The Cruis’n series has quite a history with Nintendo consoles, with each title in the arcade franchise appearing on a Nintendo platform in some shape or form. Some of these titles have been pretty good too; I personally had a really good time spending a ton of hours playing through Cruis’n USA on the Nintendo 64 back in the 90s. It actually made me even more excited to check out Cruis’n Blast, the latest entry in the series that has made its way to the Nintendo Switch following its arcade run.
I’m happy to report that it just so happens to be super fun to play too, with the arcade-style racing antics feeling like a neat blast to the past.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Cruis’n Blast is simpler in design when compared to a lot of modern realistic racers, with players choosing their car, picking the decal they want (there’s some super glitzy ones on offer), and then heading straight into the race. The racing mechanics are straightforward too, with players speeding down an array of action-packed set piece-filled tracks, with an emphasis placed on using your boost to speed ahead, smashing into rival racers and hitting them off track Burnout-style, and drifting around corners to give yourself a burst of additional speed.
It’s easy to get to grips with the gameplay mechanics thanks to the accessible controls, with even the most novice of racing game players able to speed down Cruis’n Blast’s tracks to victory with minimal fuss. Of course, there are multiple difficulty options in place so those looking for a tougher challenge can certainly find it, but I found that the standard difficulty gave a nice balance of frantic racing and satisfying successes.
What adds to the fun is just how wild and wacky the game is. The tracks are packed to the brim with set-pieces that really fuel the mad action, with plenty of vibrant and outrageous sights to be seen. Sometimes it’s a bit of environmental destruction covering the track, sometimes you’ll be hitting huge jumps and spinning in the air, sometimes you’ll be getting attacked by a yeti, whilst other times you’ll be avoiding dinosaurs… either way, it certainly knows how to whack up the silliness to eleven, and it does so on a regular basis throughout each track.
“The tracks are packed to the brim with set-pieces that really fuel the mad action, with plenty of vibrant and outrageous sights to be seen.”
The vehicles are just as zany, with all sorts of unusual methods of travel found in the game. Sure, you’ve got your conventional cars, but you can also expect to use the likes of a helicopter, a dinosaur, a unicorn, and a hammerhead shark. That’s right, you can race, drift, and smash up other cars as a shark… it’s insane. You can unlock some of these additional vehicles by finding keys hidden in levels, so there’s an incentive in place to re-play levels and keep an eye out for them.
It would all mean nothing if Cruis’n Blast wasn’t fun to play, but I’ve had a really good time racing through each of its four-race Tours. There are twenty-nine tracks to race through in total with each bringing with them plenty of thrills and spills, whilst the environments they’re spread across are all packed to the brim with vibrant colours and fun sights to see. You can level up your vehicles to unlock additional cosmetics too, with cash earned by winning races, pulling off tricks, and so forth. You’ll need this to purchase the extras of the game, so it’s always worth driving with style if you can.
I’ve just found myself completely hooked into Cruis’n Blast. It’s certainly not the deepest of racing experiences and it can get a little bit repetitive over long play sessions, but I still find myself jumping in for more quick races after putting more than fifteen-hours into the game so far. It’s just good fun.
“There are twenty-nine tracks to race through in total with each bringing with them plenty of thrills and spills, whilst the environments they’re spread across are all packed to the brim with vibrant colours and fun sights to see.”
Multiplayer is included for those who want to race with friends, though it’s restricted to split-screen and local wireless play. Whilst it’s certainly a nostalgic way to play, I found it a bit disappointing that there wasn’t online multiplayer. I’d have loved to see how I fared against other players across the world, whilst the manic fast-paced nature of the game makes it perfect for quick blasts here and there. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it is a bit of a disappointing omission.
Performance-wise, Cruis’n Blast is mostly consistent, though there were a few frame rate stutters suffered during some of the more manic races. It’s nothing that’ll deter from your experience with the game and it didn’t affect my racing, but it is noticeable. At least it looks slick when playing in handheld mode though, with the eye-popping colours of the world still proving striking there. Don’t get me wrong, Cruis’n Blast isn’t the most detailed when it comes to visuals, but its old-school style still manages to look great whether you’re playing on your TV or in the palms of your hands.
Cruis'n Blast Summary
The arcade-style racing of Cruis’n Blast is a heck of a lot of fun, with each and every race full of colour and plenty of thrills and spills. Sure, the simplicity can see the game feel a little repetitive over long playthroughs and the lack of online multiplayer is a shame, but it doesn’t stop the game from being really easy to recommend to old-school racing fans.
– Exciting races that are packed with set pieces
– The vehicle selection is super silly (you can race as a shark!!)
– The racing mechanics are both accessible and fun
– The lack of online multiplayer
Developer: Raw Thrills
Publisher: Raw Thrills, GameMill Entertainment
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)