Crazy Taxi review

Review of Crazy Taxi video game for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 rated 7 out of 10
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Do you remember the days when we all thought being a New York cab driver was cool? It was shortly after the release of Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast. The game was all about driving a cab around town, picking up fares and dropping people off where they wanted to go. After dropping them off at their destination they pay you and all the money you earn goes towards the rank you get at the end of the game; D, C, B, A and S. I don’t know, I guess that’s how Japan does the alphabet.

With crazy in the title you should realise this is no taxi simulator. It’s all about getting your passengers to their destination as quickly as you can, even if that means driving on the pavement, through stalls out on the market, under the water, over ramps, it just doesn’t matter. They pay you more if you get there fast and they even give you tips if you pull off stunts and things. They sit there in the back of your cab whooping and hollering as you drive in and out of traffic. I told you it was crazy.

Crazy Taxi was originally an arcade game so it’s best for pick up and play gaming. There are three modes; Arcade, Original and Crazy Box. I couldn’t quite work out what the difference between Arcade and Original was myself. Both of ‘em put you in a big old city that looked a lot like San Francisco. Now back in the original version when someone hopped in your car they would be like ‘Take me to the KFC!’ so you’d follow this giant arrow and take them to an actual KFC restaurant. Of course, Sega don’t have the licence for stuff like that nowadays, instead real life locations are changed to more generic names like ‘chicken restaurant‘. It’s not a big deal but what is a problem is the awesome original soundtrack with The Offspring and Bad Religion has been switched to some sound-a-like music. Yes it seems so superficial but not having the original soundtrack and could really disappoint fans of the original.

You have a choice to either play by Arcade rules, which means that you have to keep on picking up fares in order to keep on playing, drive around aimlessly and you’ll run out of time. If you can’t stand the pressure, you could instead play for a set three, five or ten minute period and see how many dollars you can pick up in that time. Crazy Box is a challenge mode requiring you to certain things like pulling off special moves. It’s certainly tough, but it helps you learn and perfect the boosting and drifting skills you need to really excel at the game proper.

Of course with any classic games being brought back, you have to ask yourself if games like Crazy Taxi are a bit too old to come back. The graphics won’t have you writing home. Pretty blocky and old looking. As for the controls, well the handling’s pretty primitive too, especially when compared to something modern like Burnout Paradise, but the controls work and they do the job. All you need to do is steer with your foot on the brake or the accelerator. You press a button to switch to reverse, and a button to switch back. Once you’re ready, you’ll learn about boosting, which is a little fiddly for amateurs. Not a very natural control system, I’ll give you that, but it’s easy to get to grips with. The sound effects are crazy, people screaming at you, your cabby screaming right back, car horns and loud rock music blasting out at you.

It’s the kind of game that the new generation of gamers should play, even if it’s only for ten minutes. There’s something about it, it just has so much energy that you can’t help but have a good time, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know if it’ll keep people playing for weeks, or days even, but it’s a lot of fun while it lasts. As long as you don’t expect the best graphics. Remember folks - it’s retro, after all.

I have lot of love for this game and I hope that a whole new bunch of people can fall in love with it too,. Crazy Taxi is on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points and Playstation Network for $10. I’m not saying it’ll change anyone’s world or nothing, but video games are about fun and this one is the definition of fun. This crazy fun gets 7 out of 10 fun.

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