Review by matt91486
"Here's hoping that the sequel isn't called Zany Taxi"
Crazy Taxi began it’s tour in the arcades as an underdog no one had heard of. It now resides triumphantly knowing it has made millions win Crazy Money. It stand tall and proud knowing that his just gave Sega’s occupational series a big boost. And it lays next to my television on top of Power Stone, under Soul Calibur, and next to Evolution, because Crazy Taxi has finally come home.
I am surprised no one thought of this before. The idea is so simple. Pick up a customer, and drop them where they want to be for a fare. But then, Sega threw in the greatest hitch ever made in a video game. You do not have to obey traffic laws. Yes! It is like the Autobahn with the troopers not caring if you knock the four by four into the ditch somewhere in Bavaria. And, you can knock over anything you want to, if it happens to be in your way. (Or you just want to knock it over.
The graphics look ultra-realistic. The light shines of the cars, um, realistically, but it never blinds you. The passengers look like real people. Stereotypical people, yes, but real people. (What do I mean by stereotypical people? The fat forty year old in the baseball cap going to Pioz Stadium. The kid with the pink mohawk going to Tower Records.) Someone spent a long time studying traffic patterns, because when I am on the freeway, I swear I am on Interstate 694. Except for no one drives against traffic in real life.
If the graphics are so perfect, why did you only give it a nine? The answer: Slowdown. The game slows down more than a replay in the Super Bowl. And that has the excuse of John Madden doing commentary on it. Some times you think you are watching The Matrix but then you are realizing movement just happens the same way.
The music is great, consisting of seven tracks from The Offspring and Bad Religion. You would think the songs get repetitive but they do not. And these two groups fit the game perfectly. (Britney Spears would sound pretty weird in this game.) And I hope that The Offspring and Bad Religion are brought back in the sequel.
This is how sound effects were meant to be. Your passengers constantly yelling at you from the back seat. “What the Hell are you doing!!!” And the screeching of tires, the crunching of phone booths, the cha-ching of money flowing into your fare box!
Controlling when I first started Crazy Taxi intrigued me. How come you go with ‘R’ and brake with ‘L.’ I have seen countless friends and family members of mine frantically pressing ‘A’ and screaming at the car “Go!” I laughed so hard I fell over once. Then I had to show them how.
So...’R’ is go, ‘L’ is brake, ‘A’ puts your car in reverse, and ‘B’ brings it back into forward again. ‘Start’ pauses the game, and you can steer with the Control Pad or the Control Stick.
Everything handles like a dream once you figure it all out. And it is not a slow, sluggish dream either. The control is so perfect, even the sharpest of turns will not scare you, cause even with Gus (the driver with one of the worst handling) you know you can make it.
The fact that there are real locations (Tower Records, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etcetera) is great. The fact that there are two cities is great. (The arcade city is better thought-out and laid-out than the original city. The fact that there are not more than two, and they are not real cities is not. Would you not rather be driving through the streets of San Fransisco, Honolulu, and even Milwaukee than these fake cities? Would it not be even more fun to crash through a mall, when you know it is The Mall of America? Despite my city gripes, it is impossible not to give this game a ten. Despite having only four drivers, this game deserves a ten. Why? It will make you have the most fun you ever will on a video game console. Since, for some odd reason, there is no multiplayer mode, you and your friends can have contests writing down the most money you can get in the different modes in each city. (But please do include a multiplayer mode next time Sega.) And alone, you will play for hours on end, playing and playing and playing.
The mini-games, or mini-challenges, are not as fun as the normal game. Most of them I consider a chore. If there was a fun one, it would have to be the balloon popping one.
The first time you play the game, you can turn all of the options to the easiest possible, and still get a class ‘D’ license. Once you get better, you can turn them to medium, and you can get decent classes. When you have played it so much, you can turn all of the difficulty options to the hardest, and the game will make you still practice some more to get the always elusive Class S license. The mini-games/mini-challenges are the hardest things in Crazy Taxi.
This game has the single highest replay value of any game ever made. Even after you have stopped playing this game constantly, at least once a week (when you can) you will pop it into your Dreamcast, and play for a while. And you can always compare your high scores then, to your high scores of the past. Even though there is little or nothing to unlock, besides those extra mini-games/mini-challenges, you will still play it, since it is so fun.
As I have heard rumors of this game being ported to the PlayStation 2, I wonder what Sega is thinking. This is one of their three best games, and they are porting it? What is it a death wish?
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/21/00, Updated 07/18/01
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