Review of Crazy Taxi
This is Segas first release of one of their games originally for the Dreamcast but developed for PS2. The licensing of this top grade title goes to Acclaim, but rest assured…this is a direct port of the Dreamcast original.
To start with, the graphics are fantastic! There is no serious frame jerking or pop-up of any serious note. There arent any areas where the car disappears off the edge or seems into anything else. There are loads of cars on the roads, lots of pedestrians, and plenty of other items you can run into and send flying. This all happens with hardly any slowdown (only during the park shortcut) or performance problems. All the graphics are crystal clear and very detailed. Its amazing the details of even the houses you pass by. There are plants out front etc. As you pass cars closely, the tips you earn fly up into the air. In addition, the passenger in your cab stands up points, and jumps out (when you take too long to reach the destination). The destinations are clearly marked with a 3-D green box, so you know where to drop your fare off.
In traditional Sega fashion, playability is also excellent here. There are two controller configurations, although neither of which allows you to use the right analog stick for acceleration and braking. After playing quite a bit, I preferred the B configuration that had the gas and brake on the button pads rather than the shoulder buttons. That, of course, will be a personal preference to the individual. What made the B configuration better was the crazy maneuvering, which has to be mastered in the crazy box mode (more on this to follow). There is a crazy drift that requires switching between drive and reverse quickly with a hard steer, I could only master it with the B configuration. Also, the explanations on how to execute some of the maneuvers were not very clear and differed slightly from the manual. I found for example, to execute the crazy dash, you need to be in reverse and have the brakes on, then after releasing the brake, simultaneously press drive and the accelerator.
The playing modes are simple and there are three choices: Arcade, which uses the same course as the arcade version. Original, which uses an originally designed course, and Crazy Box, which is a series of tests that can hone your driving skills.
Arcade and Original both are the standard game of picking up a passenger and taking him/her to the destination. You can choose from arcade rules, which have a shorter time period, and you have to pickup and drop off passengers quickly to earn a higher drivers license or you can also choose longer times to better practice your skills. This is anything goes-literally. Drive across lawns, through water, up stairs…whatever it takes to get where you need to be in the shortest amount of time. The key is to earn higher tips to get a higher drivers license award. The better driver you are, the more money you can make. The more money you make the higher the level of drivers license you can earn.
While the play IS a lot of fun, but there is no variety though. You can get into the mode of picking up the same passengers, then get to the destination. This is repeated over and over again and can get rather tedious…but boy what a rush! The destinations include some shameless advertising plugs such as going to KFC, Pizza Hut, Levis store, etc.
Id prefer if there were a more randomized version that would have different passengers at the sites to send the driver to a new location.
The area most people will end up liking the best is the crazy box mode. This is a series of different challenges that have to be completed. There are three major areas. Once you complete the three challenges from that area, you get a fourth to do. Each area requires a level of skill and proficiency. The main thing is learning and mastering the Crazy Maneuvers such as Crazy Dash and Crazy Drift to get through the course. These are extremely challenging and take quite a bit of work to get through (Well, the second and third sets do, at least).
Oh, I also have to mention the sound track…it really kicks ass with Offspring and others. The tunes do get rather repetitive though at times…but they do fit in nicely with the onscreen action at hand.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Crazy Taxi' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Downey © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 Crazy Taxi in-game screenshot slideshow
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