Review by BradRock
"Go Taxi Go!"
Remember the good old days when the entire goal of most video games was to beat the high score? Well, that was a long time ago, and high scores have been replaced with longer games with detailed plots, such as the Final Fantasy series. With all of these advancements, who would want to play a game that returned to the tired old beat-the-high-score method? I would, and once you’ve played Sega’s Crazy Taxi, you will too.
Crazy Taxi has one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” themes seen in games such as Tetris or Ecco The Dolphin. The game places you into the role of one of four different cabbies, each with their own respective taxis. Your mission is to drive around a sprawling city, (It’s never named, but looks just like San Fransisco) pick up passengers, and (unlike real cab drivers) get them to their destinations as soon as possible. This means you must go as the crow flies whenever possible. This can lead you through parking garages, public parks, and even a shopping mall. Your focus, unlike most driving games, which involve beating opponents in a race, is instead on making money. You accomplish this by picking up as many fares as possible and performing stunts to earn tips. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? For the most part it is, but you’ll still find yourself spending a lot of time mastering the game’s many intricacies.
The Dreamcast version features the city found in the original arcade game released last year. In addition, an entirely new city has been added for your driving enjoyment. Both of the cities are extremely well designed, as there seems to be stunt opportunities everywhere. In addition to this new city (which suffers from minor slowdown by the way), the Dreamcast version also features an entirely new mode called Crazy Box. Crazy Box features several tasks to complete, usually involving performing stunts, or completing various tasks under a given time limit. This is a welcome addition, but its a shame Sega didn’t take it a step further. It won’t take long for most players to complete all the missions, and once they’re done there is little reason to go back and play them again. Overall, you’ll probably find yourself playing Crazy Taxi for quite a while despite its questionable depth. This is one game that has the “Just one more time” syndrome.
As for the presentation of the game, the graphics are truly amazing. Everything is crisp and detailed. This game definitely takes advantage of the Dreamcast’s power by providing huge environments with high levels of interaction. Everything here looks great, from the surrounding storefronts, to the taxis themselves; everything is chock full of detail. Sega obviously spent a lot of time perfecting the graphics engine. There is some slowdown occasionally but it doesn’t detract from gameplay significantly.
The music is also great. The soundtrack features songs from The Offspring and Bad Religion. Even if you’re not particularly a fan of that kind of music, most will enjoy it anyway because it fits the game so well. The only problem with the soundtrack is that due to the low number of songs, the same ones tend to be played over and over again.
Crazy Taxi has a quality that is actually pretty hard to pin down. It is just plain fun. This is definitely a must-have Dreamcast game for any gamer who wants to have a crazy fun time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/20/00, Updated 06/14/01
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