|“||Combine and Conquer!||”|
— The game's motto
Crash Tag Team Racing is the third racing game to feature Crash Bandicoot, and was released on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and PSP in 2005.
The gameplay of this game is very different from Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart. This game's main highlight is the ability to merge two cars. As a result, one of the players shoots other cars, while the other one drives. Also, it is possible to explore the MotorWorld in adventure mode. While exploring the MotorWorld, Crash travels on foot and can do jobs for all the characters listed below. He can go to each section of the MotorWorld and collect Wumpa Coins to buy outfits or crystals from Park Drones. When Crash collects enough Power Crystals he can unlock the Jump Pad leading to a Gem and unlocking the next area of the park.
There are 11 major characters in the game, with 8 out of them playable. The major characters are:
- Crash Bandicoot - More immature than before, enjoys annoying and attacking other people and creatures, especially chickens. He is trying to find the Power Gems in order to prevent Cortex from making a new base in the park.
- Doctor Neo Cortex - Even shorter, he is trying to find the Power Gems in order to own the park and make a new base.
- Coco Bandicoot - She is depicted to be more preppy with some "daddy's little girl" tendencies.
- Nina Cortex - More gothic, she likes violence and sadness and also, like Crash, acts a bit immature at times. She remains silent in FMV cutscenes though is now far more talkative in character missions.
- Crunch Bandicoot - Now has a personality very similar to Mr. T, including the Mr. Crunch costume.
- Doctor N. Gin - Now he has gray skin and black hair. He also seems to be a masochist and very effeminate.
- Pasadena O'Possum - A country girl who is loyal to Von Clutch and falls head over heels for Crash.
- Ebenezer Von Clutch - An eccentric German-accented cyborg. He lost his Black Heart Power Gem (a gem that acts as a heart to him) and now proposes a challenge: whoever finds his gem, will be the new owner of his park.
- Willie Wumpa Cheeks - The kooky Von Clutch mascot. Enjoys rhymes and riddles which tend to irritate others. Without anyone knowing, he was the one who stole Von Clutch's gem and escaped to Astro Land.
- Chick Gizzard Lips - The chicken commentator who talks the most in his reports. He acts as serious as a human reporter.
- Stew - Chick's co-commentator. He also keeps changing his hair or hat. He acts a little crazy in the cutscenes, saying wrong things at the wrong times.
Characters and Vehicles
|Player||Color||Cars & Types||Weapon|
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||PSP|
|Dr. Neo Cortex||Yellow||Imperium|
|Chargeable Energy Balls|
|Pasadena O'Possum||Purple||Harm Aid|
|Spinning Tornado Lightning|
|Crunch Bandicoot||Red||The Guzzler|
|Hot Rivet Gun|
|No||Sticky Lightning Gun|
|Nina Cortex||Blue||Organ Grinder|
|Dr. N. Gin||Grey||Extreme Surplus|
|Ebenezer Von Clutch||Green||Zwergauto|
Ebenezer Von Clutch, a German-accented cyborg, has created a highly dangerous racing theme park. However, the park's Power Gems and Von Clutch's Black Heart Power Gem have been stolen. He sets up a special event for his park in which anybody who finds his Black Heart Power Gem acquires the new ownership of his park, but nobody is interested, except for Pasadena O' Possum. During the last day that Von Clutch can keep on functioning without his Black Heart Power Gem, Doctor Neo Cortex, N. Gin, and Nina are chasing Crash, Coco, and Crunch Bandicoot near a roadway that leads to Von Clutch's MotorWorld. They crash through the gates of the MotorWorld, and Von Clutch persuades them to enter. At first, Von Clutch's proposal did not catch the Bandicoots' attention, but when Cortex decides to help just so he could acquire a new base for planning schemes to crush the Bandicoots, Crash, Coco, and Crunch have no choice but to find the Black Power Gem before Cortex and his companions do. At first, they must find the Power Gems needed to power other sections of the MotorWorld and one by one. Having entered the park, Crash sees the first gem on a statue gaining him access to the Mystery Island. There, he's finds the second gem on a small pillar, with perfect timing he swaps it with a small bag then proceeding to Happily Ever Faster. The third gem is guarded by a park employee dressed as a princess trapped in a tower, Crash tugs on his wig and the employee falls tower unconscious allowing Crash to take the gem and go to Tyrannosaurus Wrecks. Seeing a cow drop in from nowhere and press itself against the ledges, Crash used it as a bridge to get the fourth gem and move on to Tomb Town. Crash sees the fifth gem in the nose of an Egyptian Von Clutch statue, then he presses a nearby button which shakes the statue releasing the gem, having picked it up Crash heads for Astro Land.
