Written on: 15/03/2006 by TOMLEECEE (121 reviews written)
Slick sound effects
Top (if repetitive) soundtrack
Lots of fun
Not very deep
Only good for 10 minute blasts
The long awaited follow up to the arcade smash hit Crazy Taxi, Crazy Taxi 2 expands on the original by adding new characters, new mini-games and a new city to explore. Veterans of the first game should be right at home with Crazy Taxi 2 - it's basically just more of the same but in a new location - New York City. Quite fitting, really - this being a yellow taxi simulator and all.
The objective is sublimely simple. You are a cabbie and must pick fares up and get them to their required destination before the time runs out. Dangerous ("Crazy") driving adds tips to your meter, as does getting a passenger to their drop off in the quickest possible time. Due to the size of the city, you are aided in your quest by visual direction tips (a massive rotating arrow); and also by verbal directions from your passenger, so don't worry about having to remember the layout of the city, and unlike in real life, taking sneaky long cuts won't boost your fare - it'll just result in the time running out and the customer bailing. Take heed Hackney Cab drivers!
Crazy Taxi 2 builds on the original by adding a few new features. The game world has moved, as mentioned, from the nameless suburbia of the first game to a pseudo New York complete with Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and other famous landmarks. There are two variations of the city called Around Apple and Small Apple, and they both feature alternative layouts of the metropolis but look quite similar in design - big buildings, tunnels, bridges, parks and highways - all populated by traffic and pedestrians.
There are some new characters to play as, and Sega have added a new manoeuvre to the Cabs' repertoire - the Crazy Hop. You can still perform a Crazy Drift (skid around corners), Crazy Dash (speed boost) and Crazy Back Dash (a sort of extreme brake/reverse speed boost), but now you get the chance to hydraulically launch your cab over small buildings and oncoming traffic. It's hardly realistic, but taking into consideration the rest of this game's features it doesn't exactly rock the boat. And as you'd expect, performing the Crazy Hop also boosts the amount of tips you can earn from your fun loving passengers. Personally I'd be a bit concerned if the cab I was in jumped over a few houses en route to town, and I certainly wouldn't be handing out tips, but if they want it, they can have it. A further addition is the ability to pick up groups of people and deliver to multiple drop-off points, which makes for some huge bonuses, providing you can get them all there in the time allocated.
The Crazy Box mini-game mode from Crazy Taxi has been replaced by the Crazy Pyramid - a selection of time limited tasks that involve you using your cab to complete various fun objectives. These range from popping balloons, doing a triple jump, or driving a huge inflatable golf ball down a range by bashing into it. They all only last for between 30 seconds to a few minutes, but get devilishly tricky as you move up the pyramid, and they serve as a nice distraction from the main game.
In all respects, Crazy Taxi 2 is less of a true sequel and more of an update. This conclusion is reached simply because the game play and car handling is almost identical to the original. The graphics are slightly better in Crazy Taxi 2 - there is certainly less scenery pop up, even though there is much more going on in the city. The frame rate too seems to be ever so slightly smoother than that of the first game, but you'd have to be overly familiar with both games to notice. Overall though, Crazy Taxi 2 is a very good looking game and definitely one of the best looking Dreamcast games ever produced.
The soundtrack has been updated since the last outing, although it is still populated almost exclusively by tracks from The Offspring (the mildly successful 1990's rock band), and while their unique tones suit the carnage stuffed game play of Crazy Taxi 2 down to a tee, there appear to only be about 3 different songs that are repeated in a continuous loop something that gets ever so slightly annoying after about 5 minutes of playing. Otherwise, there are no complaints in the sound department: skids and crashes are crystal clear, screaming pedestrians and passengers are totally audible, and as mentioned, it's all accompanied by a rocking (albeit repetitive) soundtrack.
As an all out arcade experience, Crazy Taxi 2 presses all the right buttons and does very little wrong. The only real shortcoming of this game is that it is not very deep, and it will not hold your attention for a great deal of time. Maybe that is down to the actual arcade styling of the game, and this cannot be held against it. It does what it sets out to do, and it does it very well - it's an arcade blast that will entertain, captivate and impress you, but only in 10 minute bursts.
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