| Mild Lyrics, Mild Violence
| The Good
Good, easy to pick up fun
Control scheme is easy to use
| The Bad
Doesn't look much better than Dreamcast versions
Uneven difficulty on Crazy X mode
When I play this game, I feel like I should be throwing quarters
at my TV. The Crazy Taxi series has always been about
short-term attention span goodness - driving a taxi like mad
around large cities and pulling of a variety a crazy moves
to get your fare to their place in time. This time around,
Crazy Taxi 3 includes all that was good with the first
two games and adds a new city and drivers plus a number of
mini games. Older levels have been altered to some degree
to give even experts a little mix up for their own good.
Crazy Taxi has always been easy to pick up but difficult
to master. Your goal is to pick up fares, and take them to
where they want to go. But it's not as simple as that. Driving
at breakneck speeds and weaving in and out of traffic will
net you more cash on your fare. Pulling a variety of techniques
while making a mad dash for the location of choice is in your
best interest as the more outrageous your drive, the more
cash you will get and the better grade you'll net at the end.
But, at the same time, you need to keep an eye out for the
next customer, whether it be one person or four. You have
the choice to play the game by the normal rules, where your
time can be extended by stringing fares together in series,
or by a series of time limits. And if the basic taxi driving
gets a little old, you can try your luck at the challenging,
and some times frustratingly varied Crazy X mode, where you
can take any of the drivers through a series of minigames
that test your skills.
To be honest, Crazy Taxi 3 really doesn't look all
that much different than it's Dreamcast prequels. In fact,
other than some redesign on the old courses, the first two
cities and drivers are basically the same as they were in
the first two Crazy Taxi games. On top of that, the
new city and drivers look on par with the older levels, which
begs the question: "Why bother putting this on the Xbox?"
It seems little effort was made to make full use of what the
Xbox is good at. In fact, you'll notice jaggies, lots of clipping,
mild pop-up in some locations and a lot of slowdown in the
Glitter Oasis level. The car and character models are blocky
and nothing really shines as looking all that great. The lighting
effects are often bland, especially in the new level, which
really could have looked great from some top notch light effects.
For the most part, the audio portion is pretty good. Sound
effects and vocal bits from the cabbies and customers add
a nice flavor that can be digested in small bits. It won't
take too long to hear just about everything the game has to
offer, but since most of it is broken up into small, multiple
minute bits, it's fairly easy to take. The music, while nice
and appropriate, can get old after a while. There is a limited
track variety and after a few runs, you'll be tired of The
Offspring and Bad Religion. If a game ever needed to use the
custom soundtrack feature, this one was it.
Let's be honest with ourselves. Crazy Taxi 3 is like
a Greatest Hits. It offers everything from the previous titles
with a new level, drivers and mini games, but at it's core
is basically Crazy Taxi Redux. The gameplay hasn't
changed much and if you had mastered the previous games, this
one will be a breeze to pick up. The only real shake up to
the game is the almost uneven difficulty of some of the Crazy
X minigames. Some are a breeze, while others will have you
Crazy Taxi is fun. Even if it is for a little while.
This is the kind of game that people who want to play it over
and over again to find every shortcut and nuance will want
to get. Everyone else will be better served with a rental.
If you own the other Crazy Taxi's, you may want to
rent to see if this is worth the time.