Back in the park, Cortex enters the scene with bandages on his head shouting in frustration, "Curses, some sinister force is upstaging my evil plan. Curses! Curses! CURSES!!" Coco finds a link between all the stolen Power Gems in which there was a trail of Wumpa Whip at the scene of every stolen Power Gem. Crash is drinking Wumpa Whip at the time, so everyone blames him regardless of the fact that he found the other gems in the first place. Willie Wumpa Cheeks gets out of frustration for their stupidity, then gives himself up and turns out that he is the perpetrator, but at first, nobody believed him (except Von Clutch who went into denial) until he revealed the Black Gem in his bag before running off towards Astro Land, indicating that Crash is innocent.
Crash soon finds him about to blast off with the Black Gem in a rocket (which is actually a Rocket Simulator attraction) and pulls a lever to stop it from supposedly taking off. Crunch picks Willie up by his nose and Pasadena demands that Willie return the Power Gem, but Willie refuses. Cortex then shoots Willie from a simple flying machine, turning him into a blob, and then targets the Bandicoots and fires the trigger, but Crunch pulls up a piece of metal from the ground to block the shots. Then, Crash throws a chicken into the motor of the machine, causing it to fly out of control and off the MotorWorld. The Bandicoots are given the park's ownership as the reward but Coco decides to return it to Von Clutch, only to learn from a devastated Pasadena that he had stopped functioning. Pasadena sadly puts her hands on Von Clutch's back, making two doors open in his chest while Crunch weeps. Meanwhile, Crash is drinking some Wumpa Whip from Willie's nose and accidentally gulps something. He coughs up the Black Gem, which somewhat lands conveniently inside Von Clutch. He comes back to life and starts singing, giving unlimited free passes to the MotorWorld to the Bandicoots from then on. Von Clutch pats Crash on the back numerous times. Crash then pats him on the back and the gem falls out of Von Clutch's body. He then rushes back to the car he had at the beginning, smiles and drives away by himself before anyone could take action against him, leaving Coco and Crunch standing there. Coco then slaps her head while Crunch shrugs at a shocked Pasadena.
- Jungle Rumble (Mystery Island)
- The Tragic Kingdom (PSP only; can be aquired on the PlayStation 2 via PSP/PS2 connection)
- Extinction Party (Tyrannosaurus Wrecks)
- Fight Like an Egyptian (PSP only; can be acquired on the PlayStation 2 via PSP/PS2 connection)
- Hardly Ever Land (Happily Ever Faster)
- Space Stunts (Astro Land)
Crash Tag Team Racing received average reviews since its release. GameSpot concluded that "the racing isn't exactly the star of the show, but Crash Tag Team Racing's supplemental elements pull the whole thing together into a unique and most enjoyable experience"; on the subject of the PSP version, GameSpot added that the handheld version's loading times were "painful". Nintendo Power decided that "the game's not too much to look at, and most of the track designs are pretty uninspired", while Nintendo World Report condemned the game as "unworthy of its namesake", and expressed its wish that "the developer had taken its time to study what was great about the original game before starting work on the sequel — the lack of finesse present in CTTR really shows." Eurogamer was critical of Crash Tag Team Racing's difficulty, citing that "it's very easy to win races, even on the Hard difficulty setting, the platforming sections offer no real challenge and the fun to be had from blowing up opponents when you've clashed your kart wears thin after a while."
- The PSP version has noticeably graphical downgrades. Certain visual effects are missing and many bits of scenery in hub worlds have been omitted.
- The PSP version also forces you to stay clashed in co-op mode.
