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Crazy Taxi 2 Review

Developer: Hitmaker Publisher: Sega
Release Date: May 30, 2001 Also On: None

Crazy taxi drivers. They’re best known to exist in New York City. They’ve been made famous in movies. They irritate international tourists with their cockiness. And they don’t know how to drive. What better place to stage a crazy taxi driving game than the Big Apple? Big city, big crowds, big action.

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The formula of crazy taxi drivers roaming the streets of New York City, in pursuit of fares, doesn’t stretch reality too much. New York has a lot of taxis, it has a lot of people, and it has a lot of payphones. Put all of those together and you have Crazy Taxi. Take the role of a crazy taxi driver, escort a fare to their destination, and run over a phone booth or two on the way.

Sounds like a good game, right? In theory, Crazy Taxi 2 sounds overly-simple. It is. It’s because of this that the game is accessible to nearly anyone, even mom, dad, or grandma, yet hardcore gamers crave it, vying for the highest score, and playing some of the cool mini-games.

Crazy Taxi 2 has three modes of play. You have Around Apple, Small Apple, and Crazy Pyramid. Around Apple and Small Apple are basically the same (the way it’s played), except Small Apple is more compact of an area. Crazy Pyramid is a decent collection of mini-games, some of which require unlocking.

The options of play in Around/Small Apple are limited to Normal, 3 Minutes, 5 Minutes, and 10 Minutes. Normal will have you collecting passengers. Each passenger has a time limit, with an overall time limit. Once a passenger’s time limit runs out, they’ll jump out of the taxicab. If your overall time limit runs out, Game Over. To prevent the game from ending, pick up fares, drive them as fast as you can, and repeat.

The other three (3, 5, and 10 Minutes) are all time-based, with the goal to earn as much money as possible in the desired time. Just as in the last one, a passenger will have a time limit. Some passengers (ones with a red circle around them) will pay a low fare, which will only be a short distance. Others, with a green circle, will pay a hefty price, but the ride will be longer.

New to the Crazy Taxi franchise is the ability to carry up to four passengers at a single time. This will obviously take longer, meaning your clock will expire at a slower rate, and you’ll make more money. This can prove challenging, and carries the risk of spending a large amount of time (a minute or more), with the potential of not making a penny if you can’t deliver all passengers to their destination.

Something that I haven’t yet mentioned is getting money for driving close to other vehicles. The longer you can drive close to vehicles without hitting anything, the more you’ll make. The cool thing about this is that your money multiplier increases by the number of passengers in the car. So instead of making $.50 for that close pass by a car, you’ll get $1.

The mini-games in Crazy Pyramid are probably the biggest draw to the game. The gameplay is shallow in the two main game modes, with no real objective but collecting the most money. With these, you have a clear objective, solved by doing something. For instance, one of the mini-games will have you hit a giant-sized golf ball with your car by using the hydraulics (press Y).

In another one, you’re driving a group of four guys, speeding through traffic. You leap onto an over-pass, bound down the street, circle, go the opposite direction, jump off the over-pass, jump on the next over-pass, and repeat what you just did. It all proves to be very challenging. Then you have the levels where you have to go from one platform to the next without falling off. All said, it’s a lot of fun.

The soundtrack in Crazy Taxi 2 is strong, but lacks the amount of songs that you’d expect in a game, at least on current-generation hardware. The Dreamcast discs could manage a gig, so what’s the deal with a handful of songs from The Offspring? Solid soundtrack, just not enough songs, and the songs it does have, sound a lot alike.

At the end of the day, Crazy Taxi 2 delivers a fine gaming experience to the Dreamcast. It has its faults, most prominently displayed in its overall lack of any real missions (I can’t consider the mini-games to be missions), and completing everything won’t take long. Yes, it has the potential for endless replay, but I guarantee that the single-player will get stale after a few hours of play. By 2001 standards, it wouldn’t have been worth the price, but for the asking price of $5-$10 today, you can’t go wrong.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide