A question that pops up often around these parts is where have all the arcade racers gone, and one answer, it turns out, is blindingly obvious; you can find them down at the arcade. Cruis'n Blast, which just launched this week, is part of that other seemingly endangered species, an arcade port that squeezes 2017's gloriously overstated racer onto the Switch, and one that serves up the kind of garish, absurd outrageous entertainment so many of us pine for from our racing games.
Perhaps it's something of a surprise to discover that bonafide arcade games even exist in this day and age, but should you ever be lucky enough to stumble upon one yourself you'll see they're largely propped up by one company alone: Raw Thrills, a small outfit operating out of Skokie, Illinois under the watchful eye of a certain Eugene Jarvis. That'll be Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender and Robotron amongst other all-time classics, because while the video game world moved on from the smoky scrum of the arcade, Eugene decided to make it his lifelong home.
I'm telling you all this before I get to Cruis'n Blast's outrageous arcade action, its race tracks stuffed with set-pieces that would make Fast & Furious blush and straddled by pairs of 50-foot yetis tearing chunks out of each other, because it seems kind of important to understand what exactly this is. This is the arcade racer emerging from the Galápagos isle of the arcade itself, the result of 30 years of isolated evolution, and a game that's got louder, brasher, somehow more lurid still. What a wonder it is to behold!