Crazy Taxi (PlayStation 2, 2001)
When I got a PlayStation 2 early in 2001, I began to have a think about what games I would like to play, and I’d heard a lot of good things about Crazy Taxi so I decided to make that one of the first games that I bought, and for me that turned out to be a good decision as I regularly enjoyed playing this game.
In Crazy Taxi you can play as one of four characters who all have different attributes, but the basic idea of the game is the same for all them. You have to drive around in your taxi in the city and pick up fares, and then get your customer to their destination as quickly as possible. If you do get them there in time, you win a bonus from them, plus more time is added to the clock.
You have to carry on getting fares until you run out of time, at which point the amount of money that you made is revealed. You can also score bonuses from achieving stunts which will usually horrify your customer but will increase your score. Alternatively you can play for a fixed time limit such as ten minutes. If you don’t get your fare to their destination in time though they leave without paying and they make it clear that they aren’t very happy with you.
One thing that I liked about Crazy Taxi was that thanks to some advertising deals some of the destinations in the game were based on real places, and you could clearly feel the tension as you wondered if you could get someone to KFC or Tower Records on time whilst trying to stay on the road and not knock everything over in the process. The soundtrack also featured a lot of American rock bands including The Offspring.
There was also another mode in Crazy Taxi where you had to perform stunts and you would score points. For example there was a challenge where you had to drive off a ramp and travel for as far as you could before landing. There were several tips as to how to increase your power to jump really far but as I have never learned to drive I did find it a little difficult to grasp to more technical side of how to achieve this but I did enjoy having a go. There were also against-the-clock games such as trying to pop all the balloons or pick up multiple customers and these had varying levels of difficulty.
Having a look online it seems that Crazy Taxi was fairly well received by critics and gamers, the PS2 version averaging a score of about 8/10 in reviews, and it was also a big seller on the various formats it was released on, and there were also several sequels released. In more recent years there was even a feature reminiscing about the best moments of Crazy Taxi in Retro Gamer magazine which was a great read and brought a lot of memories back of this very enjoyable game.