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Review: Crazy Taxi [GC]

by Jo Shields on 27 August 2002, 00:00

Tags: Racing

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qam5

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Crazy Drivin' ...

Crazy taxi is old. No really, its fscking ancient. It was released a good four years ago for the Naomi arcade board, transferred to the Dreamcast in 1998, then transferred to every system under the sun after the death of the Dreamcast. Not actually the latest version of the game (that title belongs to the PC port), this is basically a direct port of the original. No extra modes, no extra options, no better graphics. Thankfully, the small but decent soundtrack also remains.

Perhaps it's wrong for me to take offense to paying full price for an old game. After all, it's a great game. Then again, £40 is £40 and I hate paying that much for a recycled game. Especially when you can get a Dreamcast and a copy of the game for barely more money. Okay, time to quit bitching. On with the game.

The idea behind Crazy Taxi is simple: drive people from one place to another, very very fast. However, nothing in this life is that simple. The aim is to amass the largest sum of cash possible, and this is done through gaining massive tips for reckless (but incident-free) driving to excite people into parting with their money. Drive them particularly fast, get a few precious seconds added to your worryingly limited timer. Take your time and you don't get paid. Again, it's a simple idea.

The city itself is pleasantly detailed, with multi-story car parks and shopping malls to drive through, and even people in the sea who want lifts. It's far bigger than you're likely to see in one sitting, but at least it means there's some variation for you. The landmarks that people want driving to are very real-world, but the cynics amongst you may wonder how many suitcases full of money changed hands to make the game's pedestrians pay outrageous taxi fares to go to Pizza Hut or The Original Levis Store. Product placement has reached new levels.

As well as the regular Arcade mode, there's a second mode (where you start at the opposite end of the city), the option to play for a fixed length of time (three, five or 10 minutes), and the Crazy Box. Crazy Box features a bunch of challenges which rely on special techniques from the game. For example, the Crazy Jump (which looks like a ski jump on asphalt) requires the Crazy Dash discipline.

Crazy Taxi was great, if somewhat short-lived, fun for the Dreamcast four years ago. Today, it just looks dated. Anyone who hasn't already played it is likely not ever to want to, and there are far cheaper ways to play the game that forking out £40. To be honest with you, find it in an arcade and give it a good ten minutes. You need never part with more than £5, and will have had just as much enjoyment as if you actually owned the game.

Gaming Hexus rating: 5/10

(About the Gaming Hexus rating system: The score system is inspired by Edge magazine. Basically, we're bastards. Since 5/10 is halfway between perfect and shite, it's the rating given to average games. By definition, 6 or above is "above average", and probably worth owning. And we really don't hesitate to award low scores for bad games.)