Crazy Taxi has had lots of ports since it first debuted back in 1999. It has been 10+ years and we have had the franchise appear on Gamecube, Playstation 2, Xbox, PC, and even on the PSP. Now PSN/XBLA will get a port of the first game.
If you haven’t played a Crazy Taxi game, the point of the game is to pick up customers and take them to their desired location, but if you do crazy stuff like barely missing cars, jumps and drifts you get more money. If you go faster, you get more time.
That is pretty much the whole concept, now on with the review.
Graphics and Controls
SEGA remains faithful to the arcade original by presenting the game with the graphics it debuted with. Sure, some people are into the whole graphic remakes, but I’m glad they choose to stay true, at least with this title, with its original graphics. The graphics aren’t going to impress anyone, but they work for the title. The game also features some really creepy low res characters (nice shorts).
One of the things that made people angry is the change in graphics and locations. Basically, in the original Crazy Taxi, they had ‘Tower Records and ‘KFC’ advertisements as drop off locations. Now, they use generic names for the locations. This is most likely a license issue and I don’t really miss the adverts that much. It would have been nice to include them, to get the authentic Crazy Taxi experience.
Other than that, the game is introduced in widescreen, which is great and I wish something that SEGA did with their Sonic Adventure release. It is also in 720p and runs at a smooth framerate. I’m not sure if its 60fps, but its smooth enough. I vaguely recall the Dreamcast version having frame drops when you had a lot of cars on screen. I have not noticed any slowdown on this version so far.
The only other issue I can whine about is that there is still pop ups in the game. It isn’t that annoying and only becomes a problem very rarely, like when you are looking for a client, if they are too far on screen, you can’t see them. If you drive their direction, they will then pop up. Would be easier if they fixed it, but isn’t game breaking.
The controls are intact and play the same as the first Dreamcast release back in 2000, but the only issue here would be the control. I know a lot of people that dislike the dualshock 3 controller, mostly for FPS games. But I had no issue and it played just fine. I just wish they would have mapped the reverse/drive buttons better. You use X for reverse and O for drive. A bit odd, since I haven’t played Crazy Taxi in a very long time. Shame on me.
The voices are mostly intact, you will be able to hear your favorite lines, such as “Its party time, let’s have some fun” and so on. The odd sounds the game makes when you crash against cars is still there to frustrate you and the odd cheers from the passengers when you pull off crazy jumps and other ‘crazy moves’ returns.
So what was left out? The games soundtrack featuring Offspring and Bad Religion. One of the songs that always reminds me of Crazy Taxi is the song, “All I Want” by Offspring. Sadly they didn’t even bother to try to get that song in this game. The game features a brand new soundtrack that isn’t as good as the original.
SEGA does try to make it up to PSN users, by adding custom soundtrack option, so those who have the Crazy Taxi OST can play it in the new game. But it isn’t the same, the game doesn’t start and stop songs at the right time, but its better than nothing.
The game hits you with its original ‘arcade mode’ which features a more simple straight forward level design. Not too much fancy stuff in this mode, you can play by arcade rules or choose how much time you want to have.
The game also comes packed with ‘original mode’ that is more complicated level designs and adds way more things. First of all its got a more tricky city, you can actually take your cab underwater (crazy, right?) and have to worry about bridges and other obstacles.
The last mode is probably the most fun mode in the game, Crazy Box. Crazy Box can be taken as challenges that help you get the hang of playing Crazy Taxi. You will have drifting challenges, jumping and all kinds of ‘crazy stuff’. At first they will start easy, then you will tear your hair out. Yes, they do get frustrating later on.
Additional add-ons for playability are obviously trophies, which are just getting C-S ranking on both original and arcade modes, along with beating Crazy Box. There is also ranking, that should be very fun, seeing everyone that is better than me.
I love me some Crazy Taxi, it is the perfect pick up and play title. But this port does not come without its faults, namely the removal of original content like music and adverts. Sure some of us might be OK with the ads being removed, changing the game’s original soundtrack is a bit extreme. But if that doesn’t stop you, you will find the original Crazy Taxi mostly intact, its a solid port, though don’t expect much enhancements.
– Gameplay intact
– Widescreen gaming
– Smooth framerate
– Crazy Box mode intact!
– Original soundtrack gone
– Adverts missing
– Pop ups annoy sometimes
– Annoying break and gas buttons