Sunday, September 13, 2020

Dragon Your Feet - Spyro Team Racing - Part 2

Move over, bandicoot! A new protagonist has seen fit to take the reigns. You could even say that he intends to reignite the race track and set the competition alight. That's right: Everyone's favorite purple dragon has made his way into a crossover than my childhood self could only dream of.

But I tire of dragon my feet. This week, let us continue our adventures in CrashSpyro Team Racing.

Sadly, as much as I would love naught but to revel in the joy of a dream come true, there are other aspects of the Nitro Fueled remake that I must hold in contempt.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this stream, before we dove back into the game, this game's system for unlocking costumes, characters, and other customization features relies on an in-game store called the Pit Stop. By completing races in game, both in single player and online (though more is gained from the latter), players obtain Wumpa Coins which may be used on the Pit Stop's rotating stock.

Obviously, this system raised eyebrows at the time of release, but since there was no way to purchase coins or cosmetics with real money, the only complaints were regarding how slow Wumpa Coins could be accrued unless playing online. Then, Activision changed their mind by adding microtransactions, allowing users to buy Wumpa Coins directly.

Combined with the rotating stock and the seasonal events that introduced FOMO, this almost instantly transformed the game into the exact type of live-service game that almost immediately puts me to sleep. As you saw in the first episode, I had not patched the game since Christmas last year, and I had not played it for months prior.

Now, post-release support has concluded, but the damage has already been done. I'll still gladly play this remake, because it's still expertly brought to life in high definition. And yet, this dark stain remains. Worse yet, Activision will obviously have conclude it's worth it despite what it's done to player trust.

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