GC

North America

Crazy Taxi

by Jonathan Metts - December 8, 2001, 12:16 pm PST

7

Crazy Taxi for GameCube is no different than other versions of the game—but this also means it’s just as fun and wild as it always was.

Let’s cut to the chase. Do you already own Crazy Taxi for Dreamcast or PS2? If so, don't even think about getting the GameCube version too...it couldn't be a straighter port. The console version is almost two years old and nothing has changed since the original release on Dreamcast. There are no visibly improved graphics or additional features in the GameCube version (except getting to use the GameCube controller, which some may prefer to the other choices).

Now if you've played Crazy Taxi in the arcades but never had a Dreamcast or PS2 to get the home version, the situation changes a lot. I won't go right out and suggest that you buy the game...some people will easily get fifty bucks out of it, and others will probably get their fill from a rental. But I do think that EVERYONE should play Crazy Taxi on one system or another, because it's a brilliant game design that is no less fun than it was in the arcades back in '99. The free-roaming arcade gameplay is exactly the sort of thing Sega has become famous for over the years.

The home version includes a whole second city to play in, although it’s not quite as tightly designed as the original. You can also practice your skills in the Crazy Box mini-games...they can really help you do better in the arcade mode. My only complaint with those is that they are far too difficult for someone not already well-versed in the control and gameplay, and the descriptions for each “mission” don’t explain the goals very well.

Is the game perfect? Well, no. The voices are almost unanimously terrible, especially the announcer. You can actually hear the pain in his voice as he tries to sound "cool" for the kids. Then there's the Offspring music...I know a lot of people love it, and I'll admit that the songs fit the game well, but they get old SO fast. There are maybe three or four songs in the game, they repeat constantly, and in my opinion they all sound more or less the same. I guess it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it things.

But the gameplay isn't. Pretty much everyone loves the Crazy Taxi gameplay, which is a major part of the game's appeal. The concept is fairly simple, and driving like a maniac to some inane location such as Pizza Hut (I don't know about you guys, but I let Pizza Hut drive to me...) is just plain fun. This is a great game to lure in parents, wives, girlfriends, potential girlfriends (ahem), little cousins, really anyone. Plus, the style is slick enough that it won't turn off the Xbox demographic. It's a shame there's no multi-player mode, because the gameplay has "party" written all over it.

In the end, I could complain a lot about Crazy Taxi not using the GameCube's power, or that there aren't enough songs in the soundtrack, or that it's priced as high as totally new GameCube titles like Rogue Leader and Pikmin, but none of that really matters if you've yet to be exposed to some Crazy Taxi lovin'. And with it now available on every console under the sun, there's no reason not to.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
5 7 9 9 7 7
Graphics
5

Crazy Taxi looks like a Dreamcast game...because it is. It’s not an ugly game, but the standards have been raised in the past to years...not to mention with the new hardware available. What was a pretty good looking first-gen DC title looks a bit bland compared to other GameCube software, but at least the framerate is good. Overall just a very average-looking game on the new system.

Sound
7

I can’t really count off for The Offspring, and they do fit the game’s style perfectly, but there could have been more songs and ~gasp~ a bit more variety in the soundtrack. The sound effects are fine, but almost all of the voices are just awful. There’s no option to turn off the announcer, which is truly a shame.

Control
9

Crazy Taxi is a simple game to control, and it feels great on the GameCube pad. Using the shoulder triggers for throttle and braking, I quickly got annoyed by the clicking...luckily you can change the layout so those functions are mapped to the face buttons.

Gameplay
9

It’s really, really fun. Invite over a friend or two and take turns beating each other’s scores. The Crazy Box events are maybe too hard for beginners, but they do add some variety.

Lastability
7

This is definitely a game you can pick up every few weeks and get back into for a while. Plus, the score-based, open-ended design means you can never truly “beat” Crazy Taxi...you can only master it, and even then the clock will eventually run out. The second city will greatly please those who played the arcade version to death and want a change of scenery. Too bad there’s no multiplayer...GameCube could have easily handled a two-player splitscreen mode, and this game begs to be played with a friend. At least there’s the Crazy Box stuff...and at some point, you will become obsessed with beating those challenges.

Final
7

Technically, Crazy Taxi is beginning to show its age, and I have a problem with the fact that it’s been ported with zero upgrades. I’d be much more upset if the game sucked to begin with, but Crazy Taxi rocks. This is a wonderful option for GameCube owners who’ve always been interested in the game but have never owned the right system for it.

Summary

Pros
  • Excellent, timeless arcade-style gameplay.
  • Playing Crazy Taxi with the GameCube controller...yummy!
  • The Offspring, if you like them.
Cons
  • Absolutely no improvements from the Dreamcast version.
  • Grating voice-work. Die, Mr. Announcer.
  • Not very much depth in the long run.
  • The Offspring, if you hate them.
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Racing
Developer Hitmaker
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Crazy Taxi
Release Nov 17, 2001
PublisherAcclaim
RatingTeen
jpn: Crazy Taxi
Release May 30, 2002
PublisherAcclaim

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