In my 22 years on this planet so far, I've learned a few things. For example, the laws of the road are there for your own safety and the safety of others. I've also learned that you should never trust someone with the word "Crazy" in the front of their name. Abandoning both of these life lessons, I dove into Crazy Taxi for the Gamecube, which is actually a port of a Dreamcast game that also happens to be a port of an arcade game. This game sure jumps around like cr-....I'm not even gonna say that.
Crazy Taxi is the first in a series of taxi simulators from SEGA. Let me rephrase that; Crazy Taxi is the first in a series of ridiculous taxi cab of doom simulators in which you defy the laws of the road and of physics at the same time, and don't get in trouble for doing it. The goal of Crazy Taxi is to get the high score, a very uncommon goal for modern games and games of its time. When you first begin you are given 30 seconds of play time, and the only way to raise it is to get a customer. Customers are color coded, and the brighter their color, the more money they're worth, and the further you will have to drive them.
As you drive your customer to their destination, they will cheer and scream as you swerve through traffic and jump hills. Smashing into other cars and other such unpleasant things will cause them to scold you, however. The more your customer is enjoying the ride, the more money they will give you, and obviously you want to get the highest score possible. Why are these people paying you several hundred dollars to drive them down to Kentucky Fired Chicken, anyway?
Before you begin, you may select between 4 drivers, each with their own cab. There doesn't seem to be a difference in handling or acceleration or anything, but simply appearance and personality. Despite this, you're likely to like one and stick to it. Personally, I just use Axel, the green haired punk.
So you're probably thinking that only 4 drivers with no handling differences is really limited, and if you, prepare to be even more disappointed because the entire game is severely limited. There's only 2 cities in the game, and they are fairly small considering. The audio consists of 3 songs by the Offspring and 3 by Bad Religion. Are these bands good? Yes, they are, but I got really sick of hearing the same 6 songs over and over again. Luckily the sound design is saved by the announcer, who is just pure genius.
The graphics look pretty bad, especially for a Gamecube game. Everything is sort of blocky and just ugly in general. Luckily, the controls aren't nearly as bad as the visuals. Gas is the R button and the brake is the L button, which feels very natural. What's going to take a bit of getting used to, is shifting gears. Unlike more driving games, holding the brake does not put you in reverse. Instead, you must tap B to put it in reverse, and then hit the gas to back up. Following this, you'd best remember to hit A and shift into drive again, otherwise you might end up flying off backwards.
Crazy Taxi is full of personality, and it is certainly fun. The problem is it is so severely limited in almost every regard, from the poor graphics to the lack of modes and maps, and the 6 song soundtrack is definitely repetitive. You're not likely to play this game for long periods of time, or even for more than 30 minutes, but even so this game is fun, and isn't that the end goal of all video games? If you find it without paying too much, it might be worth owning, even if you'll only play it every now and again.