Gamestyle Archive intro: another preview dating from 2001 which shows the expectation rising for the Crazy Taxi sequel. The archive is literally everything including previews!
ACCESSORIES: VMU, rumble
RELEASE: June 2001
So its almost summer and its time to welcome back Sega’s ultimate good time racer, the game that makes every other console owner green with envy – ladies and gentlemen its Crazy Taxi 2. This sequel promises more of the same with a few tweaks and minor alterations to the fantastic game that it already is. Lets face it; the original was superb in almost everyway and why mess with such a winning formula? As this version is specifically planned for the home and not the arcade we can expect Crazy Taxi 2 to play even better than the original. So perhaps it isn’t more of a sequel rather Crazy Taxi 1.5. Who cares, bring it on!
The most visible change is the relocation from California to the rain drenched streets of New York. Expect the authentic shops (FAO Schwartz, Gap, HMV) and famous landmarks (Wall Street, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden) of the Big Apple to become very familiar. The roads will be much busier than in the previous version and this will increase the difficulty level dramatically. Traffic is much more a factor than before as Hitmaker have chosen to include a new move for us, the Crazy Hop and jumping will become second nature, such are the number of jumps and obstacles in your way. The roads themselves will vary in size and will test your control and overtaking manoeuvres. New York will be much harder to navigate as there will be less blocks, less straights and roads interconnecting therefore you will have to know memorise the layout even though the friendly arrow points the way – sometimes there is a better route. At the centre of the map will be Central Park (without drug dealers), which with no traffic will provide a good shortcut for those longer fares. Expect to find a lake here with the usual strange fares standing around at the bottom. The emphasis seems to be very much on exploration whether on the ground or high up on the skyscrapers. The city this time is very much multileveled with the subway system being available to you as well. Hopefully one day we’ll have the Crazy Taxi world tour of various cities, I’ve always wanted to jump off the North Bridge into Princess Street Gardens and then floor it.
A new addition is the prospect of multiple fares that you can collect on your trips. One of the problems of the first game was that longer fares tended to eat up the clock and you were often better to stick with the shorter fares and thus reduced the level of exploration. Hitmaker have addressed this by allowing you to collect up to four fares but unfortunately they never want to go to the same place. This will put more pressure on you to reach those locations in good time and in the most effective sequence. Those crazy passenger designs are back in force with cheerleaders, Afro dudes and convicts all waiting for a ride – any British tourists I wonder?
The taxis themselves are from the 60’s & 70’s (Taxi & Taxi Driver) and it is the developer’s intention that players experience a low rider style of drive. The inclusion of the Crazy Hop opens up a whole new range of possibilities and allows you not to rely solely on tarmac to get to your destination. Hopping itself won’t be a skill as it’s activated by pressing one button yet what you do when you land no doubt is. New drivers are also on offer with different attributes such as speed and handling although it is suggested that the drivers from the original version will be hidden away somewhere in the game. Just as before expect one from Cinnamon, Slash, Hot-D or Iceman to become your favourite cabbie. Iceman is someone who can is cool under pressure and does not make mistakes. Cinnamon is very much the joker who likes to pull off tricks and keep her customers amused. Slash is very much the crazy driver, taking risks to get to the destination in time. Hot-D is the elder statesman of the group but a retired stunt driver who loves money.
Don’t expect Crazy Taxi 2 to set new graphical levels or be an immediate improvement over its predecessor. Hitmaker aren’t concerned with graphical awards and concentrate on gameplay like other notable firms such as Treasure. The pop up problem that featured to a minor extent in the original seems to have been removed and the draw distance is improved. The game engine also can handle more traffic and variety of textures and objects thereby increasing the Crazy Taxi experience. The soundtrack will again keep the tempo high, while not offering the same amount of sun drenched cali-punk tunes we can expect the Offspring to return, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!
As someone who has experienced New York cabbies and given directions to them on more than one occasion New York is the ideal place for the sequel. Other new additions that the developers have promised include more crazy games and challenges plus more levels on offer. For instance the smaller track is known as the Small Apple and is larger than the original level from the first game! This promises to be the ultimate home experience for Crazy Taxi fans and we’ll have a full review once the game is released very soon at the beginning of June.