Review by SuperStealthDud
"Fun While it Lasts"
My earliest memories of Crazy Taxi were in the Arcades, where you would put your money in, and have 1 quick ride on it. And you would enjoy the game. However, Crazy Taxi should have stayed in the Arcade, because the transfer on to Playstation 2 was not the greatest of all ideas.
The same basic idea from the Arcade is used in the PS2 version, only it does not seem to be done as well. The aim of the game is to ride around a virtual city in your taxi collecting fares. You get awarded bonus points for faster speed and performing high jumps. There are special moves that will help you as you ride, such as Crazy Jump and Crazy Drift. Some passengers will even request for you to crash into as many things as you can to earn more points. You get awarded 4 levels of time bonuses depending on the speed you get the customer to their destination: Speedy, Normal, Slow and if you are really slow the customer will jump out of the taxi without paying, giving you a Bad sign, which leaves you with little time to go and find another customer. The game continues until you cannot collect any more customers because you ran out of time. Once you have finished, you will be given a rank telling you how well you performed. You get to choose from either Arcade or Original modes, then have the option to play by Arcade Rules, or work for a set period of time. Do well enough, and the credits will roll. Because of this, it is possible to complete the main game in one sitting. This is where the mini-games come in. The mini-games are several short practice levels to help you improve in the main game. These include bursting balloons and using special moves to gain big combo scores. They are all very easy and can also be completed in one sitting. The Arcade mode is not much of a challenge for people that played the original in the Arcade.
The controls are very poor, with having to repeatedly change gears from forward to reverse to move. Unlike most driving games, the accelerator button isn't x. No, it's R1/R2. This does not suit the game very well, and tends to be a nuisance that stops you from enjoying yourself. Luckily, you can change the controls to suit you better, but it does not make too much of an improvement.
The graphics in Crazy Taxi appear to be no different from the Arcade, and have that blocky feel to them. The characters skin tones do not blend into each other very well, and no effort has been put into the facial movement at all. The cars look like cardboard cut outs, and show no realistic damage factor. The cars will roll around the floor when you collide with them, and appear not to take a scratch. The backgrounds have little detail put into them, with the plain blue sky, with nothing but a few white clouds within it. The buildings do not look very detailed either, and stick out like a sore thumb. You also bounce far too much when you land from the big jumps which is not entirely realistic.
The sound is average in this game, with the familiar sound of the engine and screeching brakes. Nothing more than a thump is heard when you collide with other vehicles. The characters have very few catch phrases and all of them grow boring after hearing them for a few times. The soundtrack is appalling, with only 2 songs, both of which are heavy metal/punk bands. The shouting and loud repetitive guitar strings are tiresome and give you a headache. If that type of music is your taste though, you will have no problem but the rest of us will be wanting to hit mute after 1 run.
Crazy Taxi will not last you very long at all, and you may regret buying it after 1 day. Just because of the shortness of this game, I would only recommend buying over the weekend. There is nothing to do once you have mastered the main game and mini-games unless you want to put yourself through it all again.
Overall Crazy Taxi is a half decent transfer from the Arcade to PS2, but lacks any real fun to be had. It should have stayed in the Arcade where it was more fun and never transferred to the consoles.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 07/30/03, Updated 07/30/03
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