Crazy Taxi

These days its hard to find a racing game where you're not weaving through traffic, freaking out some sort of sentient AI who are innocently trying to commute in their small virtual world. I'm talking about racing games like Need For Speed that takes place on city streets but the one that I hold dear to my heart is the original Arcade classic Crazy Taxi. Sega actually managed to squish it down for iOS (soundtrack, mini-games and all!) Does it work on a 4" touch-screen? Is this a decent port for a premium price? Why do I ask so many questions?
Compatible: iPhone 4+ - iPad 2+

Price: $5

I first played Crazy Taxi on the Nintendo Gamecube where it didn't use the full capabilities of Nintendos powerful little console but the full effect of the game stabbed its dirty little needle to me and I was hooked. The name of the game is to pick up as many customers and deliver them to their desired destination as quickly as possible. Earn bonus money for near misses, jumps and overall reckless driving (without crashing.) It definitely has more pick-up-and-play rather than something you'll play over and over which makes it fit right at home on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Unfortunately I wasn't able to play it again and I was tempted by the PSN, XBox Live and PSP versions but never bit because the price was little too high. Fast forward to last Christmas where Sega had a major sale on their apps and $2 was just too good to refuse. Needless to say, this was what took up my time over the Holiday break.

Me, flying high while a customer kindly tells me that we're about to hit a Tram.

My device of choice was the iPhone but it was enjoyed on both the small screen and big. Usually I tend to fall under the mindset that a bigger screen makes for better controls but I found that both drive better than most touch-based games. They chose to not fall for the digital analog but went for the left/right buttons that you can hold or tap to gauge the turn or double tap then hold for drifting. It works well for this particular game and there is a tilt option (for those who like those kind of things.)

It's amazing to see how far games have come with generations leaping one by one onto a quickly maturing platform. From Genesis to Playstation to Dreamcast, someday soon we might be seeing Playstation 2 and higher very soon. For now I'm thoroughly impressed that they got Crazy Taxi looking as good as it did in the arcade on my phone. It doesn't look as great as Infinity Blade or Bastion but it's appropriate for what the game is. I experienced no slow down through my manic drive through the city, crashing into cars, pedestrians and buildings which is a big win in the games favor.

"Good job bro! Hoof dat shit!"

Another big point working for this version, Offspring and Bad Religions music IS included. That was the final kick that made me download because I can't think of Crazy Taxi without 'It's All I Want' or 'Way Down the Line' by the Offspring (whatever opinions you may have on the band.)

Even though the Arcade mode does become repetitive (but is easy to return to), there is a sufficient amount of depth in the 16 mini-games. These are great for mixing it up, improving your skills or as a distraction. Jump the ramp, chase down giant balloons or deliver customers through elaborate courses within the time limit.

Bottom line? Great game. Chances are you already picked it up for the snazzy price of $2. If not, it's a difficult recommend for $5 unless you really want a guaranteed good game. Chances are it won't be on sale for awhile and you will definitely get every penny worth of fun out of it. It also costs a lot less than the digital console versions and it travels with you.


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