Still Crazy After All These Years?
Crazy Taxi, one of Sega’s hottest Dreamcast
titles, has managed to work its way over to the Playstation 2. The PS2 version
is an exact port of the original, with a few unwanted additions in the form of
glitches. Carrying a full-priced fare, this cabbie ain’t cheap next to the discounted
Port is a four-letter word in the realm of gaming. Instantly, preconceived
notions of ramshackle turnarounds and weak effort pop up in one’s mind. Sadly,
this game does little to refute the stereotype. Crazy Taxi for the PS2
is exactly like the Dreamcast version, but considering the fact the original
was released over a year ago, the PS2 feels a good deal worse.
For the uninitiated, Crazy Taxi is all about you and your yellow checkered
ride. Zoom about a giant city against an ever-dwindling clock, all the while
picking up passengers and driving them where they want to go. These passengers,
crazy fools that they are, will pay you extra dollars for thrills like unannounced
games of chicken with oncoming traffic. Not a bad deal.
Crazy Taxi has always been hindered by its arcade roots. It’s great
for a fast, cheap thrill, but it’s not great for long lasting play since there’s
no depth whatsoever. Plus, it always drinks out of the milk carton and leaves
the toilet seat up!
Crazy Taxi for PS2 still comes with the two San Francisco maps that
the original came with – the Arcade city and the Original city. Both look relatively
similar, with the main difference being the size of the map.
There’s also a bevy of different mini-games in an effort to breathe more life
into this puppy. They aren’t very fun, but they’ll help you grasp some of the
trickier maneuvers in the game.
The graphics are much like the Dreamcast version, though someone cranked up
the contrast. And like the DC original, buildings on the horizon abruptly appear
like facts on an episode of VH1’s Pop-Up Video. Strangely, the pop-up
is even more noticeable in the PS2 version. Why couldn’t they improve the original
by nixing the pop-up? Why couldn’t they up the ante on the graphics? Why couldn’t
they include a pair of fuzzy dice?
music is the same as the original, featuring tracks from The Offspring and Bad
Religion. You’ll find the tunes either catchy or annoying depending on your
tastes, but I think everyone will agree that they are a good fit for Crazy
Taxi‘s nature. I think one of the songs is about a metaphorical “Tug of
War,” but every time I hear it, I think I hear “Soda Wars.” Then my mind wanders
to mental images of Coke and Pepsi duking it out. Or maybe it’s because of the
overflow of product placement in the game.
Some of the voices have been changed for the Playstation 2 and it has definitely
taken a turn for the worse. There seems to be some added cussing where there
once was none. Oh, my poor virgin ears.
Crazy Taxi is a mediocre port of what can already be considered an
old Dreamcast game. But on the other hand, it’s a port of a good fun game, with
the ever-important gameplay still intact. Crazy Taxi on PS2 is still
a gut blow of fun.
Then again, Crazy Taxi DC is $20, and Crazy Taxi PS2 is $50!
I’d understand pricing it at $50 if they actually tried to add something to
the game or at least fix the problems, but $50 for the exact same game? The
cost-to-value ratio seems more than a mite off there, especially with the recent
release of Crazy Taxi 2.
If you really want to get loco, wait for the cab fare to drop.