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Crazy Taxi

Review By:  Jared Black

Developer:  Acclaim/Sega
Publisher:  Acclaim
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Driving/Action
ESRB:  Teen
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  01-02-02

Originally developed and released by Sega in January 2000 for the Dreamcast, 23 months later Crazy Taxi has found itís way onto the GameCube courtesy of Acclaim. Acclaim realized that Crazy Taxi would still find a big audience on the GameCube despite a previous PS2 port, and thus began work on the port early enough to have it ready for the GameCube launch. For the most part the greatness of Crazy Taxi arrives intact on GameCube, 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. 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 destinations. 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 (sliding around corners, avoiding collisions, jumping ramps, etc.), 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 core game is still 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 people over and over before it gets tiring, regardless of how fun it is. The Crazy Box mode helps some, but again it only offers nine little mini-games.

Graphic-wise, the GameCube version of Crazy Taxi falters even more than the PS2 version did. On the PS2 it was barely passable, but here itís simply unacceptable. It looks almost identical to the Dreamcast version, and thatís really the problem. With far superior hardware and plenty of time to clean the game up (it doesnít take long to do a straight port to the GameCube), itís should look a lot better than the Dreamcast or PS2 versions. Blurry textures and tons of pop-up are everywhere to be found, and the pop-up is particularly bad because it seems to be even more prevalent then it was on the DC or PS2. The reasoning for this is beyond me, although itís probably due to it being a port of a port (the PS2 version). When put aside games like Star Wars Rogue Leader and Wave Race: Blue Storm, itís horrendous. On the plus side, this port does eliminate the slowdown problems that plagued earlier versions, as it runs at a crisp 60fps at all times.

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 terribly grating and donít match at all.


  • Same "crazy" gameplay arrives intact.
  • Easy to learn, difficult to master. Ease to jump into makes it perfect for casual and hardcore gamers alike.


  • Itís over way too quickly.
  • The graphics have actually been downgraded from the DC and PS2 versions, with even more pop-up. Additionally, the blurry textures look even worse when compared to other GameCube games.
  • Mediocre voice acting.

Final Verdict:

Despite problems with the port, the GameCube 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: 5.8

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