Crash Team Racing Needs to Chill the F*ck Out with Grand Prix Events

November 7, 2019 17:13 UTC
  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled has been running Grand Prix events since it was released.
  • These events allow access to new characters, maps, and skins.
  • Grand Prix tournaments are run constantly, giving players no chance to take a break between them.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled made a pretty big splash when it came out earlier this year. Apart from bringing back a great kart racer, it added a treasure-trove of online features and events. Of course, it was all ruined by adding microtransactions and jacking up prices in the in-game store.

Leaving aside the whole “microtransactions are the spawn of Satan” thing for a moment, we need to talk about these events.

So What’s the Deal with These CTR Grands Prix?

Crash Team Racing has been running Grands Prix since the game came out. Each one has a different theme and allows you to unlock three new characters as well as new karts, unique accessories, and a fresh map. The latest one was just announced to be starting on November 8th, dubbed the Neon Circus Grand Prix.

These events are actually pretty cool in isolation. Basically, over the course of approximately a month, players can engage in specific challenges. These challenges, such as collecting 50 crates or using 20 missiles, reward the player with nitro points. As nitro-points are gained, a nitro gauge fills up, giving the player different rewards from skins to characters.

Admittedly, the idea is awesome. You get new content coming into the game regularly, and gamers are encouraged to keep playing. If you ignore the microtransactions, in fact, these Grands Prix have added a lot to the game. Maybe too much.

The idea for CTR Grand Prix events is pretty neat, but the execution has been less than ideal. | Source: Activision

Why Crash Team Racing Is Making a Dangerous Mistake

Okay, so very rarely is new content a bad thing. The issue here is just how often they’re happening. Each time a Grand Prix finishes, a new one is inevitably announced to start a week or so later. On the one hand, this means that the content never stops coming. On the other, there is absolutely no time to rest at all if you don’t want to miss out on the new content.

Being a Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled player at this point has actually gotten exhausting. You pretty much have to play consistently throughout the month to acquire everything. This is partially because there’s a special reward for placing in the top 5% of players.

But mostly it’s because the “pit stop” store rotates Grand Prix items and charges far too much for most things.

You’ll never guess what event Crash Team Racing just announced! (It’s a Grand Prix.)| Source: Activision

It’s All About Inflation

The prices were inflated as soon as the microtransaction came into play, surprise, surprise. So now you have basically two options:

  • Play each day to farm enough coins to buy all the rotating items.
  • Pay real money to have enough coins to get everything when it comes around.

The fact that the store rotates items isn’t bad when taken on its own merits. Combine it with inflated prices and limited-run items, and it turns what should be a fun kart-racing experience into a grindy mess that only exists to get more and more money for Activision. At least they haven’t tried to turn the franchise into a crappy mobile version, like other studios.

The least they could do is give us all a break from the Grands Prix for a while. But they won’t, obviously. How would they make all the money in the world that way?

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

William Worrall is a freelance writer based out of the UK who has been writing professionally about video and tabletop games for over half a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Reach him at wsworrall.co.uk or on Twitter at W.S. Worrall.