Review: Drivers Hunted...by the hood of my car
We all know and heard about Crazy Taxi being so great in the Arcades, but when Sega decided to port the game to the Dreamcast, some people questioned, if Dreamcast could handle on of the best Arcade game of all time. Becoming a smash hit in the past year, the game is sure to set the bar for new driving games, but is it as good as we remember playing in the Arcades? Find out in our crash test and Sega's first big game of the new millennium.
After test-driving the visuals, it looks to me like that are near perfect to the arcade hit which this game originates from. The game runs at a fast and steady speed of 60 frames per second, livening up everything and boosting the games fun factor. You will 'run into' many modern franchises like Levis, Tower Records, KFC, etc. This is one feature that really makes the game. Places we know, things we see everyday, placed into a game about riding through the everyday world we live in. The environment is very interactive, and the design of the city is not only large, but very detailed at the same time. The entire design of Crazy Taxi puts the game at its highest in the visuals category.
Every time you crash into something, sparks fly and things go boom! Your car will react to every hit and so will the customers if you get too close. You can bet Crazy Taxi is both bountiful quantity AND quantity in the visuals. Everything in the graphics department seems above the top-notch mark
When you first listen to the audio presented in Crazy Taxi, you may recognize the artists as The Offspring and Bad Religion with tracks playing as you burn rubber. The reason is clear why these artist and their song where picked to go into the game, it goes with the gameplay. The perfect combo makes the driver to get 'loco' and feel right down right crazy. The voices heard throughout don't sound like a computer robot's voice, but rather some surfer dude from...get this, the 90's. Yes, the comments have expression to them. Also, there are screams ands shrills and you run over...or as I tell my insurance company, I closely skimmed the victim with the front end of my taxi 'boat.' So, it seems like the music used in Crazy Taxi is 'in' as well as the voice of the main 'dude' are from the modern era. All developers should take a test listen to see how to finally master this area.
It is possible that the gameplay can be just as good as the other sections above...or is it even better? Well, if you have ever played the arcade version of Crazy Taxi, you'll know just what to expect from the Dreamcasts'. Everything in the game is interactive and can roam a whole city with endless things to find. You can stray away from driving a taxi around and earning money, just to find people and ram them with the hood of you car. You can also seek the jumps and different areas that you once thought were backgrounds and part of the set. Can't go wrong with this gameplay so far.
Now, controlling you Taxi is easy to master...so easy you may be able to pass the drivers test in one try this time...if they offered one. The special moves you must perform will be simple to pick up and very useful in your shaving off the time throughout the game. Soaring off those jumps can be a real excitement...unless you loose control and fall off an edge into some water. When the game is played, you feel as if you were driving an actual taxi, swerving in and out of on coming traffic and drifting into a turn while cutting off a large truck, which triggers a massive accident behind you...and that's just one example.
Modes in Crazy Taxi include two large city maps in Arcade play and the Sim mode. Also there is a mini game center which you test you skill and help you show off the moves. This area of the game is called Crazy. Play through every one of these mini games and more extreme hidden ones will be unveiled to you. If you are thinking, only two maps and one hobo's box to play around in, then you are wrong...the maps take forever to get from one side to the other and the crazy box games are original and exciting as well. You can't go wrong in this part of the game.
Crazy Taxi features some excellent support. The controller uses Analog shoulder buttons to accelerate, and even the steering wheel peripheral if you have bought it separately. The game also supports the Jump Pack and VMU Memory. Although there is no VMU mini-games available, its probably because they are in the game at the Crazy Box mode. The Jump Pak will give you the standard jolt when you crash, which is every 10 to 20 seconds in my case. Crazy Taxi features everything you can ever think of except its lacks one option, multi player support. No, the arcade didn't have any mode like this either, and I wasn't expecting to find one in the Dreamcast version as well. Maybe we will se this next time, in Sega's latest title about driving a truck...Hey, who ever though diving a taxi could be so fun?
The replay is very, very hard to judge in Crazy Taxi's case. It feels as if the game will loose its flavor after a couple days, yet I also have the need to play it over and over, only to run down the same customer and to soar over the same building. It soon became very addictive, and I forgot that it only had two maps in the game, and realized that the replay was not an issue of how many city maps it contained, but what you could do in them. After you complete all the Crazy Box tasks and run in a loop around the same city block for the 400th time, however, you will 'drift' from the game. If you become addicted, it'll last you a couple weeks. Sufficient.