Michael Goncalves
28 Jan, 2003

Crazy Taxi Review

GCN Review | A crazy fun time?
Crazy about Crazy Taxi

In the arcade days people were popping coins in the machine just so they can see if they can deliver one more person or beat their score by even a couple of cents, I know I was! Then the game made it's way to the Sega Dreamcast, people snatched it up, and the sales surpassed even Sega's expectations. This game was a hit and as bonus to its dedicated players, and in addition to Arcade mode, Sega have added an extra city (Original Mode) to play in 'Crazy Box' mode.

Since it’s initial release the game made it’s way to PS2, and has since landed on the GameCube, giving people who did not own a Dreamcast or a PS2 a chance to pick up this great game. Despite it's now mediocre graphics, the game still packs a punch with it’s addictive gameplay, and fun, fun, fun.

The game is a direct port of its Dreamcast counterpart, so the graphic quality is exactly the same. The game suffers from blurry environment textures and bad popup with vehicles and other objects, but the environment is always in sight. The upside is that the game runs at a constant 60 frames per second, unlike the Dreamcast and PS2 versions, which suffer from frame rate drops.

Although the graphics don’t even scratch the GameCube’s potential, they are not displeasing to the eyes, just testament to the GameCube’s power. When compared to games like Resident Evil and Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader you sometimes feel like hiding your eyes.

There are also come clipping and shadowing problems in the game. I often find my self stuck inside the KFC pole after doing a pole stop, eventually breaking free in a flurry of particles. Things like this can be very, very annoying as it chews up precious game time, and could have easily been fixed in the port.

With a soundtrack from two awesome bands, Offspring and Bad Religion, the game's music keeps you on the edge of your seat while you're dodging cars and various objects. One gripe is that the game only has seven songs in total, and they wear out fairly quickly, so you’ll soon be muting the T.V and cranking up the latest album you got. Even though the songs are classics from both bands, they are starting to wear thin, and it would have been an nice extra if they added songs from newer bands.

Supposedly, Acclaim have changed the voices in the game, but I can’t tell the difference, mainly because I haven’t played the Dreamcast version in a very long time. Either way, they are bland, and are almost as bad as the voice acting in a Sonic game. The game is presented in Stereo or Mono, with no DPLII, or even a surround option. This would have been a nice addition, and would have made for some nice sound effects, especially with car collisions.

As stated above the game has three modes; Arcade, Original, and Crazy Box. By now most people would have heard about Crazy Taxi and it’s addictive gameplay, so Sega with Acclaim have made sure that the next generation of gamers can play this classic title.

Arcade mode is an exact replica of what many of you have played in the Arcades, while the Original mode was made exclusively for the Dreamcast. The basic idea of that game is that you control a “radical” Taxi Driver and your mission for the day is to make as much money as possible. You pick up people and take them to various destinations including the name brands of Pizza Hut, KFC and Levi’s, but make sure you get them there in the time allocated or they will get mighty annoyed, and maybe throw some sand at you. You also now have the choice of playing by the Arcade Rules, working for three minutes, five minutes and ten minutes, which becomes quite addictive too.

There are five main types of characters, Red, Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green and Green. From left to right measure the distance, and the size of the stop zone. For example, if I pick up a Red person, the destination will be close by, and the drop zone will be pretty big, the exact opposite from Green. When you’re in the final seconds of the game, green is not a good colour to get, as you rarely have enough time to finish it.

The variation does not stop there though; there are also three types of fares. You get your base fare - this is calculated according to the distance of the destination, tips - these are awarded to a player when they perform “crazy” moves and combos (Crazy Jump, Crazy Drift and Crazy Through), and bonus fare - this is converted from any time left from the time left over. All these combined can add up to a ridiculous fare, in the thousands, but hey, it is the best ride of their life.

You also get a Time Bonus added to your time, but of course this depends on how fast you are. If you are Speedy, you get 5 extra seconds, Normal gets 2, Slow no bonus, and the worst of all, BAD, where the customer jumps out of the car without paying the fare. There is a certain point when you playing the game, when everything goes down hill. This is the time when all your craziness gets amplified to get that little extra bit of cash.

