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Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » Crazy Taxi » User review

We don't need no Stinkin' Brakes!

  • Mar 27, 2002
Rating:
+3
Pros: Level of insanity rivaled only by Jet Grind Radio

Cons: A bit lacking in variety, no steering wheel

The Bottom Line: Round and round I go! Where I stop, no one knows!

As everyone knows, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Well, those ever-creative geniuses at Sega have taken this concept and turned it into a fun little arcade game. Since the unusual concept struck a chord with gamers, said game was a huge hit in the arcades. So the boys at Sega took said game and and made it into a flawless port for the Dreamcast. It was a big hit there, too, and it helped the Dreamcast survive for a little while longer.

Said game was a clever little driving game by the name of Crazy Taxi. The concept of the game was to pick up passengers in your taxi convertible, then follow an arrow to the passenger's destination before the passenger got fed up and walked out of your cab. You got to the destination, the passenger paid you according to how far away the place was and how fast you got there.

Yeah, it sounds like a rather boring concept, doesn't it? But get this: to get to the destination, you were allowed, and even encouraged, to drive as recklessly as you pleased. You were allowed to go on sidewalks, through parks, and in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic. Best of all, the boys in blue were nowhere to be found!

Oh, how this game is fun, fun, fun! Crazy Taxi is one of those games that doesn't ask for a lot of time or even skill. Pop it in, play for ten minutes or an hour, take it out, get on with your day. It's as if this game was made for the sole purpose of wasting time without burning yourself out trying to think of a way to get past that one level you just can't seem to get past. It's something you play during those itty bitty gaps that you have every now and then, a fact further evidenced by the fact that you don't even need the VMU to play it, unless you're bent on keeping track of your statistics.

You work by picking one of four drivers in the beginning, each having slightly different abilities. You then take driver and cab alike to the streets of San Fransisco (I assume it's San Fransisco, due to the presense of trolley cars), where you proceed to do the cab driver thing, picking up passengers and dropping them off. You pick them up by stopping in a circle. How far you have to go and how much they pay you depends on the size of the circle. After you pick them up, you follow an arrow on the top of the screen to the destination, where they get out and pay you different amounts depending on how far you took them and how fast you got there. You repeat until time runs out. Since this is a port, you can choose between arcade time or a timer of up to ten minutes.

Once you've played the arcade level to death, move on to the Dreamcast exclusive level. After that, challenge yourself with the Crazy Box, which challenges you to meet records in areas like jumping and drifting.

The graphics in Crazy Taxi are very sharp. The cars, roads, and people are all very detailed, with no slowdown or jaggies. There are many different kinds of people out on the streets, like pregnant women, and all the passengers ask to be taken to real places like Pizza Hut, Tower Records and Kentucky Fried Chicken, which gives the game an incredible level of realism. The one problem I have is in collision detection-since everyone dives out of the way, you don't hit anyone. But sometimes you go too fast, and the passerby goes right through the car. And will someone please tell me how passengers just up and leave the cab when they get frustrated? You're on the freeway, the passenger gets fed up and jumps out. If this was real, the passenger would be forced to grit his teeth and bear it.

The game's music is good, and fits the mood perfectly. Problem is, there are only four tracks, so they get a little repetetive after awhile. And the music competes with the voice-overs for space. When you do manage to strain your ears enough to hear a voice-over, however, you won't be able to contain your laughter. Passengers in the cab shout at you to watch where you're going, passengers outside the cab yell at you to come back, and innocent bystanders just shout.

Control, thankfully, is kept simple. The left and right triggers are brake and gas respectively, and buttons a and b are used to shift gears from forward into reverse. x is used to show the distance to the next destination. But the controls aren't near as responsive as you'll wish they were. The cars take way too long to accelerate, and if you're trying to accelerate while turning at the same time, they take even longer. You can't stop as fast as you'd like to, either, and when you arrive at certain destinations, you sometimes overshoot the mark, and that will cost you time.

Thank God the replay value is so high, because this game supposedly uses only four percent of the disc it's printed on. You have two levels, the crazy box, and that's it. With a good 96 percent of the disc left, Sega could have added a few more levels. Of course the good part of this is the fact that you don't need another VMU to enjoy the game to its fullest extent. Even if you're a stat monkey who's interested in keeping track of every last record he sets, it only requires four blocks of memory.

If I had bought Crazy Taxi when it first came out, I would have yelled and screamed about paying fifty bucks for a game this small. Those of you who bought this game for the PlayStation 2 or GameCube are screwed. But for Dreamcast owners, the funfactor is through the roof, so it's good that you can get it for ten dollars these days. Actually, you can get both the original and the Dreamcast-only, supposedly superior sequel for a grand total of thirty dollars-teenty dollars less than just the original for the PS-2 or GC. Hmm...

Recommended:
Yes

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More Crazy Taxi reviews
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Nice simple classic where you take people round town. Get as much money and points before time runs out.
review by . January 18, 2008
posted in The Gaming Hub
Pros: Unique driving game not involving racing     Cons: Gets repetitive fast/not much game depth     The Bottom Line: Fun game to play on occasion, but it gets boring after playing a while.     This is a fun driving game with a different kind of objective than trying to win a race. The object of the game is to pick up passengers and deliver them to their destinations. There is a certain time limit depending on mode chosen and you try to …
review by . November 21, 2001
posted in The Gaming Hub
Crazy Taxi is about picking up people, taking them to the destination they want to go, and collecting the fee! However the best part about all this is the fact that to do that you have to break every traffic law ever made! There's not much more to talk about except for the fact that (As many people have pointed out) that this game IS the same thing as what you'd buy on Dreamcast (And Playstation 2 and Xbox for that matter)! Which means if you have the DC vertion there is no reason to get this game …
About the reviewer
Nicholas Croston ()
Ranked #19
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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About this video game

Wiki

Crazy Taxiis a mad race against the clock and traffic. As any of four fearless cabbies, players are driven by a single goal: to rack up megabucks in fares and tips before their shifts end. Drivers pick up passengers and take them to their destinations by any means possible. It's a comic cab opera of collisions and decisions, where courtesy takes a back seat to coin.Crazy Taxioffers all the enthralling features that made it a must-play arcade and console game, including four different cabs and drivers, each with his or her own style and attitude, two expansive and interactive courses for extensive gameplay, nine minigames to challenge various driving skills, true driving dynamics, wild, mission-based gameplay infused with humor, and a rockin' soundtrack by Offspring and Bad Religion.
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Details

ESRB: T for Teen
Publisher: Sega
Console: Dreamcast, Playstation 2, PC
Genre: Racing Action
Release Date: February, 2000
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