Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Many people don’t realize that the first game in the Crazy Taxi line-up was an arcade game. Released in 1999, and published by Sega, this fast paced racing title broke the rules for traditional racing games at the time. While traditional racing games focused on crossing the finish line first, this titles ultimate goal was…customer service? That’s right, the Crazy Taxi objective was getting random bystanders to their destination as quickly as possible. In general points were racked up for speed and being as crazy as possible by barely making it by pedestrians and other motorists without hitting them. The game was so addictive that it was released on Dreamcast the following year and eventually ported to almost every other system imaginable including current mobile devices.
As mentioned before picking up customers is essential, but these aren’t just any customers. To maximize your points you must drive like a complete and utter maniac which earns you tips from your backseat drivers. A green arrow at the top of the screen indicates where the customer wants you to go. Although the arrow indicates the general direction, it does not tell you exactly which way to go, leaving the player to select multiple routes with various barriers along the way.
Once you make it to the destination the player must stop in a specific spot outlined by a green barrier. Sometimes this can be more complicated than it looks as your taxi can be barreling down the road at almost uncontrollable speed. If the player cannot reach the destination in the customers unreasonable amount of time, they will simply jump from the vehicle without paying leaving the player without points. The original arcade version only included a timed mode, while later console versions included several mini-game type modes.
The games style is hilarious and edgy. The player can choose from four characters with different clothing and taxi styles. The original version only included one seaside town to explore, while later versions give players the choice of only a few courses. That may be the most unfortunate thing about this title. Even for the Playstation 2 and Gamecube versions, more could be expected as far as character and course choices. At the time many outlets were giving Crazy Taxi subpar scores, and this lack of variation may be why.
Overall Crazy Taxi is a game that I keep as one of my fondest memories. It is simply one of the more innovative racing titles out there, even if the choices of character and course aren’t in depth. I would love to see a complete remake of this title. Not much was changed from the original version, even in the re-releases. The last version was released on mobile devices ten years ago. Other games have tried to replicate the success of Crazy Taxi with slight success including The Simpsons: Road Rage, and Emergency Mayhem but nothing compares to the fun of Crazy Taxi.
Crazi Taxi Gets
3.5 out of 5
+ So much fun!
+ Great graphical Style
+ Generally runs well on any system
+ Well thought out controls
– Minimal character and course choices
– Can get old too quickly due to minimal course choices