Remember entering a Shakey’s, Chuck E. Cheese, a household arcade, or even the local bowling alley that had those racing games with the red car and dance music? Remember playing those games and feeling so cool driving through a number of different locales around the world and just wreaking total damage to the streets? Well, now we can relive that very same experience of Cruis’n Blast, but with the madness resulted in to 11.
Cruis’n Blast was originally an arcade exclusive from 2022, but has since then been ported to the Nintendo Switch this year. This is actually the fourth installment from the Cruis’n franchise. There hasn’t been an effective Cruis’n game since 1999, so 22 years later (or technically 18 if you count arcade), here you go throughout its wacky, arcade glory.
Cruis’n Blast takes the formula from the popular arcade racing franchise and offers a fantastic ride with very little downtime among races. It’s a game title that prides itself in how absurd its levels and mechanics are, and this is its greatest strength. Remember several years ago playing the prior games and driving on the Great Wall of China or with the London Bridge in England and thinking, “wow, I’m literally driving recklessly with other people with these iconic landscapes”?
That sentiment still is true oh so well in Cruis’n Blast. Things are a lot more vibrant and hectic. You’ll travel through locales with dynamic environments where such things as attack helicopters, literal dinosaurs, and UFOs come in and alter the tracks. One second, you’re driving down a highway on Death Valley. The very next, a tornado begins to form, destroying a lot of the track in front of you! Finally, the floor beneath you collapses, so you've to create this epic jump across the recently formed chasm.
Raw Thrills really stays true to their name in creating farmville. The high stakes never even see anything below that when racing across these 29 tracks — five of which come from the arcade version of Cruis’n Blast.
The tracks in this game, while seeming rather similar in between cups, are unique enough as it pertains down to the themes. To not spoil the tracks an excessive amount of, it comes with an “Escape Tour” cup where cops will come in to interrupt your race, creating a lot more tension along with a disturbance inside your pursuit of to begin with.
This game is another Nintendo Switch exclusive, so another big question is: so how exactly does it run? Cruis’n Blast runs very smoothly in docked and handheld mode. Despite the number of things are going on at once, the performance barely hitches or drops in frames. The colors are vibrant, the worlds have detail, and the cars are extremely fast. This port is well-optimized for hardware that's quickly aging. Kudos to the team for creating a well-performing port.
Cruis’n Blast is the best kind of game on the Switch too. It’s the arcade throwback that goes hand-in-hand with the portability aspect. You can just drop in quickly to complete several races, time trials, or cups and stop hunting. The loading times are superb. This is the kind of game that doesn’t require a lot commitment either.
This game has the kind of standard modes you’d see in a racing game like a single player grand prix mode which is called Cruis’n Tour. There are four difficulties that will get progressively harder with unlockables as incentives. Cruis’n Blast also offers more incentives like locating the three golden keys throughout each track. Collecting these keys unlocks new vehicles.
Speaking of the vehicles, though, this game includes a very unique list of rides to choose from. You have some conventional vehicles like a Corvette Stingray, Nissan 370Z, GT-R, or Cadillac. After playing for some time unlocking things, the selection goes weird. There are such things as dinosaurs, F1 cars, stealth choppers, bikes, a firetruck, a UFO and a whole lot as actual driveable rides. There are lots of more whimsical and wacky rides to choose from.
The only real downside to this game is that it doesn’t have much extra content outside of finishing the cups, collecting the keys, and becoming all of the vehicles. There are no time trial incentives like rivaling people all over the world or staff ghosts. Cruis’n Blast also doesn’t come with an online multiplayer, so the only multiplayer this game offers is local or wireless play.
Cruis’n Blast is as arcade-y as an arcade racer can be. Her high thrills and stakes which are so over the top, but that’s the charm from the Cruis’n series. It doesn’t require a lot setup to just obtain a few races in. If you're itching for wild thrills and quick rides, this is actually the perfect pickup.