Review: Crazy Taxi
Crazy Taxi is an iconic game, one that was a staple title in the Dreamcast’s library. It brought the frantic fun of racking up exorbitant fares from arcades into living rooms. The digital release of Crazy Taxi is essentially repeating this step by increasing the availability of an extremely fun game. I was hesitant to jump back into Axel’s driver’s seat, given that the last Dreamcast port was basically a bust. What I was met with instead was a fine port of most of a great game.
Let’s get this out of the way early on: The Offspring and Bad Religion are not included on this version’s soundtrack. Pizza Hut has become The Pizza Parlour, and KFC is now FCS: Fried Chicken Shack. The game does, however, support custom soundtracks, which means it took me all of 10 minutes to find the original playlist and copy it onto my PS3. You’re not going to hear the beginning of Bad Religion’s “Hear it” looped while you’re browsing the menus, as the songs aren’t synced up to cues as they were in the old days. This isn’t a game breaker, though. Crazy Taxi features 720p widescreen HD graphics, something that Sonic Adventure’s rerelease glaringly lacked. It also supports global Leaderboards and Trophies. The loading screens are near non-existent, and the controls are tight. The only graphical problems come in the form of those present in the original game. This means that there are some draw-in and clipping issues, but again, it’s nothing that stopped me from enjoying Crazy Taxi years ago. So let’s go make some crazy money, are ya ready?
Here we go. Crazy Taxi has three main modes: Arcade, Original, and Crazy Box. Arcade and Original are basically the same game set in two different cities. Each city is sprawling enough to provide tons of replayability, and they’re varied enough to require different playstyles. Crazy Box is a challenge mode that offers 16 different driving tests. I recommend playing through some or all of this mode first, as it will definitely prepare you for driving in the big cities. The challenges range from speeding down a ramp to make a long jump to dropping off 6 elderly women while drifting around tight turns. Knowledge of both the Crazy Dash and Crazy Drift are required to tackle all of these tests. To perform a Crazy Dash, switch the car from reverse to drive, then immediately press the gas. The Drift is performed in the same way, except you’re going to want to turn after hitting the gas. To me, a longtime Dreamcast owner (it still works) who spent countless hours playing Crazy Taxi back in 2000, these techniques are second nature. I Crazy Dashed and Drifted my way through all of the Crazy Box challenges in one play session. Granted, the play session was about 4-5 hours long and filled with frustrating retries. I slept well afterwards, though, knowing that the game hadn’t lost its addictive charm (and that Sega didn’t mar another classic in porting it to the PS3).
Crazy Taxi is a fine score attack racing game. It was a must-have game back in 2000, and I’m glad to say that it hasn’t lost much of its flare in a decade. The licenses have expired, which is a shame, but it doesn’t take away enough to warrant missing out on an opportunity to replay a classic. My Dreamcast still works, and I own Crazy Taxi for it, but the convenience of playing it on my PS3 in HD is much nicer than popping in the GD-Rom and playing in stunted SD. Plus, if I get bored of The Offspring, I can always switch to something else. In the end, Crazy Taxi is worth $9.99. Its improvements and additions far outweigh its shortcomings. Plus, if you’re a PS Plus member, you can buy it for 20% off until the end of the month.
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- 720p Widescreen updated graphics
- Custom soundtrack support
What I Dislike:
- Some graphical problems from the game, not the port, remain