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Crazy Taxi

Score: 86%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Hitmaker
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Mission-Based Driving

Graphics & Sound:

Back about 10 years ago, a new game hit the arcades called Crazy Taxi. Since then, it's been put out for quite a few systems, the newest one being the 360.

Not much has changed over the years in the way the game looks. Actually, everything looks just like it did 10 years ago, which is a good thing. Crazy Taxi has a simplistic but very bright appearance. The buildings aren't really detailed, but the places that you need to get to are distinguishable. Of course, even if you can't distinguish the building, the huge green border makes it quite obvious where you need to go.

For those of you who are looking for your Offspring and Bad Religion, you're probably going to be disappointed. The licensed music that was part of the original game has expired, so there are new songs from bands that I've never heard of. But you can do custom soundtracks, so consider that a blessing that you don't have to hear the same music over and over again. Instead, you can listen to whatever you want!


Gameplay:

As you might guess, the basic premise in Crazy Taxi is to pick up customers and take them to whatever destination they ask to go. You'll know there is a passenger to pick up by the ring around them and the dollar sign above their head. Red passengers want to go a very short distance and are usually easy. Yellow need a medium distance, but aren't too hard. Green ring passengers need to go the furthest distance and are usually difficult. They do pay the most money though, so if you know the way, it's worth it. You need to stop the car inside the ring around the passenger to pick them up. You have to actually come to a full stop; just slowing down isn't good enough. Of course, you want to try and not run over the passenger either. They will get out of the way, but they'll take longer to get in the car costing you precious time. The name of the game is speed. The faster you get your passenger there, the more you will earn.

There are lots of different ways that you can choose to play. Arcade with original rules is the exact same game that hit the arcades 10 years ago (minus the music). You can also choose to play Arcade for 3 minutes, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. You've also got the choice of Original, which is the non-arcade version. Basically, it's the same game but a different city with different routes and passengers. You can play it by arcade rules, work for 3 minutes, work for 5 minutes, or work for 10 minutes. Finally there's Crazy Box. Crazy Box is a set of challenges that require you to master some of the driving concepts in the game.


Difficulty:

Crazy Taxi is a very easy game to play, but can be difficult to master. If you want to just hop in and play, simply set it on work for 10 minutes (or less if you want). You won't even have to pick up passengers. You can simply drive around and do whatever you want. This can also be a great way to learn the lay of the land and search for shortcuts which will make your life a lot easier. You'll also find it much easier to at least get the hang of the game and get up to a class A license. Granted, to get that class S, you'll probably have to get better at Arcade Timed.

When you're ready for more of a challenge, choose to play either the Arcade or the Original on Arcade settings. The game will start you out with a little bit of time and you had better pick up a passenger quickly! For each passenger, you get a certain amount of time added to your clock. It's never very much time though, so you'll need to get everyone there as fast as you can! The more difficult the passenger, the more time you will get, but they'll also take more time to deliver to their desired destination. You want to just keep driving as fast as you can until you run out of time completely. Once your time hits 0, the game is over.


Game Mechanics:

The controls in Crazy Taxi are pretty easy to use. I'd say you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. If you don't like using the trigger buttons for the gas and brake, which the game defaults to, you can go into the options and choose a different control layout as there is one different set of controls. As far as the responsiveness, the cars seem to handle very well. You'll notice that each driver has a slightly different car. The cars actually make a bit more of a difference than you'd think. You'll need to practice up with each of the different cars to perfect the handling. Especially in the Crazy Box challenges, you might want to use a different car if you're stuck on a specific one because handling is going to be the most important there.

A lot of games just don't hold up to the test of time. Given that there are new and more exciting car games out now, like Grand Theft Auto, you might wonder why you'd want something more classic like Crazy Taxi. The answer is in the simplicity. Crazy Taxi is a great little game that you can start, play for just 5 minutes and stop if you want. Or you can play for hours and just have a great time. If you're looking for a classic and fun game, download Crazy Taxi today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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