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    wolfmanbsam's Crazy Taxi (DC)

    [January 14, 2008 02:40:16 AM]
    In my second time around with Crazy Taxi, I was happy to find that the mood swings of the passengers bothered me much less. This was partially because I had gotten used to them, but mainly because I found something that aggravated me even more. After playing the main game for a little while longer, I decided to see what was in the “Crazy Box” option in the menu. Inside I found a series of short challenges that used the game play of the main game but under very extreme circumstances. A few of the early ones taught me some useful driving techniques and they were both fun and not terribly difficult. Little did I know that horror was just beyond the horizon.
    While the early “Crazy Box” challenges were relatively easy, beating those unlocked progressively harder ones. “Progressively” is probably the wrong word though since it implies there was a transition between easy and hard when really what happened was after I beat my happy little easy challenges, I was immediately plunged into a taxi hell that was one thousand times more horrible than a cab driver’s worst nightmare. I could have stopped and gone back to the main game, but something inside me compelled me to keep trying to beat these torturous tasks. Maybe I was curious to see if even worse things would appear. Maybe I had a strong desire not to give up. Maybe I need a psychologist. Whatever the reason, I kept going with it even though it was slowly killing me inside. The sheer number of things I had to accomplish in just one of these challenges would not fit in this assignment, and I had to do it in less than one minute and ten seconds. I can say there were a lot of bottomless pits involved though.
    Eventually I came to my senses and went back to the main game. It was like jumping in ice water after a day in the desert. Being able to play the actual game, without jumping through impossible hoops, was highly refreshing. I could also use the techniques I learned in the early challenges to either navigate the streets better or get more tips. The learning part of the challenges paid off in the end, but I cannot imagine why they made the later ones so hard.

    Despite being originally an arcade game, Crazy Taxi manages to stay entertaining for quite some time. This is partly because of the giant size and intricacy of the two main game levels. The two levels are very easy to get around and seem both to be modeled after San Francisco since many of the streets have the same kind of hills as and there are cable cars around. Both levels have a variety of terrain that you have to navigate in unique ways. The hilly areas have fun jumps, downtown has traffic dodging, and so on. The only problem with the levels is that you are unlikely to see most of them. This is because there are certain areas that passengers almost never ask to go. Often I would get to one area, and then get asked to go to the area I was before. There was a huge area of the level full of high rise buildings that I didn’t even know existed until near the end of my session.
    The passengers themselves are partially to blame for the lack of exploration since they rarely want to go very far. The passengers have very strange qualities. I already mentioned how their personalities broke the illusion for me, but there are other aspects to them that grate on the game itself along with my nerves. I mentioned earlier how they never want to go very far, but sometimes this can get rather extreme. I was frequently asked to take passengers to somewhere that I could already see. Not only does it make no sense for someone to hail a cab to get somewhere they could easily walk in less than a minute, it also doesn’t make for a very eventful trip. The shorter the distance to their destination, the less time you get. So there would be a scenario where some lady would pay me 600 dollars to drive her 50 yards to pizza hut. The pricing of everything, while not really a problem, kind of distracted me. It makes me wonder if it was originally in yen but they only changed the yen sign to a dollar sign during localization.
    In short Crazy Taxi is a pretty fun game and kept me entertained longer than I expected from an arcade game. It has some elements which were sloppily put together but that doesn’t deter from the joy of driving around and causing mayham.
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    [January 13, 2008 10:35:43 PM]
    Crazy Taxi is a driving game where the player drives a taxi around a city looking for fares. The goal of the game is to make as much money as possible in the given time limit. There isn’t a lot too it. Basically, the faster you get your passengers to their destination, the more they will tip you. Frighteningly enough, they will also tip you more if you drive completely recklessly.

    I must say, Crazy Taxi can be pretty fun. There is something exhilarating about fast paced, free range driving. The game also provides a nice break from the horrifically stringent driving laws of the real world. I was able to drive so badly in this game, after a while I started to wonder why someone wasn’t trying to stop me. An even bigger mystery though, was why everyone seemed to be encouraging my vehicular rampages. I was getting heavily tipped for almost hitting cars while driving on the wrong side of the road.
    Despite having very realistic graphics for its time, the game itself feels quite unreal. This is partially because of how much you can get away with. However, more glaring examples of unreality are the characters. One would assume that a game with a crazy taxi would probably have a crazy taxi driver as well. Well their guess would be spot on. All the drivers the player has to choose from have the appearance of beach bums and the attitudes of drugged up speed fetishists. Strange as they may be, they fit well with the overall feel of the game.
    The passengers are really strange though. They are prone to extreme mood swings and all behave exactly the same. Example: I pick up a lady who wants to go to pizza hut. Every time I do something exceedingly dangerous, she starts cheering and practically showers me with tips. She acts like she’s more into maniacal driving than the actual nut-job of a driver. If I bump into anything though, she gets really angry about how bad of a driver I am and seems to forget she’s been egging me on this whole time. But it doesn’t matter because she starts cheering again the instant I resume being my reckless self. It would be fine if just some of the passengers were like that. But I could pick up an 80 year old priest and he’d cheer me on just like everyone else. Basically the lack of variety in passengers not only breaks the illusion a little for me, but it also causes me extreme aggravation to be stuck in a city full of schizophrenics where one second they are extreme thrill seekers who sing me praises for driving off roofs, and the next second they yell at me for putting them in jeopardy and loathe me with every fiber of their being.
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    wolfmanbsam's Crazy Taxi (DC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 13 January, 2008

    wolfmanbsam's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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