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by Acclaim

cscreen04-01.jpg (8152 bytes)As with any new console, the first two months has a slim selection to choose from. Usually there are one or two stellar titles that get quickly purchased along with the new system. The rest of the titles float in limbo waiting for someone to give them a shot. Following the current trend in the video game industry of porting a game to every system, the titles that are in purgatory are familiar to anyone who has played a gaming system within the past year. Crazy Taxi is one such game. Becoming a journeyman in the gaming industry, it finds itself on its third platform. It adds another option to those looking for another game to add to their library, but for those who have played either installment there is nothing new to warrant a purchase.

cscreen03-01.jpg (8467 bytes)Crazy Taxi is a free roaming arcade game that has two environments: arcade and original. There are four drivers to choose from each with certain characteristics. Both cities can be played with either a set time limit or a certain amount of time per customer that you pick up. Either way, you must be quick in your trek around the metropolis area. As with any taxi driver, you collect a fare for taking a passenger to his or her destination, but in Crazy Taxi you can earn bonuses for performing insane maneuvers through traffic, off buildings, and over anything too slow to get out of your way in order to get your fare to their destination as soon as possible. Boasting a large amount of familiar locations such as Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Tower Records actually makes some of the mundane tasks more enjoyable. Not to limit itself to just the main focus of the game, SEGA (yes this is a Sega game on a Nintendo system) has added a series of mini-games to test your driving skills. Upon completion of the driving tests, you are rewarded with a bicycle pulling a cart to take the passengers in. Unfortunately this is all there is to unlock.

cscreen02-01.jpg (8481 bytes)One defining characteristics of the late Dreamcast system was the bright colors that each game was full of. With Crazy Taxi originally being a Dreamcast game, it has that same characteristic. Whether it’s the car or the passenger or even the buildings, each displays a color palette that would make Disney proud. Whimsical is be the best way to describe the design of the game. Everything carries with it a lighthearted feel that does not allow the game to be taken too seriously. Everything runs smoothly with little slowdown, adding to the hectic pace already found in the game. Though colorful and solid, the graphics seem dated now when compared to other games that are out on the GameCube.

cscreen07-01.jpg (9061 bytes)Offspring and Bad Religion are the two bands featured in the game. After hearing their limited song selection I was quickly wishing for something more to listen to while driving. The songs do set the pace, but they quickly become repetitive and a distraction. We’ve all seen movies and TV shows that have a witty taxi driver sharing one-lines with their passengers, right? SEGA has, and they decided to include it in Crazy Taxi. Passengers praise you, tell you off and squeal in delight with regularity.

cscreen05-01.jpg (9816 bytes)If there is one thing this version of Crazy Taxi has over the original is the controls. No longer does the bulky Dreamcast controller plague Crazy Taxi. This shows that a game as fast paced as this needs a controller that is designed for the more long-term comfort that the smaller controllers give. Responsive controls, customizable button commands, and the comfort of the GameCube controller makes Crazi Taxi easy to pick up and play with little effort needed.

cscreen10-01.jpg (10082 bytes)Crazy Taxi has made its way onto three systems so far and is starting to show its age. There already has been a sequel that was released for the Dreamcast earlier in the year. If that sequel was the one that was ported or some new features had been added then there might be some reason to try this, but as it stands, fans of the original will find nothing new here. Even if you have never played this game before, it still has drawbacks; it suffers from a lack of real depth and no multi-player games, which may make it enjoyable to play for only a short period of time.

Jake Carder   (12/21/2001)


Ups: One liners; fast-paced gaming; nice control.

Downs: Short; no multiplayer; dated graphics; limited soundtrack.

Platform: Nintendo Gamecube