(GameCube)

Crazy Taxi (GameCube)

Game Review

Crazy Taxi Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Mark Reece

All the fun of the fare?

SEGA has a brilliant track record in arcade driving games. OutRun, Daytona USA, SEGA Rally, Hang On; many older readers probably have fond memories of dropping coins on quick races on games housed within some oversized cabinet complete with steering wheel and pedals... before subsequently emptying their wallet of many more coins as the phrase, "just one more go" was uttered countless times in front of an ever lengthening, tutting queue. Then in 1999, SEGA took the idea of driving fast against the clock, replaced the linear race track with an open-world city and Crazy Taxi was born.

And it was fun; a lot of fun. Careening around sprawling networks of roads in a (for some reason, open-top) taxi while attempting to pick up and drop off as many customerrs (and thus rake in as much money) as possible before the timer reached zero was an endearing concept that saw many Crazy Taxi arcade cabinets gobbling up huge quantites of coins. In 2001, SEGA and Acclaim Studios Cheltenham brought Crazy Taxi to the GameCube.

The core gameplay remains as entertaining as it ever was. The taxis all handle in the manner you'd expect them to in a game that demands snap decisions on which route to take or whether or not you should try that risky short-cut you spotted last time, with games rarely longer than ten minutes. This doesn't sound like an awful lot, but Crazy Taxi has always been about repeated attempts at memorising road layouts and customer locations and scraping a few more seconds and dollars together in each go, accomplished by performing near-misses with traffic and executing manoeuvres like dashes and drifting. This is fine if you only plan to play in short bursts, but extended play reveals the inherent shortcomings in incorporating Crazy Taxi's philosophy into a home console game.

The main issue here is that of content, or lack thereof. Crazy Taxi on GameCube is actually a port of the Dreamcast version of the game, which had an extra city for players to race around as well as the Crazy Box; sixteen minigames designed to help players practise the aforementioned advanced driving techniques. The GameCube version also features this content, but offers anyone who played the Dreamcast version to death absolutely no additional extras on top of the new city and minigames. And in a game that was already criminally low on content for a console title anyway, that's just not on. Repetition will rear its ugly head in no time unless you limit yourself to an hour or so a day, which wouldn't be the case had SEGA and Acclaim taken the time to craft a handful of GameCube exclusive cities and additional minigames.

The depressingly blatant "that'll do" approach permeates every facet of Crazy Taxi on 'Cube. Presentation-wise, the game hasn't undergone any visible polishing. The graphics are still vibrant, clean and do the job adaquately, but Crazy Taxi was once used to show off the Dreamcast's processing grunt, whereas the GameCube is capable of substantially more, so the lack of any visual upgrade is disappointing. More music would have been a good move as well. Everything included suits the pace and vibe of the game brilliantly — although how much you'll enjoy it depends wholly on your opinion of mid-Nineties era Bad Religion and The Offspring songs — but there's just not enough of it and even if you're a fan of both bands you'll probably tire of the paltry selection of tracks pretty quickly. Your best bet is probably to mute the TV and crank the volume up on your tunes of choice.

Conclusion

Crazy Taxi is undeniably fun to play in short bursts but ultimately falls foul of its arcade roots, which is a shame because some new cities and Crazy Box minigames would have worked wonders. As it stands though, while SEGA attempted some additions to its other GameCube port of the day, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Crazy Taxi saw no such attention lavished upon it and reeks of a lazy port.

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User Comments (33)

Edgy

#1

Edgy said:

Should be atleast a 7...Just kidding :P

Brilliant game in short bursts - should atleast have been a compilation of sorts - 3 Crazy Taxi games if you don't include EA's exact copy with Simpsons characters, and this was released after all 3 on the 'Cube in what seems to be a lazy port.

dizzy_boy

#4

dizzy_boy said:

although i love crazy taxi, atleast it`s not as bad as the lazy sega bass fishing port for the wii.

theblackdragonAdmin

#7

theblackdragon said:

I love the arcade version of this game... nothing better than kicking back, zoning out to some Offspring (anything off Ixnay is good times IMO!), and racking up the cash. I guess it's better for enforced short bursts in an arcade setting than extended sessions at home :3

Mr_Reece

#8

Mr_Reece said:

@theblackdragon spot on. Ixnay is a brilliant album (Offspring haven't been so hot from Americana onwards), although I'm more of a Bad Religion guy myself.

TeeJay

#9

TeeJay said:

I actually played the arcade version of this game once. It was pretty fun, tbh. Can't imagine buying it as a full game, though.

ecco6t9

#10

ecco6t9 said:

Crazy Taxi is a relic from the Dreamcast days and it shows. However it's as fun now as it was then. You've got the original soundtrack here(Something Sega removed from later Crazy Taxi's to save a few bucks.)