- The PSP version also has soundtrack downgrades. The music for the main park does not transition according to areas, only changing when you enter a new hub world. The losing position themes for race tracks will also always play in third laps, regardless of your position.
- One exclusive car for 5 characters (Crash, Cortex, Pasadena, Crunch, and Nina) and 2 extra battle arenas can be unlocked by connecting the PSP version to the PS2 version. The data for the PSP levels exists in the PS2 version by default and can be accessed via hacking.
- The PS2 version lacks multi tap support (and thus 3-4 player split screen). The box cover incorrectly lists the game as capable of utilising up to two multi taps for up to 8 players.
- In the PS2 version pressing the or during the loading screen will cause a burp or fart sound effect to play, respectively. The sound can also be made lower and higher by moving the right Analog Stick up and down. This was changed to and for the PSP version.
- The PSP version also maintains all changes made in the PAL PS2 version.
- The NTSC version included hidden commentary by the cast by halting the credits sequence. Other regions keep the ability to stop the credits, but the commentary option is omitted.
- In the NTSC version, the FMV intro features dialogue on the news captions. This is edited out in the other regions.
- The NTSC-J version uses the Japanese Crash skin by default.
- The PAL PS2 version has a 25/30 second framerate, though other versions maintain 50/60 second framerate.
- The PAL version features a few bug fixes and extra animations that were missing in the NTSC version.
- The game was originally going to be developed by Traveler's Tales Oxford (developers of Crash Twinsanity), and was called "Crash Clash Racing". It had the same concept as the final game: fusing two cars together. According to one of the developers of the project, the game would have been set in Crash's head, with the rest of the team traveling inside his brain, with the all tracks based around Crash's dreams and memories. Interestingly, Evil Crash was intended to be a playable character in their version.
- The game was also going to be like The Simpsons: Hit and Run, another game by Radical Entertainment, with a bunch of free roam levels and more activities.
- The game was planned to have a Nintendo DS version. It was in development for 9 to 10 months before being cancelled, with only 1 or 2 months left until it was finished. Despite the smooth progress, the developers, Sensory Sweep, were told by the publisher that the game was going to be cancelled, as Mario Kart DS was scheduled to come out at the same time, and the publisher didn't think it would sell as well as they hoped with the direct competition. While this was the "official" reason given by the publisher, there were rumors around the Sensory Sweep office that the publisher had some problems with their management, thinking that Sensory Sweep wasn't exactly the best run studio, so this is what most likely caused the game's cancellation.
- Crash Tag Team Racing was chosen as the Best 2006 Video Game in the Nickelodeon magazine, and Crash was chosen as the Best Character, winning a total of 2 Golden Thumb Awards.
- This is the first game in the Crash Bandicoot Series to be rated higher than E in NTSC-U regions (E+10) and higher than +3 in PAL regions (+6 and +7, depending on the country). This was done due to the explicit violence that occurs in the game, particularly in the Die-O-Ramas.
- However, Cortex still refers to the game as being rated E in one of his voice clips, likely due to the recording being made before the game was actually rated.
- In each track of the game, the music changes after two-thirds of the race. Each track has a final lap for racing in 1st & 2nd place, racing from 3rd to 5th place and racing in 6th to 8th place.
- In Crash of the Titans, Tiny Tiger breaks the fourth wall by complaining that he wasn't invited to "the last game." While the developers meant Tag Team Racing by this, the last game before Titans was Boom Bang!, which Tiny featured in.
- In one cutscene, Von Clutch breaks the fourth wall by telling the Bandicoots, Cortex, N. Gin and Nina, "I have all your games!" They just look at each other, confused.
- From here on out, Crash now "talks" through gibberish noises, courtesy of Jess Harnell, who was also Lo-Lo in Wrath of Cortex and Spyro in games such as Spyro: A Hero's Tail.
- Remixes of Crash Twinsanity's theme can be heard at certain times in the game.
- Around the time the music in Happily Ever Faster ends
- During Tomb Town
- "Critter Clobber" mini-game
- Ending cutscene "I Hate Chicken"
- The Tragic Kingdom battle arena played on the PS2 plays music is also recycled from Twinsanity, "Rooftop Rampage".
