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My first impressions of Crazy Taxi XBLA. Hint: Not good!

November 25, 2010

When Sega finally announced that it would release classic Dreamcast titles onto digital download services, I’m sure many people went gaga over this. However, these ports that were produced by Sega Studios Shangai feature some very controversial design choices, as I stated in my very first review for this website, Sonic Adventure featured just 4:3 display and I thought it was a poor design choice, but whatever issues I had with this particular port, they were completely overshadowed by my first hour (re)playing Crazy Taxi on XBLA.

Let’s start with the actual game, the very first you’ll notice is that there are no Offspring and Bad Religion tracks, copyright issues that couldn’t be avoided and actual in-game assests that were removed like the Gap store, the KFC restaurant, Pizza Hut, the Tower Records store,etc. They are gone and replaced with generic names, but that’s not all. You see in the Dreamcast version, the people who you pick up actually say stuff like “Honey, get me over to KFC!” and as a result, the actual audio clips are either missing or have been completely muffled, to the point where you can barely hear anything what they are saying. This, I admit it’s pretty weird, especially since other voice clips can be heard loud and clearly making for one very inconsistent audio package.

As far as the actual music, I have no idea who actually made those songs, they seem to come from the PSP version, again copyrights were probably an issue and to be honest, hearing “All I want” for the 300th time starts taxing you in the worst possible way.

Now the actual gameplay, again much like Sonic Adventure, plays exactly like what you’d expect, but Crazy Taxi is one of those particular games that you progressively get better by playing it more, you can’t expect to pick up the game again after many years and expect to get an “Awesome” license like you did before. So don’t be dissapointed if you get a B or C license in your very first try.

To get a good license, Crazy Taxi requires a lot of time and patience, but it’s more than that, while the inner working of Crazy Taxi appear to be simple, a lot has to do with proper strategy: which clients to pick up, how to learn all the proper shorcuts, how to make pin point accurate stops so that the customers can get on as quickly as possible and drive. All that helps in getting the most out of Crazy Taxi.

But to be honest, while the actual gameplay is still there, the fact remains that this is the sloppiest port in the history of sloppy ports and while Sonic Adventure, despite some poor design choices, is still a good game and worth the price,  it’s hard to recommend this at 800 Microsoft points.

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