Crazy Taxi 3
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
Sega
Developer
Hitmaker
Genre
Arcade/Racing
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Mild Lyrics, Mild Violence
 
Grade
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

 
Grade
B-

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 spitting mad.

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.

- - Vane

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