Crazy Taxi Review
publisher: Activision Value
PII-450, 64MB RAM, 16MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Oct 08, 02
|» All About Crazy Taxi on ActionTrip|
Just for once I want to sit down and enjoy a game for its originality and stimulating gameplay. Apparently, that is too much to ask of games today. Granted, it's tough to make something unique nowadays, and you'd think that it's easy to criticize and rant while other people sweat to make a decent game. Well, let me tell ya, Crazy Taxi is a game that DOES BRING a really good idea to fruition. However, there are a few misplaced features that could have broadened the depth of gameplay.
Hop in honey!
And then the lawd spoke to me and I saw the light I tell ya!
OK, when you're playing Crazy Taxi forget about speed limits and just sit behind the wheel of a yellow cab with a sunshine-roof and race around looking for customers. Finding them won't be much of challenge, cause there's always someone in a hurry. What's really a dare here is that you have to get all of them to their desired destinations on time, driving as swiftly and safely as possible. Crazy Taxi has an arcadish approach to gameplay, so there's no basic story or plot. The game is goal-driven, which means you're required to gain as much cash and pick up as many customers as you can, within a limited amount of time. Driving a "crazy" taxi is exciting for one reason and for one reason only: you can do almost anything that's physically impossible. While you race through jam-packed traffic, your cab is apt for performing any maneuver you wish.
The whole in-game atmosphere can sometimes remind you of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, since your car is capable of going over railings, flying high and landing on roof tops, and even moving across the sea-bed while cute little fishes are swimming around (?!?). That's all very well, but the fun ceases when you realize that your activities are restricted to just two cities. Alright, I'll admit the districts are extremely huge and it will take you quite a while to cover all of the locations. Anyhow, after playing for while, you could become really addicted if it weren't for slightly outdated graphics. But, we'll get to that later.
The game has a very easy-to-use control system (which can be modified according to your preference of course). Out of the four vehicles you get to drive, each one will handle perfectly on the road. Some of them are slower but more resistant to collision-force, while others are faster and lighter, but extremely sensitive to impact.
Basically, the graphics should've been considerably richer (in terms of polys) if they were to compete with games today. Every in-game model I laid eyes on simply gasped for more polys. Reflections on car-models were completely omitted for some interesting reason. Undeniably, additional reflections on the vehicles would boost the game's system requirements, but I don't think that this is an excuse to just neglect such an important visual facet. That's what you get from a feeble console conversion. The plus side is that the one city where you get to work is so unbelievably huge, that it's virtually impossible for you to cover the entire map in one working day. There's also a great deal of details placed in the background such as pedestrians strolling (and screaming when you drive on the side-walk), dense traffic, and other cool stuff.
The great thing is that you can knock over absolutely anything in the environment; from phone booths and mail boxes, to garbage cans and cafeteria tables. Although the cars do not display any kind of damage on their exterior, which I consider to be a tremendous drawback (but then again an understandable one, since the game wouldn't run at all on the GameCube if it were any different), there are a few praiseworthy details like sparks flying all over the place when you collide with other vehicles. BTW, it's like I've mentioned before, the physics in Crazy Taxi are totally unrealistic, but I'm sure that you're not going to find that a problem - it's fun to fly with a cab I'm tellin' ya!
The variety of sounds is commendable and there's a satisfying range of high-quality hard-core and traditional grunge type of soundtracks swelling in the background. Endangered pedestrians scream, burning tires screech, and enraged drivers honk their horns when ever you cut in their lane.
In a nutshell, Crazy Taxi has a decent replay value that may hold your attention for a few days or so. Offering a style of gameplay similar to Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto 3 with just a smidge of "simple" THPS fun; these comparisons are just in the basics of course. But, two very important things have downgraded the game's score I'm afraid: the aforementioned graphical disadvantages and only two locations for exploring. So, if you're a fan of destruction and freaky side-walk driving, you might wanna consider playing this. But, if you're sickened by poor visuals and if you want a wider variety of tracks then do yourself a favor and skip Crazy Taxi.
6.9 Above Average
A unique approach in the racing genre. Good replay value. A few additional were put in mini-games to improve your driving skills. Not a cop in sight :)
Visually, some major flaws can be observed. Just two cities to ride in.
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