Ah the great Crazy Taxi, a game of fun on both the Arcade and the Dreamcast and now we have Crazy Taxi City Rush for handheld devices! But in comparison which is the better version, will it be Crazy Taxi or the latest Crazy Taxi City Rush?
"Hey hey, come on over and have some fun with Crazy Taxi" says Beetlejuice, at least that's who it sounds like! Going back to 1999 in the arcade and the Dreamcast and what a spot on game! Nuts, humorous and fast. Adding to this, a great soundtrack from Offspring and Bad Religion, the mood is set. Crazy Taxi has been converted to a few formats now, including the Dreamcast, PS2, PS3, PSP, XBox, PC and Gameboy Advance (Actually, along with Sega Rally, both very good conversions)
Now it is also available on Android and IOS thus adding to the collection, is the new Crazy Taxi City Ru$h. (Don't forget the '#39;)
So what is this Crazy Taxi?
In short, this was by far, the most successful game in SEGA's series of "Real Life Career Series". I'm not sure where they have been taking taxis but I think I may stay away from that area. However, the maps and hills give a large sense of influence from San-Francisco.
But what made this game great? I would say EXAGGERATION! The game runs faster than cars would normally, acceleration is crazy, hills are extreme and the characters are humorously stereotyped. Most of all, you don't have to think much while playing it. :-)
Console versions gave you a choice of playing styles too. Arcade mode or timed, 3, 5 or 10 minutes. Plus depending on the console, arcade and original maps. However, the arcade maps are much better. The original though more extreme in parts, just don't quite seem as well put together but still great fun to blast around.
The game engine gives an almost immune feel as even slamming into great big tankers does the car no damage and will push them slightly out of the way. What do they make these taxis out of? The gameplay utilises an open world environment which gives plenty of variety of play so long as you don't pick up the same passengers every time but it does have its problems. Try to drive between 2 unbreakable objects and sometimes you can get caught on one of them causing some real issues removing yourself and more than likely running out of time so loosing your passengers fair.
Now, on to the IOS versions.
First then, let's look at the conversion of the original on the iPhone.
As with most driving games on the iPhone, you get the usual choice of controls tilt or touch. I am old school and don't get on with the tilt controls as I have got so used to the joypads.
(Note to future developers here. Many of us old farts still like to press buttons)
We still have Arcade, Original and Crazy Box modes just as the console so nothing appears to be missing. Which is good. :-). Touch controls are simple, Drive(Forwards) Reverse/Brake, Left and Right. Just the way I like it and the game has converted well. Graphics and sound are clear and smooth, so accurate that even some of the disappearing graphics still disappear.
Controls are responsive and had kept the feeling of the original. Though on a couple of occasions (admittedly, this could be caused by me taking screen shots while playing) the buttons stopped responding until I let go and re-pressed them. However, the on screen buttons are located so they don't get in the way of the game even though they are big enough to support big thumbs.
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!
One of the advantages of the using the sandbox model for Crazy Taxi is that you don't need to follow the roads. Just smash your way through grassy hills and pedestrian areas. This is always satisfying as you see and hear the pedestrians scream and jump out of the way of the car.
Crazy box gives another element of play. You are given a set of tasks to perform. Long jump, donuts etc. some of these tasks are great fun but some feel darn right impossible. Crazy even!
iPad pulls off the game just as well but with the bigger screen, you can see a bit more detail and interestingly, rather than the distant graphics disappearing, a blur effect has been added to them.
Still the 4 characters to play with. And all the fair customers. Not forgetting Mr Punky!
On to the new game - Crazy Taxi City Ru$h!
1st thing I need to get off my chest are those BLOOMING ADVERTS AND SALES, almost immediately, they are trying to get you to spend and spend and spend! I just hate these kind of games, I would happily pay for a game, even pay for some extra features, levels, characters etc. But you should not have to keep paying to be able to play a game!
Grrrrrrrrrrrr! As an app developer myself, I strongly disagree with this method of making money. My bad mood has already set in but I will try to give a fair review of the actual game although I point blank refuse to pay to be able to play, and a company as big as Sega should not keep advertising games and even dating sites within their own.
You are greeted with a nice funky soundtrack. Graphics are clean and even on the phone, it is possible to play either landscape or portrait. However, looking at some of the screens in portrait mode, it looks like the programmers haven't spent too much time making sure all the graphics fully fit in.
I would also like to point out that in portrait mode, although your view of the road is very limited, it does allow you to play the game 1 handed which is not to be sniffed at.
Before I get more onto the game play , through every damn level there is another another advert! In which I say to that "damn you SEGA", just charge for the game and get shut of the adverts and stupid in app purchases! But moving on to the actual game play, rather than opt for the traditional controls for a driving game, SEGA or rather Hardlight who actually worked on the game have chosen to use a more retro style.
If you remember the old LCD games, that's how the control works. Either swipe to or tap the left or right hand side of the screen and the car will move lane. It has dawned on me that Crazy Taxi City Ru$h has been based on the code used by games such as: Minion Rush, Sonic Dash and Pitfall along with a few others I have noticed.
The open world option has pretty much disappeared though you can still turn corners by holding the left or right side of the screen but this method just reminds me of Cisco Heat.
All in all, if you are a mobile device player, I'm sure you will enjoy playing Crazy Taxi City Ru$h on the train especially with clean graphics, great music, cracking jumps and the obligatory boxes of fruit. :-)
But if you are an old console player, or loved the original, I think you will be disappointed. It feels nothing like the original. Having to spend spend spend, wait a set amount of time to be able to play again or the continual adverts that show up after every go really gets annoying. Man I miss the old days. I can't even play the game as I now have to wait another 3 minutes which I am sure will increase as you get further through the game or should I call it "money making tool"?
I would like to add that it is possible to pay to remove the adverts and a couple of extras. £2.99 if you buy within the first 70 hours of having the game. After then, you have to pay £10.
£10 to remove the adverts! Really? REALLY?
In my opinion, stick with the console version, not this ad filled product!
Crazy Taxi - 8/10
Crazy Taxi City Ru$h - 4/10
Article by Hexfreq (Drew Kenaz)