LGR – Crazy Taxi – PC Game Review

LGR – Crazy Taxi – PC Game Review


[keyboard typing noises]
[“Change The World” by The Offspring plays] [“Change The World” by The Offspring plays] Hey hey hey, it’s crazy that I haven’t talked about this game yet, so let’s get right to it! Crazy Taxi! Originally produced by Sega for their Naomi-based arcade machines in 1999. This particular one is the original big box release of the PC version, adapted by StrangeLite and published by Activision Value in 2002. The reason we’re taking a look at this particular release is because A: I want to, and B: I feel like it. It also comes from a time when the content of the game was largely unchanged from the arcade. The one big change here is that it features an entirely different soundtrack, which the box mistakenly lists as a selling point. Inside, you get a jewel case with the game on a single CD-ROM, and this little insert telling you how to set up the game, and… that’s it. No manual or anything cool, leaving a lot of empty space in this huge box, so you may as well use it to store something awesome. Crazy Taxi begins with some crazy company logos, followed by your crazy host! [in-game VO]
“Hey hey, come on over, have some fun with Crazy Taxi!” I love that guy; he always reminded me of Jim Varney. After this, the attract mode starts playing, and you’re introduced to the all-new soundtrack. [“The Distance” by Too Rude plays] Bands like Pivit, Too Rude, and Total Chaos replace the likes of Offspring and Bad Religion from the original game, which, while no comparison, it certainly could be worse. It’s also super easy to swap out the music files, since they’re just MP3s, so if you want the true experience, then: [in-sync with the game]
“YA YA YA YA YA!” [“All I Want” by The Offspring plays] Anyway, this PC version is based on the excellent Sega Dreamcast port, which features the original Arcade Mode, a confusingly-titled Original M ode, and a selection of challenges called Crazy Box. I’ve never been much of a fan of Crazy Box mode, since it reminds me of those annoying license challenges in racing games like Gran Turismo. Now sure, it’s all fun and games when you’re popping balloons and mowing down bowling pins, but it’s a huge pain when it starts expecting you to perfectly execute a long string of tricky moves in a short amount of time. Just not my idea of fun. And it’s even worse on this PC version if you’re using a keyboard, since the controls are digital instead of analog. The Original Mode is the same thing as the Arcade Mode, except it’s not the original Arcade Mode. It’s a whole new map made specifically for the Dreamcast port and carried over into this PC version, meaning that it’s an original course for the home version of the game. And finally, the Arcade Mode is… the arcade mode, straight from the original Naomi cabinet with all the same rules and locations. Although you can also play for set lengths of time instead of simply earning more time the better you play, which is a nice touch. And man, I still dig Crazy Taxi. Back when this came out, it blew me away with its sense of speed, combined with an open world environment to explore. Plus I loved seeing real-world locations, like KFC, Tower Records, and Pizza Hut all over the place, subtle advertising or not. It’s one of those perfectly-executed arcade classics, handing you a simple set of controls and objectives, while providing just enough insanity and skill-mastering to make every play session unique. The goal is dead simple: choose a driver and use their taxi to pick people up, then deliver them to their destination somewhere in a fictionalized San Francisco as quickly as possible. Along the way you can perform stunts and tricks to earn more money and boost your speed, resulting in a better score and ranking, once the time runs out. And that is truly it. Sounds like a pretty throwaway arcade experience, and if you just play it once or twice then it really is. But Crazy Taxi has a lot more under the hood (pun intended), and that’s why I keep coming back to this one. Every split second counts in a game like this, so you’ve got to master the art of manipulating your car for every ounce of stop-and-go power it has. Actions as simple as shifting into reverse while slamming on the brakes when you need to stop can make a huge difference to your time. And you have to know precisely how close you can get to each traffic vehicle without colliding, and which jumps are worth the payoff versus the time loss. And there’s also just learning the map and knowing the quickest routes to get where you’re going, and anticipating other cars so you don’t screw up a blind turn. But probably even more important than all of this are the moves that aren’t so obvious, known as Crazy Maneuvers. These are things like the Crazy Boost, which prevents tire spin from a standstill and boosts your top speed while driving, and the Crazy Drift, that lets you take turns sharper at high speed. Combining these with variants for reversing are critical for getting a good score, and even more so for completing the minigames in Crazy Box mode, if you wanna subject yourself to that. Unfortunately, with this PC version, these moves are quite tough to pull off with a keyboard or a controller, especially the ones that involve drifting, since the inputs here lack analog support. Now, you CAN plug in a steering wheel and get the control you need to pull this off more easily, but, ehh… I can’t be bothered for one big reason: [woosh]
the performance. In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t quite running as it should. And that sucks, because one of the defining features of Crazy Taxi was its 60 frames-per-second gameplay, on both the arcade unit and on the Dreamcast. But no matter how good your hardware is, this first PC version of Crazy Taxi just won’t run at full-speed, and sometimes slows down at random, causing a major loss of precision. It’s even more embarrassing considering it doesn’t even support features like anti-aliasing or sharper texture filtering, which even the Dreamcast port had. About the only improvements here are the higher draw distance and resolutions, but that’s a poor trade-off for the abysmal framerate, especially considering that better systems don’t result in any improvements – it runs like crap no matter what. It’s also one of those PC ports that still acts like it’s playing on a console, with weird buttons and input options all over the place, that make the keyboard act like a controller. I may have been somewhat okay with this fifteen years ago, since it was the only way I could play the game at home, but… nowadays it’s pretty stupid to deal with. Soooo yeah… while I love Crazy Taxi as a game, and I’d absolutely recommend anyone play it for a bit of classic arcade goodness, I cannot recommend this PC version, no matter how pretty the box is. Sadly, even the later Steam release is… almost even worse, since it still has performance issues, has a crappier soundtrack and lower sound quality, and has removed wheel support and all the real world businesses. I know some of that is due to licensing and publishing rights changing hands, but the lackluster performance and feature downgrades are just unreasonable, no matter how you slice it. This is one of those games that I really thought would’ve gotten a pretty awesome port to PC by now, but hasn’t happened. As it is, Crazy Taxi is just one of those situations where it’s way better on a console than the PC, and it’s still the absolute best in the arcades. …which is a weird thing to say in 2016! [“Change The World” by The Offspring plays] Hey hey hey! Did you a- [coughs] Ah, I can’t do that voice anymore, it hurts! If you liked this video, then thanks! I appreciate it. You might like some of these! Click on them if you so desire, and there’s more videos every Monday and Friday. And as always, thank you very much for watching.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Crazy Taxi – PC Game Review”

