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Crazy Taxi
Score: 97%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Sega
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:
Crazi Taxi has got unbelievable graphics!!! This is a straight port from the arcade, and nothing is lacking. It's games like this that are putting arcades outta business. Trust me. Crazy Taxi has all of the eye candy you can ever handle. The only problem is that there is an awful lot of clipping, where your fares run through anything just to get into your taxi (including the taxi itself).

The sound fx of the game are equally outstanding. In a true arcade fashion, sound clips are short and to the point, but the voices are very well done. You'll hear everything from squealing tires and scraping cars to passengers complaining about your driving. It's all in here.

It was a sad day when Sega announced that it was not going to make hardware anymore. Dreamcast owners mourned, maybe even cried. But as long as Sega continues to make games like Crazy Taxi for other systems, I'll get over it.

There are three main modes of play in Crazy Taxi: Arcade, Original, and Crazy Box. The Arcade mode is a perfect duplicate of the very popular coin-op game. Your goal is simple. Pick up passengers and earn your fare by maneuvering them through the city to the places they want to be dropped off. In the process, you will need to perform 'Crazy Moves' to gain huge tips and drive your total score through the roof (well, if your convertible taxi had a roof!). This isn't easy, but very, very fun and very, very addictive.

Original Mode offers the exact same gameplay that made Crazy Taxi a top game at the arcades, but has an original course for you to explore. As in Arcade Mode, your may select from different modes of play: Play By Arcade Rules, or Work For 3, 5, or 10 Minutes. Your fares have different color indicators that determine how far you will have to drive them to score cash. So put the pedal to the metal and drop them off at officially licensed places like Pizza Hut, Levis, and KFC, just to name a few.

Crazy Box Mode is one of the most fun, yet frustrating, parts of the game. Here you have different missions that need to be completed in an insanely short amount of time. I literally wore my thumbs out trying some of the unlocked tracks and have yet to beat them (like the bowling alley, where you need to get seven strikes in a row with your taxi to win... 68/70, you dog!). The best part about Crazy Taxi is the replay value. Getting first place in the rankings of each track (as well as Arcade and Original) is very, very hard. Even though Crazy Taxi is a single player game, it's a game where you need to get your friends together and see who can rule the streets.

As stated above, Crazy Taxi is not an easy game to master. I am far from it. Congested streets and other obstacles are standing in your way and you need to somehow find your niche or face defeat in a head on collision. With that said, the great thing about Crazy Taxi is that it will be difficult for everyone, so even if you don't get the top ranking, you can still leave your buddies standing in a cloud of dust as you drive off into the sunset. One of the most difficult things to get the hang of is controlling your car and performing 'Crazy Moves' - without them, you will not be able to conquer the game.

Game Mechanics:
Although the controls are basic (steer left/right, forward, reverse, gas, & brake), learning the 'Crazy Moves' is not easy at all. Lots of practice will make you a better driver, though. Lots of practice! Crazy Taxi has a simple concept, but you will truly have to earn your fares in this game. Choosing the right path is also essential in doing well. Take time to learn how to get from place to place and then learn which passengers will want to go to those places. If you choose wisely (as there are tons of passengers out there), it will make your job much easier in the long run.

Crazy Taxi is an excellent game and you should definitely rent it. If you like it, buy it. You won't be sorry as it is very challenging, and not a game that you will fully beat in one night. If any good came from Sega's announcement, it's that at least quality games like this will be around for years to come on the many other console systems out there.

Crazy Tip: Try to drop off your fares right next to another passenger to eliminate the time when the meter is not running.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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