- This would be the last Crash game to be released in Japan.
- A Japanese model of Crash was made for their release. He still does the infamous Crash Dance, whenever standing still in adventure mode or in a race.
- This is the only game since Crunch joined the Bandicoots that neither Crash or Coco were captured or frozen in any way.
- This game is the only Crash game made by Radical Entertainment which doesn't involve jacking Titans.
- Enabling the Japanese Crash cheat code will cause the original Crash to have minor glitches like: Crash's pupils float above his head and his shadow shows him in the "T" position sticking his arms out.(the "T" position is a pose that 3D character models stand in when they have not been given any movements to perform.)
- Like in Twinsanity, the music was made by the acappella band Spiralmouth, but this time with Radical's songwriter, Marc Baril.
- When Willie gives himself away, he's standing next to Nina, but when he tries convince everyone that he's the culprit, he's standing in front of them. In the same scene, Coco is nowhere to be found.
- Chick Gizzard Lips and Stew are parodies of Howard Cosell and George Foreman, respectively. They are sports commentators with the same kind of voices and speech patterns.
- Many of the game's vehicles were re-used in Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D and Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. In addition, Crash's Crikey greatly resembles the jeep from Wrath of Cortex.
- Aku Aku makes a cameo appearance in one section of Tiki Turbo. When you pass through this section, the sound that plays in the first few games when an Aku Aku Mask is collected can be heard. However, he was intended to have more than just a cameo in the game, as he would have had appeared in the pause menu and at the end of a race.
- In this game, the spelling of N. Gin's name has changed to N-Gin.
- One of the things that Coco may say if damaged during a race is, "Aw, derriberries!" This is a reference to Debi Derriberry, who has done Coco's voice ever since Wrath of Cortex.
- The clashing feature bears a strong resemblance to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, as in this game, two characters occupy the same vehicle.
- This was the first Crash game to have elements named after Wumpa Fruit, but not include them as a collectible directly. It was also the first racing game to have a shortcut on every track (except Rings of Uranus).
- There are a lot of references to The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which is another game developed by Radical Entertainment. The people walking around the park say many lines from that game, and one of the game's text hints is: "Have you played Hit & Run? Man, that was a great game." Coco Bandicoot also says the line: "Man, this video game sucks!" if she loses a race, which is also said by Homer Simpson in Hit & Run. The coin sound effects and the explosion animations come directly from that game, as Crash Tag Team Racing runs on an updated version of its engine.
- The ticking sounds for the Wumpa Whip timer were reused in Crash of the Titans for the Mojo Multiplier.
- Pasadena shows evidence of a possible romantic interest in Crash in some of her vehicle mission clips. However, whenever she mentions the possibility of kissing, Crash makes a "vomiting" gesture, although some parts of the game reveal Crash acting like a dog showing that Crash may actually have feelings toward her.
- The Nega Crash outfit is based on Evil Crash from Twinsanity.
- There were originally supposed to be more than eight playable characters.
- There are a handful of Star Trek references in the game such as Nina's quote: "Warp factor 10" and the Star Crash outfit that resembles a Star Trek uniform.
- A few more racing and free roam levels were going to be added, but then got cancelled.
- The character's designs are mostly similar to the ones in Crash Twinsanity.
- A demo version was included in the OPM Issue #98 (November 2005) disc. It contains two race tracks and one mini-game. The demo's time limit is about 15 minutes.
- In Happily Ever Faster if speaking to the gem guy, he mentioned Mr Men referring to The Mr Men series by Roger Hargreaves.
- It is possible to get into Happily Ever Faster early by stepping onto the drawbridge's collision box and ledge-grabbing the platform leading to the entrance.
- It is also possible to skip the launchpad in Happily Ever Faster by double-jumping off its base and grabbing the ledge.
- With these methods, it is possible to beat the game without entering any racetracks. However, the player will always be at least one Crystal short unless they unlock the PSP-exclusive arenas.
- In 2005, people had a chance of winning one of ten copies of Crash Tag Team Racing from an official contest sponsored by Universal Interactive. The contest was held through the now defunct website, Candy Stand. Contestants would have to achieve a high score through Crash Nitro Mini Golf.