Secondly the term lazy port seems to be more on the end of Acclaim as they more or less had 100% control over the GC/PS2 version of Crazy Taxi.

shinesprite

#11

shinesprite said:

Love the tagline :D

I remember back in the day a few parties I attended. The children at the party didn't care how bad the game was, they were too hyped on sugar, jumping, and screaming. It was between the other parent's reprimands that I got a chance to sit down with the game. The experience-- far from ideal but then again, maybe that suited the loose chaos of the game.

coolvw93

#12

coolvw93 said:

awsome games... this is one of my favorites. its awsome in the arcade too.
i still want to try out smashing drive for gamecube.....

pikku

#13

pikku said:

Well, I'd definitely say this game is worth the six or seven USD that it goes for at Gamestop now a days.

daznsaz

#15

daznsaz said:

had a blast playing this on gamecube.get a buzz when driving flat out and managing to just squeeze through a tram and a car etc.

misswliu81

#16

misswliu81 said:

this is a game that deserves a remake for the wii U or even the 3DS with the steering wheel accessory.

the arcade version was great, even though i can't drive to save my life! :-D

DrCruse

#17

DrCruse said:

Yeah, I never really understood why this game is held in such high regard on the Dreamcast. It's fun for about 10 minutes at a time, and that's it.

Xkhaoz

#18

Xkhaoz said:

I've played this a few times in an airport. I swear if I was rich I would buy a cabinet of it. Just feels so satisfying putting the pedal to the metal in the arcades :D

chiefeagle02

#19

chiefeagle02 said:

I'd give the GameCube version a 7, but the Dreamcast version a 9 (better music and controls).

WanderFan91

#20

WanderFan91 said:

I remember playing the GameCube version of it many times with my cousins years ago, and man was it fun! :)

Gamesake

#21

Gamesake said:

I rarely see arcade games getting a fair shake, especially on home consoles. They're always criticized for being too short or too hard. Such criticisms are very casual, I'll excuse them.

Shworange

#24

Shworange said:

Aaaah yeeea! For the amount I spent on the arcade version, I could have probably bought four or five brand new GameCube ports! The game did lose a lot coming over to the console, but it was still a blast. I would love to find an old crazy taxi arcade machine! A brand new crazy taxi on 3DS would also be cool. Too bad that use of the gyroscope would render the 3D useless... The slide pad would make for some tight controls though.

gusmento01

#25

gusmento01 said:

I give 9/10 for the arcade version and 4/10 for the GameCube version.To this day I still play the arcade version at a mall close to my house.

sinalefa

#26

sinalefa said:

One of the reasons I got a Dreamcast shortly after launch. I loved the game but I hated the sound, the voice acting gets repetitive and I don't like either Offspring or Bad Religion.

This game is the exact definition of "high risk, high reward", I remember how hard it was to get the "Crazy" rating at the end of the game.

theblackdragonAdmin

#27

theblackdragon said:

@Mark: yeah, i'll give you that — Americana was probably the last Offspring album where i liked every single song. everything after that there's been at least a couple songs that didn't really gel with me (Conspiracy of One was a particular disappointment, though it had its moments), but that's what iPods are for now, i suppose — it's much easier to pick and choose what to listen to nowadays than it was back then. :3

James

#28

James said:

YA YA YA YA YA.

Loved this game on Dreamcast. Got it on GameCube and realised it was absolutely identical. Still quite liked it though.

SpriteKing

#30

SpriteKing said:

"Hey hey, come on over! Have some fun with CRAAAAAZY TAXI!"

"Hey hey hey! It's time to get CRAAAAAZY! That's right, we got CRAZY cool music and CRAZY cool drivin' when you push the start button, so come on, let's go! CRAAAAAZY TAXI!"

Love this game. Deserves an 8.

mayhem13

#31

mayhem13 said:

A fair raiting in my opinion. Xbox got Crazy Taxi 3 exclusively, that was an update that should happened to the Gamecube and PS2 versions of the game. Rather then just a dreamcast port (much as I love the dreamcast), Gamecube was a much stronger machine. Either that, or they should have included Crazy Taxi 1 and 2 together for these ports at a nice price. But that said, still fun as hell, if you rated the game purely for what it is and not compare anything. This was for me a 10 out of 10 at the time. I loved it in the arcades and on the Dreamcast.

ocarinaoftime

#32

ocarinaoftime said:

This game was a b day gift for me years ago ... I still like this game.. i even have the dreamcast version...

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