Review by JPeeples
"The definition of insanity."
Crazy Taxi was released in February of 2000 for the Sega DreamCast. Crazy Taxi was developed and published by Sega. CT is an arcade port of a game of the same name. Crazy Taxi allows you to choose from four distinctive cabbie: Axel, Gena, B.D. Joe, and Gus. Each cabbie drives their own unique car, each car handles differently. Each of the cabbies' cars have their own advantages and disadvantages, you will probably need to know how to exploit the advantages and each car, and how to compensate for the disadvantages, know how to do these things is crucial, that is, if you want to get the most out of this fine game. All of the characters are bursting at the seems with personality. Now then, without further ado, let’s get onto the review.
Graphics- 8/10- The character design, while stereotypical, is humorous. The game doesn't take itself too seriously. The in-game environments look stunning. Both cities feature lush, highly detailed environments. The buildings feature a super-smooth look, as do the game’s vehicles. The human characters in the game could stand be a bit less blocky, but that’s no big deal. The game usually moves at a blisteringly high fast rate, unfortunately, as is the case with most racing-esque games, the frame rate has a tendency to drop when a lot of stuff is happening on screen at once, this does cause some disruption, this is very noticeable in the Original city, but, it’s no big deal, it doesn't really affect gameplay. The game is also plagued with pop-up, this mainly occurs on uphill areas in the cities.
Pros- Great, highly entertaining character design. Super-smooth framerate (for the most part.)
Cons- Frame rate dropouts (especially in the Original city.) Occasional pop-up Blocky human characters.
Sound- 10/10- The pulse pounding punk music of the Offspring and Bad Religion sets the tempo for the white knuckle excitement to come. Each band has about 3 songs in the game. The soundtrack does get repetitious, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. It might bug others though. The cabbies' voices are clear, and fit the characters. They all have many humorous comments to make, as do the fares you pick up. The sound really enhances the feel of the game, the game just wouldn’t be the same without the stirring punk soundtrack and humorous voices.
Pros- Soundtrack fits the game perfectly, it also adds to the white knuckle excitement of the game.
Cons- None. Some may find the soundtrack’s repetition annoying.
Gameplay- 10/10- The object of the game is to collect as many fares as you can within a certain time limit. In theory, this may sound like a cakewalk, but in practice it most certainly isn't. Many factors are prevelant that can determine success or falure. One of these factors is the price ranges for the fares in the game. Here's how the price structure breaks down: different price ranges, and subsequently the length of the ride for your customer are represented by colored circles around your potential customer, red fares will pay the least, but they have the shortest ride. Orange fares pay a little more than red, they want to go a little farther. Yellow fares offer the second highest payoff, they also want to go farther than orange fares. Finally, green fares will pay the highest, but they also have the farthest to go. Numerous features were added to the home release of the game, including an entirely new city and set time limits (three, five, and ten minutes) for you to complete your goal. Sega added an Original mode to the game, this mode adds a whole new city to the game, and essentially doubles the game’s replay value. Sega has also added a practice mode of sorts, called the Crazy Box mode, in this mode you utilize the many tactics you can use to get your fares faster. This is a great addition to the game because it makes you use the CRAZY moves in the game to accomplish the goals, once you complete the Crazy Box mode, you're more than ready to hit the road. There is a lot of incentive for you to collect a ton of money, the game grades you after every run, there are many licenses to get, from the C license to the CRAZY license (only the best of the best will get this, the ultimate prize in the game.) It requires you to get $20,000 in one run. This may seem simple, but trust me, it's not, the game does give you a time limit for each fare, if you don't make it to the destination within the time limit, you lose the fare. It's very exciting. You'll be hooked on this game before you know it. The addition of the Crazy Box practice modes is a welcome addition. They help you to brush up on your technique if you're rusty. They will also teach you the game’s mechanics. The Crazy Box mode can add a ton of fun to the game, if you take advantage of it. It is one of the best practice modes I’ve ever seen because it makes you use the game's advanced techniques to progress through the various parts of the mode. Unfortunately, if you just play the game at face value, you run the risk of getting bored of the game fast.
Pros- Super-addictive gameplay will have you glued to your seat.
Cons- May seem shallow at first.
Control- 10/10- You can use both the analog stick and the d-pad to control your cab. The R Trigger acts as the accelerator, the L Trigger acts as the brake. The A button activates Drive, the Button activates Reverse. The control is rock solid. CT features some of the best control ever for a DC game. It is never unresponsive or jerky. The game does feature some very unrealistic, borderline wacky physics, for example, when you go over a hill, you literally go OVER a hill, you're about ten feet off of the ground. Thankfully, the insane physics only help the game, they fit the style and feel of the game perfectly.
Pros- Super-responsive controls. Bizarre, out of this world physics fit the game perfectly.
Challenge- 8/10- The challenge of the game depends solely on how much you know the level layout, the game does give you arrows to help guide you, but you need to know the
layout so you can take advantage of the game's many shortcuts.
Replay Value- 10/10- This is one of the most addictive games in history. Believe me, you will not stop playing this game until you have gotten a CRAZY license. There is a surprising amount of stuff to do in this game, not to mention all of the unlockable stuff (i.e. secret vehicles.)
Overall- 10/10- This is undeniably one of the best games ever on the Sega DC, it combines excellent graphics, imaginative character design, wonderful sound, and flawless control to make a game that you will want to play for months on end.
Final Thought- This game may seem shallow at first, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll find that it has many things to offer.
Buy or Rent?- Buy- This is one of the most innovative and exciting games to be released in the last ten years. You'll get a ton of fun out of it. You'd be nuts not to buy it since it's now on Sega's All Star program, that means that it's only $20.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/20/01, Updated 01/20/01
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