Crazy Taxi

You can never go back. The dream(cast) is dead. There are no more blue skies and the bouncy, sunny cartoon world of gaming has become a grainy, raw, hyper real world of emotionally draining  plots and horrifying moral choices. Just like growing up really. Our lives are no longer unfettered by responsibilities. Nothing exists in two dimensions anymore. Everything we do has far reaching consequences and the soundtrack to our daily existence has to be paid for in full. In other words there are no Offspring/Bad Religion tracks in the XBLA version of Crazy Taxi. Nor are Pizza Hut, KFC or Levi featured as locations, instead replaced by generic stores. The licensed content may seem an unimportant element but it serves as a constant reminder while playing that the world has changed since Crazy Taxi’s heyday and we have changed with it. We’ve changed so much so that the joy we felt while bouncing around picking up fares and dropping them off while the timer ticked us down to our doom just isn’t there.

The graphics are pretty creaky even with a bit of an HD upgrade and a decent widescreen view. I remember Crazy Taxi as being colourful and populated with diverse, interesting people. It isn’t. It’s just jaggy, the colour palette limited and a bit duller than I remember and the people look stupid. The gameplay doesn’t hold up either. Crazy Taxi always felt easy to control and the collecting and dropping off of passengers while pulling crazy stunts and drifts was so addictive. It still kinda has that. Because each play session comes in such short bursts you do find yourself wanting another go but it wears thin after about 20 minutes. That wouldn’t be such a big issue but it is 800 MS points and £6.29 on PSN which is pretty steep for something you’re going to stop caring about in the time it takes to watch Corrie. As with so many old games, the controls you remember as being so intuitive and pulling off the moves you recall flowing so easily from your fingertips aren’t nearly as straightforward as your rose-tinted memories paint them. Pulling off crazy boosts and crazy drifts is actually a bit of a pain in the arse and switching between the reverse and drive buttons just feels awkward.

I don’t want to be so down on Crazy Taxi. It isn’t really awful. It’s infinitely more playable than many well remembered old titles but it’s just not as fun as it used to be. The halcyon days of the Dreamcast are over and no taxi ride will be able to get us back to our youth. What we need is a time machine.







3 responses to “Crazy Taxi”

  1. GraeXZ avatar

    This is upsetting, I was going to get it but you might be right, it might just be a good idea to say goodbye to Crazy Taxi and remember it for what it was.

  2. Mike avatar

    I tried the trial of this out and it hasn’t aged well. At all.

  3. Simon avatar

    For an HD update, you’d think they could increase the resolution of the sky background decal.

Leave a Reply