Any respectable gamer knows that Crazy Taxi is one wild ride. Is Acclaim’s GameCube port of the Sega classic worth the crazy money?
A lot of people have complained about Acclaim bringing Crazy Taxi to GameCube. Not me! In fact, I don’t understand what people are bitching about. Ever since I heard Sega would provide software for GameCube, I hoped Crazy Taxi would show up in some form –if only so I could play it with the comfy Cube controller. Thanks to Acclaim, the original was ready for GameCube at launch. Yeah, it’s an old game and hardly anything was changed… Still, I find it hard to see Crazy Taxi on the Cube as not being a good thing.
Crazy Taxi is one of the most original games to emerge in recent years. Debuting in the arcade and then coming to Dreamcast with an additional original level, there are few hardcore gamers who do not know of Crazy Taxi. The object of the game is to pick up passengers and to ferry them around as quickly and as insanely as possible. The crazier you drive without running into stuff, the better the score & payment. Even if you do run into stuff, your Taxi Cab is pretty much invulnerable. Therefore, you can smash into other cars, trains, drive underwater and a variety of other hilarious, impossible scenarios that wreck havoc as you make haste through the city.
Players have a choice of four drivers, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example Gena is the fastest, while Gus has the heaviest hitting cab. Then it’s off to the streets to make CRAZY MONEY!
There are two cities… The Arcade city and the Original city created for the Dreamcast release. Each is relatively large, and there is in fact much exploration in Crazy Taxi. The more you play, the better you get to know the city and the more short cuts you can find. If you’d like a break from the chasing fares, there is the Crazy Box mode. Crazy Box is a set of mini-games that offers challenges to help sharpen skills. Some are very easy to complete, while others will take quite a bit of practice to beat.
Crazy Taxi is nearly a perfect game, though there is no multiplayer and somehow the game begs for it. The two cities are huge, but another level or two would have been fantastic. Fortunately, it can be very fun to watch someone else play—especially if they’re good.
The biggest problem most people have with this game is that it is practically just a straight port of a Dreamcast game. This isn’t Acclaim’s fault, as it was a condition from Sega for them to do the port. There is NOTHING new, although there are slight improvements here and there. The framerate is excellent and playing with the GameCube controller is a real treat. Playing with the Dreamcast controller made my hands cramp up, especially when trying to do many Crazy Boosts.
The biggest problem I have with the game is also the most noticeable change from the Dreamcast version: the voices. With the exception of Axel and the announcer, all the voices are different. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that almost all males sound like Kermit the Frog and female passengers all use the same voice samples. A few of the new voices are funny, but the lack of effort is not.
I’m all for Acclaim porting other great games from the Dreamcast to Cube (I said “great” – so I don’t think this includes 18 Wheeler). It benefits Acclaim, it benefits Sega and best of all, it benefits GameCube owners! True, veteran crazy cabbies don’t have much reason to pick up the GameCube version but newcomers and hardcore fans will find a world of good times in Crazy Taxi.