This now brings me to Crazy Box mode, which essentially is a combination of nine main mini-games to play, which then extends to sixteen as you complete more and more of the games. Not only are these mini-games fun, they are also a training facility for the game, because the tasks allow you to fine-tune your abilities. The main nine min-games include these:

· Crazy Jump: Leap to beat a certain distance.
· Crazy Flag: Spin out and reach the flag as fast as possible.
· Crazy Balloons: Burst all of the balloons on the field.
· Crazy Drift: Earn more than 15 total combo points by performing the Crazy Drift.
· Crazy Turn: Practice dropping off customers.
· Crazy Bound: Deliver the customer without falling into the ocean.
· Crazy Rush: Deliver five customers in the time limit.
· Crazy Jam: Deliver all three customers to their destination through a traffic jam.
· Crazy Pole: Deliver all the customers to their destination.

The other seven bonus mini-games are a combination of these main nine, and can get very challenging. Once you complete all of the Crazy Box challenges you will unlock a little extra that is quite fun. You will be going back to Crazy Box to beat your previous records, time and time again.

The game is almost perfect, but it does have its flaws. There are only two levels to play, and something else interesting I’ve noticed; in the Arcade map, the arrow points in the general direction of the drop off point, yet in the Original map, the arrows point you along the paths of the road, which gets annoying because at certain points the arrow goes haywire and spins everywhere putting you off and wasting time. Two Maps and Box mode are good but it would of done with a lot more. With in a week of the game I can guarantee you will have developed some hand disorder from the constant pad mashing.


The game might not be that large, but when you first get the game you will be playing every day, all day trying to beat your scores. Eventually the game does get tiresome for the casual gamer, but it is one of those games where after a couple of months of non-play you will go back and try to thrash your scores again. For the hardcore gamer, and the lover of the genre you will never stop playing this game and strive to get the best score possible on the planet.

This game is defiantely a love or hate game, nothing in between. If you love it, you will cherish the game and play it to your hearts content. If you hate it, you will go into stores and break all the discs and discourage other gamers from buying it.
The Score
For people who own the Dreamcast or PS2 version there is no reason to get this one, unless you’re a frame-rate freak. For all those who don’t own it on DC or PS2, and love the idea of the game, I do recommend you get it. If you can look past the mediocre graphics and sound, the game is as fun as ever. The GameCube controller is also well suited for the game, and is very comfortable for those one and a half hour play session with serious button mashing. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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1 decade ago
The game is actually a port of the PS2 version which was a port of the Dreamcast version. The PS2 version was a sloppy port with lower-quality textures and lower frame-rate than that of the Dreamcast version.

The game is very fun but like you said, if you have it on Dreamcast there is no reason to buy this version.
1 decade ago
The longevity of this game is the main dowpoint to it in my eyes, and it never lasted for very long periods of times in my PS2. I partly blame the arcades for that, but it's a simple kind of game, without the massive depth. It's obviously not supposed to be, but it just lost its originality and fun after a mere few weeks. A good renter, that's for sure.
1 decade ago
A good arcade game, I would say.
In fact I almost always play a game of it, when I'm at the arcade..

Should've stayed there..

1 decade ago
Yeah, I always play it at Arcades, but it loses it's appeal for me without the cool Taxi you get to sit in... icon_lol.gif
1 year ago
1 year ago
Dreamcast ports really aren't much more than fan service. But I'd say Crazy Taxi is more a disservice. It's not a big deal to see some of the branded stores stripped bare, but the music really matters for Crazy Taxi. There's still fun to be had.

The essence of Crazy Taxi is still here and, at its core, this is still an enjoyable game. It just isn't going to satisfy anyone who cared at all for SEGA's final gaming console.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
  Acclaim Entertainment
  Acclaim Studios Cheltenham
Memory Blocks:
  4 blocks

Analog Control
60 Hz

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