in the bizarre sights that surround you.
On top of a railway, I’m driving a vehicle. Is this some kind of Fast & Furious game?
Thankfully, the Switch version of Cruis’n Blast is much superior than the arcade original in terms of handling. When you think about it, it makes sense since the game isn’t attempting to take advantage of you to obtain more quarters. The cars are well-balanced, the controls are snappy, and drifting is simple to master. You may also do different stunts, such as timing a wheelie just before the start of a jump to spin mid-air and gain speed. When you do a wheelie as you approach a rival, you will be able to turn them over and gain speed when you land. Drifting for a long period will give you a speed boost when you let off of the brake. Everything, in general, rewards you with increased speed. “Must move faster!” I only need a Jeff Goldblum avatar to say now.
Crashing into objects or missing leaps, on the other hand, has little consequences. This is reasonable, given that the game is based on an arcade game in which the objective was to get players through at least one race before they had to pay additional money. To win the coveted gold medal, you’ll need to really concentrate on timing your leaps, landing your stunts, and perfecting drifting even on straight roads in the tougher levels.
So, with a UFO, how does drifting and leaping off ramps work?
All of the maps from Cruis’n Blast’s arcade equivalent are included in this game, which may be played in Classic Arcade mode. Although having just five maps to play wouldn’t make for a very lengthy game, Raw Thrills has introduced the Cruis’n Tour mode, which adds an additional twenty-four tracks to the game’s repertory. Night Tour, Escape Tour, Storm Tour, Chopper Tour, Dino Tour, and UFO Tour are the six tours available in this mode. Each has four distinct songs to enjoy, all of which are custom-made for the tour they’re on.
Each one adds something exciting and distinct to the table since they are all dynamic and radically different in their looks. Each trip offers something incredibly crazy, whether it’s escaping tornadoes, trying not to lose control in a huge storm, avoiding the jaws of a ravenous T-Rex, or swerving past the enormous Yeti that was attempting to grab me. And I, for one, am enthusiastic about it.
A unicorn and a police vehicle are having a normal race.
The comedy does not end with the level design. There are a lot of items to unlock in Cruis’n Blast. I say “things” because for every common car, such as a Nissan GTR or a Hummer, there’s an equally bizarre alternative, such as a unicorn or a Triceratops. You may also acquire extra features for each “car,” such as paint jobs and engine improvements. These improvements are unlocked by using them regularly and leveling them up. This encourages players to utilize each one to maximize their numbers rather than depending on just one or two of their usual favorites. After turning over each opponent in my way and successfully dodging a huge doughnut that had been set on fire by a UFO’s blast, I was obliterating my competitors with a double decker bus. That isn’t a phrase I ever saw myself saying, yet here we are. Hello and welcome to Cruis’n Blast.
The UK version of Mars Attacks!
Cruis’n Blast also has a surprising amount of replayability. There are keys buried in every track, in addition to unlocking each tour and vehicle. To be precise, there were 87 of them. Some are obvious, while others are ingeniously concealed, made much more difficult to detect by the fact that they are flying through each course at rapid speeds. All of the vehicles need keys to be unlocked, so if you want that shark or UFO, you’ll have to start searching. If you’re so motivated, you may even aim for a gold trophy in each of the six trips across all four difficulty levels.
I want the key, but I don’t want to be dinner.
However, I do have a few minor quibbles. The first is that there is still no multiplayer option available online. Yes, you can play couch co-op with up to four people, which is still entertaining, but this game would be much better if you could wreak havoc on strangers all over the globe. Then then, we’re talking about Nintendo, who are woefully behind the times when it comes to online multiplayer.
The second problem I have is that there aren’t any more enjoyable modes to select from. The Classic Arcade mode, Cruis’n Tour mode, and Time Trial mode are the only modes available. I understand that a lot of new songs have been added, which I like, but it still seems like something is missing, particularly given the lack of an online multiplayer option. I believe that a Battle mode or Challenges mode would have completed the experience wonderfully.
Even with those little quibbles, Cruis’n Blast has a lot to recommend it. Without a question, this is the best-looking Cruis’n game to yet. The level designs are unique, and the color palettes are vibrant. However, there are also significant graphical quality variations at times. In the Yeti course, for example, there’s a point when he lunges for you and tries to grab your car, and his hand is incredibly realistic. Then, shortly after, the floor falls way and the animations seem like they belong on the Gamecube, as do the battling Yetis soon beyond that. Most of the time, you won’t notice the graphical irregularities since you’re moving so quickly, but when they’re part of a set piece, they’re quite apparent.
Sometimes the set pieces are fantastic, and other times they aren’t.
Thankfully, Cruis’n Blast maintains a 60fps framerate for the most of the game. The only time I saw it decreasing was after taking down a rival (and no, I’m not referring to the intentional slowdown animation) or while doing a turbo boost. It was only in the latter instance that it became a problem. The majority of the game works well.
The sound design is also excellent. From the screaming of tires to the sound of crushing metal when you smash into something, to the roars of different creatures you’ll meet, all of the sound effects are excellent. The music is fantastic as well, with powerful rhythms that will keep your heart racing during each race. My only criticism is that after a time of playing the game, the music may get monotonous. The primary topic, on the other hand, will stay with you for days. Cruuuuuuuis’nnnnn!
The multiplayer feature is only available via couch co-op, not online.
Cruis’n Blast marks a successful comeback to the series after a lengthy hiatus. Raw Thrills has certainly chosen the correct approach by completely embracing the ridiculous character of the series with each new installment. It may lack the technical accuracy and realism of other racing games, but that isn’t the point of the Cruis’n series. Look no farther if you’re searching for a wildly over-the-top arcade racing game. You’re covered with Cruis’n Blast.
The visuals are bright and colorful, but they aren’t very realistic. However, it isn’t the purpose of the Cruis’n series. It usually stays at 60 frames per second, although it may sometimes dip when boosting.
This edition features the same high-octane racing as the previous versions, but it handles considerably better. Basically, it’s every Cruis’n fan’s fantasy.
The sound effects for the vehicles revving and the tires screaming on the pavement are excellent. The music is upbeat and lively, but it can get a little monotonous after a while.
This isn’t the game for you if you’re searching for a realistic racing game like the Forza series. Cruis’n Blast is precisely what you’ve been waiting for if you’re searching for a fast-paced, outrageously over-the-top racing experience.
Final Score: 8.0
Cruis’n Blast is now available on the Nintendo Switch.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
The publisher sent me a copy of Cruis’n Blast.
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