Review by tuba_hero

"Not an amazing game by any means, but it sure is a great time killer"

When Sega decided to port Crazy Taxi from the arcades to an actual home gaming system, many gamers were probably angered. Thankfully, the final product wound up pretty well, and retained the same amount of insane replayability that the original Arcade games had. The addition of the Crazy Box games were also a nice addition, and it looks like the Gamecube port is actually an improvement over the Arcade version.

Gameplay

Crazy Taxi thrives on its simplistic, yet fun, gameplay. It really fits the bill with the “easy to learn, hard to master” category. Anyone can drive around the city, pick up passengers, and earn money, but it takes hours for a player to be able to accurately pull off “Crazy Throughs” or “Crazy Drifts.” Due to the never-ending Arcade mode and the nature of the timed modes, there's hardly a learning curve as it is impossible to ‘lose' this game. The controls are decent to great: Controlling the car is simple and fairly flawless, but the guide arrow often leads you in the completely wrong direction.

As I mentioned before, the addition of “Crazy Drifts” and the like add to the fun of the game. While it's possible to play without any of these, they add to the fun and help you master the game. Another plus is that there's not just one, but two cities in the game that your cabbie drives around in. Along with that is the “Crazy Box” set – a collection of 16 minigames ranging from simple to nearly impossible. Overall, the gameplay of Crazy Taxi is, in a word, great.

Graphics

Easily the low point of Crazy Taxi. On the Dreamcast, 2 years prior to this, the graphics would be considered above average – but the Gamecube port has exactly the same graphics as the previous versions. I mean, they're not bad, but they definitely aren't fantastic either. A taxi flies into water without making a visual splash. Cars get pushed into people, so they awkwardly stand there and try to run in place. If you can get a car fast enough to fly off certain hill and crash against the buildings, the frame and camera glitch up and you can see white space. Still, just driving around in the city and the game looks calm and smooth.

Sound

The soundtrack could either be perfect or terrible – for me, it was great. Bad Religion and Offspring are not only two great bands, but they also really “set the mood” for the game, if you know what I'm talking about. Who wouldn't love to drive away in downtown Chicago with loud punk music playing in your cab? Okay, a lot of people, but that's not the point.

Or you can go ahead and play without music, and the game still sounds great. The background talking and sounds are perfect for the game, and it's always fun to hear the random bystander yelling “Hey, you nearly killed me! Learn to drive!” or about 30 other similar sound bites. The sound effects are good, too; at least you hear a splash when falling into water. Drifting and braking have specific noises too, and the banter between your cabbie and the passenger is entertaining, to say the least. Crazy Taxi makes use of the Gamecube controllers rumble feature, signaling a crash or a speed boost. And the game ‘narrator's voice... very interesting. The sounds in this game are great.

Replayability
Being a primarily arcade game, there's no ‘win' or ‘lose' conditions, only just play, play, and play to beat a high score. The game is extremely fun even when replaying, though; due to the 2 huge cities with probably 25 locations in each, and the ability to find and pick up any passenger you want, it never gets old. It's honestly the perfect game to put on when you just want to have some low-key, no-thinking fun.

The Crazy Box feature also adds to the replayability. There's 16 of them, where you range from popping balloons in a field to knocking down bowling pins in a giant bowling alley type area. Some of them are simple, some of them (such as the previously stated bowling one) have probably resulted in a few broken controllers before. After getting all of the Crazy Boxes complete, you can drive around in a crazy bike, which I have to admit is pretty cool. There's also a high-score section for Crazy Boxes, so you can always just try to beat your previous score.

Buy or Rent
I highly recommend that you buy this game, just for the sheer fun of it. It may not live up to its full potential, but even as a port it stands its ground well. The flaws in graphics and gameplay only stand out after playing for long hours, The addictive style of Arcade mode keeps you playing and playing, while the 3, 5, or 10 Crazy Minutes! are also enjoyable. Overall, the Gamecube Crazy Taxi game will keep you hooked to the TV for hours and hours.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/30/09

Game Release: Crazy Taxi (US, 11/17/01)


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