When I go to the shops and I want a loaf of bread, I don't go into the butcher's. When I go to the pub, I don't try and buy sausage (not least because I usually go to the pub in Vauxhall, where the notion of buying sausage has all sorts of other connotations).
When I buy kart racing games, I don't expect to spend a quarter of an hour peering at load screens and cut-scenes and platforming before I get anywhere near a race. And yet so it is in Crash Tag Team Racing.
I think the idea is that some camp German's lost his marbles (or jewels or something - I don't know, I was buttering a crumpet at the time) and you have to buzz around an amusement park winning them back by racing through tracks in each of the themed zones (Happily Ever Faster, and er... Okay, I haven't committed them to memory, which is actually quite symbolic of the whole experience). For some reason, you also have to do lots of staple 90s-issue platforming to get to each race, collecting crystals and coins in the process and body-slamming ninja penguins. You know how that stuff works. You just don't expect it in a kart racing game.
Vivendi has released three new trailers for the PSP version of Crash Tag Team Racing - and they're now available for download.
CTTR is being brought to you by Radical Entertainment, the studio behind The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and features on-foot exploration as well as plenty of combat racing action.
Just as in the PS2 game (which we reviewed earlier this month), CTTR has a unique "clashing" system which lets you fuse your car with an opponents in the middle of a race. Then you can choose whether to stay in the driver's seat, or take over weapon duties and blam your way across the finishing line.
Mario Kart has always been the king of kart racers. Having played the DS version via Wi-Fi Connect the other day, and now Crash Tag Team Racing, we can confirm that this is not something which is about to change.
That probably won't come as much of a surprise to you, but this might: CTTR is actually a very good game that throws a wide variety of challenges, decent graphics, a sense of humour and some nice finishing touches into the mix.
Don't go expecting another Mario Kart clone in the vein of Crash Team Racing or Crash Nitro Kart, either. Developer Radical Entertainment (the latest in the long line of developers to tackle the Bandicoot franchise) has attempted to do something new with the genre here, blending several different gameplay styles together - not an easy task, but it has nearly pulled it off.