Cruis’n Blast was originally released to the arcades in 2017 and is the 6th game from this popular racing series. Having played Cruis’n USA extensively on the N64 in the late ’90s, I was ecstatic to see how this latest exclusive port for the Switch turned out. Spoiler alert, it’s fantastic!
Let’s go Cruis’n
For those new to the franchise, this is an arcade racer with licensed cars, where you travel to different areas in the world and race for that coveted checkered flag finish. Cruis’n Blast kicks things up several notches in practically every aspect, that include over 30 tracks and 23 rides to choose from (including a firetruck and dinosaur too…you read that correctly).
Easy and Normal modes are available from the start, with Hard and Extreme difficulty unlocked as you progress. Single player, Multiplayer, Local Play and Extras are the main offerings. Extras include your progress, your garage, Best Time on each Track, Controls and a Credits screen. Would have loved to see the OST here.
Single player has a very healthy roster that features Cruis’n Tour (Night, Escape, Storm, Chopper and several other themed courses), Classic Arcade, Time Trials and a Single Race option. Multiplayer is in place for local play up to 4 players, but online MP is MIA. I think that’s literally my only complaint from this title.
There are several exciting cars to choose from including: GT-R, C8, 59 Cadillac, Camaro ZL1, Police Cruiser, Superbike, Firetruck and yes…a freaking Triceratops. This over the top foolishness actually fits extremely well alongside the insanely chaotic and blissful arcade gameplay that gamers today just rarely see anymore; and that’s a shame.
Once you select your ride, you’ll be able to customize it in may ways. Change up the paint, earn upgrades such as decals, install a wicked looking body kit, purchase engine upgrades or brighten up your car with a glowing neon kit underneath the chassis. Don’t forget to purchase some NOS if you wanna increase your chances of snagging a first place finish. It can really help you pull off some razor close wins.
You can also drift and buildup a short bursts of speed (similar to Mario Kart). Double tapping the gas pedal will make you pop a wheelie, go on 2 wheels around corners and you can even flip over other cars with this tactic. The game is still focused on outrageous speed and they have certainly cranked up the environmental mayhem on each track, making it a absolute blast from start to finish. Tornados, UFO’s, Helicopters and giant Yeti’s are just a fraction of the action found within each course. It is delightfully crazy in the best way possible.
Cruis’n Blast from Raw Thrills is an absolute gem for Nintendo Switch owners. If you blended up Burnout, Need for Speed and MotorStorm Apocalypse, this would be the likely outcome. It’s a wonderfully chaotic arcade racer. The action, effects and overall performance achieved here is really impressive; as it runs beautifully docked or on the go. This genre has been absent for far too long and seeing this IP back up exclusively on the Nintendo Switch is a real treat. Whether you put in serious time with the original game on the N64 like I did, or this is your introduction to the series…you are in for some serious smiles and fun.