  1. Crazy Taxi is one of the most replayable arcade games that Sega has ever made. This is actually one of my gripes about Sega consoles. As their main attractions were usually Sega arcade games, the (often carbon copy, no frills added) home ports made me realize how limited they were in terms of replayability: Daytona USA and Sega Rally, for instance, both only had a handful of tracks to race on, and the replayability lied solely in learning how to master every nuance of those tracks. It's a brilliant idea when you're trying to eat quarters, but it doesn't make for a good console game. Virtua Cop, Virtua Cop 2, Confidential Mission, even Die Hard Arcade, all of these games are GOOD games, but they're just not very long because they're made with an arcade mindset where the goal is to get you to have fun for a short amount of time and then put more quarters into the machine to continue. When you don't have that monetary limitation, it's easy to blast through them because they're not expansive. (Side note: I believe Sega could have enhanced these games for home use, either by adding gameplay modes or adding content, or both, but they almost never chose to do that.)

    I'd argue that Crazy Taxi also isn't that expansive, as the home version just consists of you doing more of the same on the same level. But the concept and how they use it lends to massive replay. The map is fairly large, your fares are always changing, and there's a plethora of things to utilize (ramps) or learn about the game (the various maneuvers) that you can hone to extend your play. And there's a charm even in the presentation of NPCs which is a critically overlooked aspect of many games. This game can give fares a good amount of character in a very short amount of time, from what they say when you pick them up to what they say when you're driving. It's really engaging, at least it is to the extent that it affects how I drive a particular passenger, which is saying a ton about a basic "arcade game." Even the drivers, who amount to nothing more than handling and speed characteristics, tend to have a personality of their own.

    Crazy Taxi might well be the best arcade game that translates into a fun, replayable home game that was ever made. Seriously. And while you dislike Crazy Box, I actually love it, because it's a challenge mode, a mode that forces you to learn how to execute these moves to perfection in order to advance, which in turn makes the arcade mode more fun! Because the better you get at the maneuvers the farther you can go! As much as I love Daytona USA and Sega Rally, they never had anything close to this. You just learned the tracks and the handling and that was it.

    I think outside of owning a full arcade unit (I'm going to start my arcade cab collection just as soon as I win Powerball, just kidding, I don't buy lottery tickets), the Dreamcast port is by far the one to go with. The PC version had the potential to best it, but it was obviously a low-budget port, so I'm glad I still own it and the Dreamcast. To be honest, I see no reason to play any of my Dreamcast titles on anything but the Dreamcast. Anyone who had the opportunity to buy a DC and didn't should be kicking themselves, it's such a great console. It is, BY FAR, my favorite Sega console, and one of my favorite consoles EVER. Crazy Taxi on PC just goes to show, PC ports aren't always the best. Too bad, it could have been, but oh well.

    All in all, Crazy Taxi is just an impressive arcade game from every aspect, and makes for a damn fine home game as well. Not too many arcade games have this kind of lasting replayability, and while the PC port is obviously flawed, it's better than no Crazy Taxi. I love my Dreamcast and I love the DC port of it, and I will continue to play it as long as my DC will read the disc! Might very well be the best Sega home port ever! Also, one last thing, I love the original soundtrack and I cannot play the game without it. I'm really weird about music in games, so just chalk it up to that.

