Review by CChan

"One totally addicting game that centers pure gaming fun and mad driving skills - it's Crazy Taxi!"

It’s always a welcome to have a creative and original game where you won’t get tired and bored with it. Crazy Taxi is one of them and it’s really crazy. You need to drive across the town, learning all sorts of crazy moves and banging cars all the way to your customer’s destination. As the name suggests, you’ll need to choose your character together with their taxi and pick up customers and drive them to their respective places. Drive like a madman and give your customer a good time and you’ll gain tips from them.

Graphics – 9
The graphics are pure sweet and it’s nice to see how Sega has gone through every single detail. The models of the cars and lots of other transports are rendered perfectly with cool colours to add for their looks. Buildings that are scattered around like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Tower Records and The Original Levi’s Shop were also put in and redesigned with their original logos together. It’s nice to have those familiar shops popping around. The cities are really big as you sent them all around so thanks to Sega once more, we have a nice graphical modeled cities to be set on our eyes.

The lighting sources and shadows are really great but it’s a guess that it’s in the afternoon as the shadows did not really change from time to time. The shadows of the taxis just stayed underneath the car and move accordingly when it is turning, acting totally like a shadow. The colours are also used nicely and are a great addition to the game, making the game look really cool. All together, this game has been gone through real in-depth and totally detailed to bring up an exciting game like this. The background, the sky and everything was certainly wonderful.

Chances are, every game will have graphical flaws in them and Crazy Taxi is one of them. If you are going too fast zipping through the city, the system can’t catch up with the frames and you’ll see the background crash. Not really the game but the background will turn black and it’s like you will fly through the darkness but it will automatically recover later on and it’s rarely going to happen, especially as you are a beginner and won’t drive like a reckless barbarian on the streets. And on other times, the game may slow down suddenly and speeding up insanely in an irritating manner but will recover too a few seconds later.

Music – 10
The background music are definitely entertaining to hear and are composed by four different soundtracks. Although there are only four, it’s certainly nice to hear the background music going on and on with sort of a unique theme to it. As you’re driving along this crazy game, it’s likely that you’re not going to pay attention to the music at all and centering it all on the game itself. Sung and done nicely, Sega sure made a nice addition towards the soundtrack.

The sound effects, on the other hand, are just nice. While you’re flying through the city, you’ll here voices of different people shouting “You’ve got to pick me up!” which are drowned by the loud music. How the engine is started, when you’re gaining a turbo boost and everything of a car should have the right sounds are all there. Customers that are picked up will comment on your driving skills, whether they’re sent very quickly or slowly, especially when you crash into another people which will result them calling you stupid and such in strong language. There will be also a voice that also sounds a bit crazy that will be guiding you throughout your game, whether you went to the wrong way and others.

Gameplay – 10
Money makes the world go around and so is in Crazy Taxi. Basically, you’ll need to pick off lots of customers and gain lots of money within the time limit. Of course, the time will slowly add when you take a customer and let them off in their respective places and more money will flow in if you sent them very quickly than they least expected it! All the game is about is to drive, stop and pick up your customers and sent them as fast as you could to their respective places.

When you started to enter the game, you’ll need to learn a couple of things so that you’ll earn more money and gain your respective rank based on the amount of money that you earned. After you had have make yourself comfortable with the game, you’ll then need to earn more advanced techniques that will gain your more money than ever. The Crazy Through is to go near or between cars that will get your customer a fright, Crazy Dash is to make your car to go much more faster hence the name, Limiter Cut to go even faster to gain a turbo boost that will last long providing that you don’t crash, Crazy Drift to turn a sharp corner and many more other crazy moves. All those are tough to learn and master but you’ll sure enjoy it as you’ll gain extra tips from the customer if you perform them while driving.

You can choose between four good-humoured cabbies, Axel, Gus, Gena and B.D. Joe. The four of them have different types of taxis and have different of good and bad points that will affect the driving and the long adventure of sending customers later on. Try every single one of them first and you’ll see which one has the best car and which one has the worst. I’m not going to comment on that point of view as different people have different opinions so you’ll have to try their taxis yourself.

There are simply many customers to take around, ranging from the good old Grandma Jessica which surprisingly is still very strong to give you loud commands, the pink-haired punk, a lady, a pregnant woman, a man with flowers in his hands (obviously to his girlfriend), one very fat youth that looks as if suffering from obesity, a guy with always with his video-camera in his hands and lots of more ranging even to a priest! These customers are sometimes annoying as they will keep calling you stupid or an idiot if you do anything wrong.

