Crash Tag Team Racing is racing game in the Crash Bandicoot series developed by Radical Entertainment and Universal Interactive and published by Sierra Entertainment except in Japan where it was published by Vivendi Universal Games. A Nintendo DS version developed by Sensory Sweep Studios was in development until it was ultimately cancelled.
The game opens with a pair of chicken sports commentators named Chick Gizzard Lips and his hip co-worker Stew, announcing the farewell race of Von Clutch's MotorWorld. Long ago, Ebenezer Von Clutch, the deranged German cyborg genius fabricated the ultimate auto-racing theme park. For years, the park's racetracks have wreaked terror on its participants in ways too gruesome to describe on regulated television. But now the park's Power Gems, which have kept the park active, have been stolen, giving Von Clutch only a few hours to get them back. In the process of finding more racers to help him, meanwhile, Crash Bandicoot, Coco Bandicoot and Crunch Bandicoot are escaping from Doctor Neo Cortex, Doctor N. Gin, and Nina Cortex through a road, they literally crash in, resulting in Von Clutch recruiting them for assistance. At first, Cortex is unwilling to help Von Clutch, but then it is explained that whoever finds and returns all the missing Power Gems will win the ownership of the park. Even Von Clutch's own beloved Black Power Gem, which is his life source, is gone. Without it, Von Clutch will die in a matter of hours. N. Gin informs Cortex that this strange theme park is fertile grounds for them to "plant their new seed of evil", with Cortex believing this would lead to the park becoming their new base of operations, meaning they have an unlimited supply of churros and eliminate the Bandicoots. From there, the gang is introduced to Pasadena O'Possum, a professional racer hired by Von Clutch to ensure his continued ownership of the park, and Willie Wumpa Cheeks, the "jolly park mascot" of Von Clutch's MotorWorld and the producer of "Wumpa Whip", the parks most popular beverage.
After Crash finds and returns all the missing Power Gems and officially wins himself the ownership of the park, a bandaged Cortex suspects some unsavory person is upstaging his efforts to make the park his own. This is confirmed when Coco deduces that whoever stole the Power Gems in the first place had some connection to Wumpa Whip, due to, according to Pasadena, the presence of a trail of Wumpa Whip at the scene of every stolen Power Gem in the park. Crash is suspected of stealing the Gems due to his heavy consumption of the drink, but Willie Wumpa Cheeks admits that he stole the Power Gems and the Black Power Gem, though without any given motive as to why he stole them. Von Clutch is struck with disbelief. With the Black Power Gem in his possession, Willie flees to Astro Land, saying that they can "look for [him] in the sky". He prepares to blast off into outer space through Astro Land's largest rocket. Crash Bandicoot decides to stop Willie Wumpa Cheeks, retrieve the Black Power Gem, and save the weakened Ebenezer Von Clutch. In Astro Land, Crash sees Willie entering the rocket, preparing for liftoff. But when Crash pulls a nearby lever, the launch is aborted. Crunch opens up the rocket door and grabs Willie by the nose. Just when they're about to interrogate Willie about the location of the Black Power Gem, somebody shoots him from afar, resulting in a liquefied Willie. The culprit is Doctor Neo Cortex, N. Gin, and Nina inside a battleship. Cortex is prepared to obliterate the Bandicoots for ruining his plans for using Von Clutch's amusement enterprise as the ideal strategic cover. After Cortex attempts to destroy the Bandicoots with a machine gun mounted on his ship, Crash tosses a chicken into the ship's main rotor, causing the ship to behave erratically and unpredictably. Cortex promises Crash they'll meet again as he flies off in his malfunctioning ship.
As the Bandicoots are handed the deed to the park, Coco decides that the deed should be returned to where it belongs: to Ebenezer Von Clutch. But Pasadena informs them that that's an impossibility. Because the Black Power Gem was never recovered, it is apparent that Von Clutch will remain deactivated. As everyone mourns the loss of their dear friend — all except Crash, who is attempting to find and consume more Wumpa Whip from Willie's nose — Crash starts choking on something. He coughs up Von Clutch's Black Power Gem, which jettisons into the slot, reviving Von Clutch. He thanks Crash for all he's done, and gives free lifetime passes to Von Clutch's MotorWorld to all the Bandicoots. Unfortunately, Crash inadvertently ejects the Black Power Gem, thus deactivating Von Clutch, after giving Von Clutch a friendly slap on the back. Before anyone has a chance to react, Crash jumps into the orange car he was seen driving at the beginning and drives off, leaving Coco, Crunch and Pasadena behind.
After developing Crash Twinsanity, Traveller's Tales Oxford Studio moved onto their next project which would have continued the storyline from Twinsanity. The team decided to develop a racing game where a player could personalize their car and also fuse with another car. The game went under the name Crash Clash Racing. Evil Crash, who first appeared in Twinsanity, is currently the only known playable character from this point in development. A plot that was in mind would be set in Crash's mind with the rest of the Crash characters traveling inside it to race on tracks based on Crash's dreams and memories. For unknown reasons, development of Clash Racing was passed onto Radical Entertainment who took the fusion mechanic and released the game as Crash Tag Team Racing.
A Nintendo DS version of Crash Tag Team Racing was announced in 2005 alongside its console version and was in development by Sensory Sweep Studios. Due to the DS's inferior hardware, the game was not a direct port but aimed to be as close to the console version as possible. The game's development lasted for 9 to 10 months before being cancelled with about 2 months left until completion. Due to Mario Kart DS being released around the same time, the game was cancelled as it was thought that the game could not compete with it. Other factors are rumored to be attributed to problems with the publisher's management and Sensory Sweep apparently being poorly run according to a past employee of the company.
|Crash Bandicoot series|
|Main series||Crash Bandicoot • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back • Crash Bandicoot: Warped • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex • Crash Twinsanity • Crash of the Titans • Crash: Mind Over Mutant|
|Racing games||Crash Team Racing • Crash Nitro Kart • Crash Tag Team Racing|
|Party games||Crash Bash • Crash Boom Bang!|
|Handheld games||Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure • Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced • Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage|
|Remakes||Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy|
|Cancelled games||Cortex Chaos • Crash Online • Crash Landed|