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Platform

Dreamcast

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

Hitmaker

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q1 2000

 

 

- Fantastic pick-up and play quality

- Fabulous graphics

- Drivers' comments

- Sprawling Maps

- Go almost anywhere you want

 

 

- Pretty short

- More fun played in short bursts

- Not enough variety of music

 

 

- Ridge Racer V Review (Playstation 2)

- Sega GT Review (Dreamcast)

- Sega Rally 2 Review (Dreamcast)

 

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Crazy Taxi

Score: 8.9 / 10

Just try and convince a gamer that the Dreamcast isn't the nexus where all of the arcade ports of the universe seem to flow to, go on, try. Already we've had Soul Calibur, Hydro Thunder, Blitz 2000, and a slew of other arcade giants mosey on over to Sega's next gen console. Thankfully Crazy Taxi has also made it over, as it is easily one of the best pick up and play games on the system, providing insane (or perhaps I should say crazy) amounts of fun and instant gratification.

 

Crazy Taxi Review          Crazy Taxi Review

 

For those of you unfamiliar with the title, Crazy Taxi pits players as the driver of a taxi who must pick up passengers and take them to their desired destination within an allotted amount of time in order to make as much money as possible. Of course you'll want to get there as quick as possible to get even more money, and this is where the the "crazy" part comes in. Players can cut through parks, the roofs of buildings, through oncoming traffic, and perform stunts, all in order to get their customer where they want to be in the shortest amount of time. If they have a fun, thrilling ride while they're at it then they'll even give you a tip, boosting the score even further.

 

All of this makes for an incredibly fun game. The best part is that it's so easy to pick up and get right into it, as every thing is kept nice and simple, straightforward. Pick a course, pick a driver, and it's time to get down to business. Adding a little complexity for those looking for some sophistication, there are also the stunts that can be incorporated into the driving, as the Crazy Dash, Crazy Drift, and Crazy Stop, all require a little practice, and knowing when to use them, and using them well, take some skill. In the end it stays plenty simple, allowing virtually anyone to dive right in without any trouble.

 

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In most other driving games two courses wouldn't be nearly enough., but in Crazy Taxi that's more than enough. The two cities that can be traversed are huge, and there's always more than one way to get to a destination, so learning the maps is essential. There are also play modes a plenty, as there is both maps (Arcade and Original) where players can play in arcade mode where they have to constantly get more customers in order to keep their time limit up and continue playing, and 

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there are also 3, 5, and 10 minute modes where players have that much time to just go nuts in the course and get as much cash as possible. There is even a stunt mode, called Crazy Box, where players can hone their driving skill and eventually open up a secret.

Crazy Taxi Review          Crazy Taxi Review

Of course top-notch controls are a must to maneuver through the streets, parks, and hapless pedestrians, and Crazy Taxi delivers. While some may find that the taxis' handling in a tad touchy at first, it's easy to get used to and a necessity for weaving through tight spots. Once mastered many gamers will be amazing themselves at some of the juking and jiving they'll be doing as they tear up the road.

 

There's plenty of eye candy to soak in as well, as players take their passengers to the train station, or the Fila Store. There is a very high degree of detail in the cars, locations, and general surroundings, to be soaked in here. The animation is by and large very smooth and the action goes at a very speedy pace, but the game does suffer from very noticeable slowdown on occasion. While it's not the end of the world, the slowdown can be very distracting when running out of time getting to a destination.

The audio also fairs very well, as the sound effects are very good and the voice acting is quite believable. Some of the things that the cab drivers and passengers say is actually quite funny. For the music Sega has gone the route of signing on a couple of professional rock bands to supply the tunes, in this case Bad Religion and The Offspring. Having some nice high-speed punk wailing in the background feels so appropriate while rocketing through town, getting people where they need to go. My only gripe with the music is that there isn't enough variation in the tunes, and the excerpts aren't nearly long enough.

This is by far one of the most exciting games games available on the Dreamcast. It's easy to get into, it has a great aesthetic, and it provides instant entertainment.

Reviewed by Mr. Nash

 

(September 1, 2000)

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