Crazy Taxi: The Reason Why I Own A Dreamcast

There’s only one reason why I bought a Dreamcast, that was because I heard Crazy Taxi was slated for the Dreamcast. Sure enough, Sega followed through. Now, for the mere price of $50, Dreamcast owners can have a near pixel perfect translation of the $6,500 masterpiece.

Lately I haven’t been too excited about arcade games, or home console systems for that matter. This is mainly because many of today’s games do not possess originality, excitement or even fun. Crazy Taxi was the game that brought it all back for me. It has been a long time since I was looking forward to visiting the arcades, or since I counted down a game’s release date. Sorry Sega… I didn’t anticipate 9/9/99 as much as 2/2/2000.

What’s not to get excited about? Crazy Taxi is revolutionary racing game. So many dull and boring racers flood the arcades, drowning players with the apparent lack of creativity. You spend $1 per game only to drive around a circle. This continues until you lose or get bored. Eye candy is nice, but today’s games need substance – they need to get crazy!!!

Crazy Taxi is one of those games that is not your typical mainstream racer. Crazy Taxi is what it sounds like… an off-the-wall Taxi-Driving game. Your objective is to complete as many fairs as possible, in the limited time allotted. Your path need not be linear. You can drive anywhere… along the roads, through the parks, along roof tops, and even underwater.

Crazy Taxi is an exhilarating experience that often left me afraid to drive home from the arcades. I’d feel myself getting Crazy Taxi flashbacks while sitting in real traffic.

So ok… say you’ve played the arcade – or you believe me when I say Crazy Taxi is one of the best driving games ever made – what does that mean for the Dreamcast version? I have to admit… initially I was not happy with the home version.

Let me say that I’ve played Crazy Taxi a lot in the Arcades! The staff of my local arcade started to recognize my face. My response – Don’t bother me with San Francisco Rush, don’t tell me about any other cheesy racing game – I’m here for one reason and one reason only… to beat my Crazy Taxi score. This obsessive gameplay lead me to be initially disappointed with the home version.

First off… obviously something is missing – like the steering wheel! The home version’s controls are way too sensitive! Despite the fact that the Dreamcast control pad is analog, making slight turns were difficult. The control is not as forgiving as the arcade.

Much like “House of the Dead” needs a gun… Crazy Taxi needs a steering wheel.
It took me a while to get used to the control pad. No matter how hard I tried, I could not navigate the oncoming highway-traffic, not like I could in the arcades. My at home scores were significantly lower than my below average Crazy Taxi arcade runs. The options mode could have greatly benefited with a steering adjustment function. The control is just too loose!

Let me be blunt… if all there was to Crazy Taxi was the arcade mode, I’d be quite enraged! Fortunately, Sega thought ahead. The home version was delayed to add some pretty cool features. One is a totally different course, and the other is something of a challenge mode. It’s a really good thing Sega added these features. There’s some really cool new stuff in the home version that makes the purchase worthy.