GC

North America

Crazy Taxi

by Max Lake - March 7, 2002, 9:08 pm PST

8.5

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6.5 6 9 9 8.5 8.5
Graphics
6.5

Crazy Taxi doesn’t scratch the surface of what the GameCube can do graphically but still looks very good for a game that’s a couple years old. It does run at 60 fps at all times, making it the smoothest version of Crazy Taxi and that’s gotta count for something. I also compared Crazy Taxi running on my GameCube and Dreamcast, both with S-Video cables. The GameCube seems to be somewhat brighter, a bit more polished with slightly more stuff visible in the distance. Despite such improvements, it’s practically indistinguishable from the original.

Sound
6

Songs by Offspring and Bad Religion adorn the soundtrack and repeat over and over as you play. Oddly enough, the songs don’t get too repetitive and fit the game very well. When you do tire with the music, you can always turn it down. Those familiar with the game will find the voices have changed. I don’t mind the new voices so much as the fact that many of the voice samples are overused, with everybody saying the exact same stuff. WEAK!

Control
9

Crazy Taxi’s control set-up has always been simple & efficient. On the GameCube controller, it’s nearly perfect. The GameCube controller was practically meant for Crazy Taxi; it’s similar to the DC controller—yet is comfortable. If you don’t like the control set-up, it can be customized, which is always nice.

Gameplay
9

Crazy Taxi has already earned a sequel, inspired (i.e. been ripped off for) knockoffs games and will be made into a movie. Is it any wonder why? It’s a fantastic, fun-filled game, which makes it a perfect addition to the GameCube library. Driving like crazy, crashing into stuff, having your customers freak out… Oh the insanity & thrill of it all!

Lastability
8.5

Crazy Taxi has a surprising amount of replay. Even though there are only two levels, the cities are huge and there’s a lot to terrain to cover. Since you’re always under a clock, you can’t truly explore, requiring you to familiarize yourself by playing and playing and playing. Even once you master it, there’s always improving your rating which is lots of fun to work on, and Crazy Box, which can be addicting. The insane stunts and car wrecks don’t get old. When they do, you can entertain yourself by forgetting about pleasing customers and go out of your way to wreck stuff. You will die laughing at some of the things you can do. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (because you’re laughing so hard), you’ll scream. My friends and I play Crazy Taxi fanatically to this day.

Final
8.5

Should I criticize this game for being old? It’s a classic and tons of people are getting to play it for the first time. It’s pretty much the same game that appeared on Dreamcast over two years ago. While it has aged well, if you shopped around, you could probably buy a Dreamcast system and Crazy Taxi with it costing just a little bit more than the price of the Cube version new. Still, having Crazy Taxi on GameCube with a superior controller, slightly improved graphics and solid frame rate is pretty cool. If you’ve never played it, I can’t recommend Crazy Taxi enough.

Summary

Pros
  • Framerate is 60 fps, fast & fluid
  • One of the greatest Dreamcast games for GameCube launch
  • Playing Crazy Taxi with the GameCube controller is simply wonderful
Cons
  • Almost nothing new whatsoever
  • The game’s announcer is probably too crazy for his own good
  • The new voices pale in comparison to the originals & samples are overused
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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