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Crazy Taxi
Review By:  Jared Black
Developer:   Acclaim Cheltenham
Publisher:   Acclaim
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Action
ESRB:   Teen
Date Posted:   7-13-01

Originally developed and released for the Dreamcast by Sega, 15 months later Crazy Taxi has found itís way onto the PS2 courtesy of Acclaim. Acclaim realized that Crazy Taxi would still find a big audience on the PS2, and thus began work on the port almost immediately after acquiring the rights to publish it. So how did Acclaim do? For the most part the greatness of Crazy Taxi arrives intact on the PS2, but the platform switch has brought about a few problems.

Luckily, none of those problems lie in the gameplay. The greatness of Crazy Taxiís gameplay has arrived completely intact on the PS2. In Crazy Taxi, the gamer takes control of one of four different taxi drivers and then proceeds to pick up people and deliver them to their destination. The objective is to pick up and deliver as many of them as possible within the allotted time limit. If you deliver them to their destination quickly, youíll get bonus time added to your time limit. If you drive really well, you can also earn extra fare for the trip.

All of this sounds very simple, and the basic gameplay mechanics really are. However, there is a lot of hidden strategy that veteran players will be able to exploit. In order to deliver citizens to their destinations as quickly as possible, youíll need to fully explore the city and discover numerous shortcuts. Each of the two cities (the original arcade one plus the level created for the Dreamcast) is very large, and offers a number of different shortcuts (including going over buildings in some cases) you can exploit.

In addition to just driving around and trying to earn as much money as possible, there is also a game mode called Crazy Box. This mode consists of nine different mini-games, each featuring a different challenge for you to beat. Each mini-game is very different, and each presents a nice challenge that will push even the most hardcore of crazy drivers. However, this doesnít change the fact that the game is overall pretty short and lacking in replay value. Once you explore both cities (which while large, are still finite), the game is basically over. There are only so many times you can pick up the same citizens over and over before it gets tiring, regardless of how fun it is. The Crazy Box helps some, but again it only offers nine little mini-games.

Graphic-wise, the PS2 version of Crazy Taxi begins to falter. It looks a lot like the Dreamcast version, and thatís really the problem. Itís supposed to look better than the Dreamcast version. Aside from that, the graphics actually seem to have been toned down a bit. Everything seems a little less detailed, and the pop-up is absolutely horrendous (whereas it was only "annoying" on the DC). In addition, the game has been known to crash, although that happens pretty rarely.

Both Offspring and Bad Religion provide the music in Crazy Taxi, and on the whole it sounds really good. Itís the high-energy type of stuff you would expect in a game like this, and it fits the action really well. Character voices, on the other hand, are a mixed bag. Some of them sound really good and match up to the character onscreen, but others sound terrible and donít match at all.

HIGHS:

  • Same "crazy" gameplay arrives intact.
  • Easy to learn, difficult to master. Accessible by casual and hardcore gamers alike.

LOWS:

  • Itís over way too quickly.
  • The graphics have actually been downgraded from the DC version.
  • Mediocre voice acting.

FINAL VERDICT:

Despite problems with the port, the PS2 version of Crazy Taxi is still a fun game. However, it simply lacks the replay value and technical polish necessary to warrant a purchase. Unless you absolutely must own a copy of Crazy Taxi (and donít have a Dreamcast), itís a rental at best.

Overall Score: 6.4

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