If you drive your customers very fast to their destination, they will give you extra money and added to that, you’ll get 5 seconds of bonus time to be added to your time. If you sent them there in just right on time, a yellow “Normal” will appear and you’ll receive two extra bonus times but too late and they will not give you any extra money and try to kick your car. Worse, if you’re even later, the words “Bad” will appear and they will jump out from your taxi, no matter whether where they are, whether in the sea or a traffic-congested road. Waste of time driving them, isn’t it?

There are a couple of modes to get you addicted. The Arcade mode is basically all from the arcade conversion itself and you’ll find yourself driving through a gigantic city which will take you a few days before you can memorize the whole place all together. The place itself consists of troublesome traffic that may sometimes annoy you as you may ram into those cars. Worst still, if you are on the highway, you may find yourself jamming yourselves into those massive lorries and buses which will slow you down considerably. Even so, if you don’t want to follow the Arcade rules, you can always change to work for three minutes, five minutes or even ten minutes but you won’t get any bonus times. The same goes to the Original mode.

The Original mode shouldn’t be used at all for those who did not master game yet, and did not conquer the Arcade mode itself. Get in for a big fright as Original mode consists of two gigantic cities which will get you lost easily and this mode are only available to the Dreamcast version only. The traffic there is even worse and there will lots of roads leading one way to another that will make you tear your hair off. The whole place is simply crazy and full of annoying customers so get ready a heart-attack pill beside you.

Honestly, the Crazy Box is the craziest and the zaniest one of all. You’re going to get through 16 different crazy missions (including the S-class ones) and you’ll need to master crazy moves to successfully get through all of them, ranging from going 150 feets above, sending 7 grandmas to their destination, knock down all the bowling pins, bursting all the balloons by ramming your taxi into them, taking a few customers to their respective girlfriends and many more others. All of these crazy stuffs can literally send you to tears and make you jump down from a 20 feet apartment building. They’re very, very hard. Successfully completing all of the Crazy Boxes will earn you something secret and special but I won’t tell you what. Play it yourself.

There are different ranks to be obtained, based on how much money that you have earned. Ranging from “No License” when you didn’t even get a single cent, “E License” when you get between $0.01 between $999.99 and seven other ranks that will give you the need to upgrade yourself and beat your own record. You can also register yourself up to four different people so that will means you and your three other friends can play in a single save file. You can race against each other and see who got the highest rank and money, the best combos earned in the Crazy Boxes in the Records menu. Sega sure know how to keep us coming back for more.

Controls – 8
The controls are insanely difficult to do in the beginning at first, especially as you have never played racing game for a long time or never played one before. Basically, it just consists of few buttons: accelerate, brake, shifting into drive and the into reverse mode and vice-versa, seeing how far you are from your destination and the analog stick as well as the D-pad that will let you control your taxi. You can choose to use the standard Dreamcast controller, the arcade stick or even the racing wheel. Choose between the three different types of controllers that you feel most suitable with though the normal Dreamcast controller works fine for me.

The worst moves you’re ever going to learn is the Crazy moves which consist of lots of buttons-mashings around that are going to damage the tiring hand of yours. Example like the Crazy Drift, you’ll need to shift into the reverse gear, then quickly into the drive gear and quickly press the accelerate button and then quickly turn sharply on your analog stick or D-pad. Do I sound confusing? This needs lots of practice and is quite handy on the Arcade and Original mode which will earn you extra tips from the passenger and most important and annoying of all, the Crazy Box.

Replay Value – 9
The Arcade course will keep you coming back and I can say I’ve been playing it a full five days non-stop without changing to other games. The game is simply addicting and the fun, linear Arcade mode and the confusing Original mode will let you glue your eyes on the television screen. Furthermore, the Crazy Box which contains 16 promising challenges that will seem impossible to finish will simply drive you mad and damage your thumbs further. What to say more about this game?

Overall – 10
If you ever need a fun and addicting game, Crazy Taxi has the answers. Sega’s arcade conversion was truly perfect and it’s totally pure fun. One huge city in the Arcade mode, together with two gigantic cities put in together in the Original mode would certainly keep you going. Kick out your goody-goody driving skills that you acquired for Crazy Taxi needs you to zip through the city in a wild and crazy manner. Offering lots of extras and stuffs in this game, Crazy Taxi is simply not going to be missed. Serious.

Crazy
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+ Intense fun from Arcade mode and even more crazy driving in Original mode!
+ One truly addictive game that will keep you coming back!
+ Lots of modes, secrets and extras that will keep you coming back all the more!

Dizzy
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- Get prepared for a bandage for your poor, tired and damaged hands…
- The Crazy Boxes are simply too hard!
- Graphical glitches that sometimes appear that will annoy you.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/15/00, Updated 11/15/00


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