Cruis’n Blast is secretly the best Switch game of the year
Any game that lets you play like a triceratops that can drift through the apocalyptic streets of London is a winner in my book – and Cruis’n Blast delivers that fantasy like nothing else has done before. Tucked away on the Nintendo Switch eShop, he’s a loud, explosive, and utterly absurd runner who fully embraces his own excesses and results in an experience that I can aptly describe as Burnout on a drug-fueled bender. He’s Superhans in player form, and he blew a bunch of coke and ran to Windsor. Beautiful things.
I have always struggled with racing games. Simulators are often too complicated for me, as I have no interest in learning the intricacies of driving a real vehicle and how weather, track design and other conditions determine my eventual victory. Skill obviously comes into the equation, but time and time again I’ve tried to break through Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport only to come away wishing for something more accessible.
That mindset means titles like Burnout, Blur, Split Second, and even Forza Horizon are just right for me. None of these games assumes prior motorsport knowledge or expects you to spend hours mastering the control of a single car to make even the slightest sign of progress. I could obviously activate all the assists and get through it, but that takes away all the challenge that I would have otherwise taken on. I prefer to have a brilliant selection of cars to choose from, as well as a generous suite of events that I can tackle however I want.
Freedom eases frustration, or there never is, as games like Burnout and Blur understand that racing can and should be for everyone, regardless of skill level or familiarity with a genre that can too much. luckily leave the new arrivals behind. Cruis’n Blast is the perfect combination of these two factors, delivering a simplistic racer with so much personality, so much variety and so much unexpected shine that I can help but smile every time I find myself at the start line. . I’ll start with the ridiculous soundtrack.
The main menu theme is horrible, a high-pitched voice blaring the words “cruisinnnnnn” in a tone I can only describe as apocalyptic. It’s knowingly terrible, gelling wonderfully with the game’s garish aesthetic and unwavering dedication to cheese. You are dragged into a false sense of security with the opening tournament, which is relatively entrenched compared to what’s to come. The sprawling tracks are filled with wild animals crossing the roads, and you fall through crumbling holes in the ground as the world around you feels bigger than it’s entitled to. This game looks huge, and I’m still not sure exactly why or how.
Aiming for visual minimalism at a fundamental level, Cruis’n Blast is able to fill the stage with so many objects, creatures, and absurd moments that no moment feels boring – it’s a blast (sorry) from the start. at the end. It’s not a game that looks ‘good’ on a traditional level, but it’s packed with so much personality and whimsical ideas that it just works. Subsequent tournaments will have you racing through familiar locations that are now dominated by attack helicopters, dinosaurs, and alien spaceships that tear each track to pieces as you traverse them, the speed so fast that mastering time trials and winning gold trophies immediately becomes contagious. My God, this is so good you don’t know half of it.
Vehicles just start with the usual supercars and motorcycles you would expect from racers like this, but it quickly takes an extravagant turn. Fire trucks that I can vibrate and figure out their place on the list, but soon you start unlocking helicopters, dinosaurs, unicorns, and all kinds of weird creations that work like cars. They drift, crash into opposing drivers, and all make the same engine growls. It’s so out of place it’s hilarious, a dinosaur drifting through the streets of the English capital as the London Eye and wayward underground trains begin to cut through traffic and bring the city to its knees. However, none of this matters as I have a sick scaly race with my eyes fixed on the finish line.
It’s a shame that Cruis’n Blast seems to have gone under the radar given its Switch exclusivity and high price tag. I grabbed it at a recent sale and was mesmerized within moments with the game making my GOTY list and refusing to leave. Few games manage to achieve such a thing, and even fewer racing games have managed to capture my attention like this. If you’re looking for a runner who isn’t afraid to be silly and laugh at himself endlessly, this is one you shouldn’t miss out on.
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He just can’t seem to get a break!
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