  2. I only owned crazy taxi 3, which was added to some magazine about video games and technology in a small cardboard-like packaging. I have no idea how it ended up in my house since I was a 10 old girl and lived only with my 1 year older sister and mom. But from what I see crazy taxi 1 and 3 are very similar, they just added 2 new maps.
    I loved that game, even now I remember every detail in West Coast 🙂 I wish I could have played the original one, but I was 3 in 1999!

  3. Alright, great video on one of my favorite Taxi Driver Simulators! I always seem to enjoy your videos, man, well done.
    On the note of the PC Steam release: Yeah, it could be waaaaay better, I agree. But…
    Well, lets just say there's plenty of ways to patch that up with proper jams and steering capabilities. Just saying!

  4. Picked this up on Games with Gold and it was some fun nostalgia. I remember playing this at a friends house on the Dreamcast.

  5. If you ever played crazy taxi before, watch some tas videos of it. That shit is insane and will make you feel pathetic.

  6. After seeing this it made me wonder why jurassic park the lost world light gun game never got a wii release

  7. I bought the PC version as part of the Dreamcast Collection on Steam last year. Right now I know there is a fix for analogue input to the game.

  8. Its the one and only game i play for hours on my GPD G5A (with reicast emulator). Sometimes i connect the G5A with hdmi-cable to my lcd and connect an xbox 360 wireless controller to the GPD G5A (usb otg adapter). I still love Crazy Taxi!!! It never gets boring.Its so much fun! 🙂 🙂 🙂 And i am still playing it in 2018.

  9. My family has the original arcade seat, thingie and I REALLY wish I could get it fixed. I think the video board is fried and we all loved that game.

  10. hi guys. i am looking for a game that reminds a lot about this but it was more crazy and with gore and weapons. and not carmagedon. it was for PS. like 95-99.

  11. i need help i have the game for pc but now i cannot install it the installation window gives me message say not enough memory to install and i have 12GB of memory and win7 i want to play it again there is not annother way to install it on win7?

  12. There is an unofficial fix out now that will give you analog controls for the game. It's a vast improvement over the digital.

  13. I was so lucky to find this game next to a thrash container along with many boxes and other junk. It was in a perfectly well conserved box, cd and manual inside, I don't know who could have left it there, but anyways, I took it home. I'm a huge The Offspring fan, and I was pretty disappointed when I discovered this was the only game of the franchise where they had replaced the original songs…

  14. I just played this at the TA Travel Center in Boise, Idaho. CT KFC, and Pizza Hut are alive and well and the TA has a Taco Bell.

  15. I just played this at the TA Travel Center in Boise, Idaho. I must say the arcade build quality held up great 20 years later. Bright screen, tight steering, and fun !!

  16. You remind me of my childhood me and my uncle usually had hardwere stuff like these we usually play around with those stuff and pass the time playing such games etc ..man those times were so great

  17. My Crazy Taxi copy for the PC, didn’t have the original music, instead it was happy hardcore-ish music, then I found the track list:
    Dj Skudero – Fluor
    Kim Ono – Big in Japan
    Kuantize – Overflow
    J&J DJ’s & Jordy Beat & Xavi Avaló – La Festa vol. 2
    2 Robots – Sister Golden Hair RMX 2002
    Klubbheads – Turn Up The Bass (Speeded up to 175 BPM)

  18. No seriously tho, while the new soundtrack isn't sum 41, it's still great. I remember when I was in high school burning it on a CD and passing it to all my friends, who thought it was amazing after listening to it on my portable CD player

  19. scottthewaterwarrior

    Wow, I own the PS2 version and this seems worse! I should really research the Dreamcast some more, I've thought about getting one, but need to figure out what games I'd want, not worth the money just for Crazy Taxi and Daytona USA.

  20. Ive been watching these videos for a while now, Really like them…..the ya ya ya part on this video might be my favorite moment ever

  21. I hate this game. It gets old fast. I wish there was more to this game than picking up and dropping off customers. A story or progression system would've been nice. Literally anything else would've made this game fun, because who honestly gives a shit about high scores?

  22. On my Dreamcast I played two and a half hours got 86,500 +/- on one run. No lie no cheat no social life! I ran out of green and yellow runs I was SO on fire. I bought the 360 remake and could have shot the remake devs, the GameStop ceo, the kid who sold it to me. I asked if it had the OG music on it and got yes it does! I didn't I'm sorry I love the college punk rock on of not that ahem (15 min of explitives deleted here) garbage. I can't even play CT with that ahem music (vomits quietly) I still have my CT for dreamcast but sadly had to sell my DC to feed my mother (worth it) in 2015. So now I'm stuck with a crappy music version of CT and only want to throttle (proverbially) the douchebag who yanked my fav music from an S+ title dropping it to an A!

  23. Funny how with the game being set in the us during the 90s one of the vehicles is a Mitsubishi Legnum (recognizable by the rear spoiler) despite the fact they never sold them there.

    I kinda get annoyed by those little details.

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