Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller

Gamestyle Archive Intro: great game, well the first was. Certainly one of those franchises gamers without a Dreamcast wanted to experience on their own machine. The 2nd release was bigger and better with more challenges and games. By the time the third came around, well, the taxi was in need of an overhaul.

This review is from Alex and will date from 2002. As you can see it ends abruptly and is technically incomplete although I suspect we know how that last few words went…

Crazy_Taxi_3_-_High_Roller_Coverart

Despite being a big fan of the first game on Dreamcast I didn’t feel the need to play the exact same game again on Playstation 2. And then it arrived on Gamecube, and although it’s still fun, it was exactly the same, with nothing new. And guess what, now that the franchise has made it to the Xbox, it’s still basically an identical experience.

Split into 4 sections, High Roller presents eager gamers with the original West Coast course, the Little Apple level from Crazy Taxi 2 (slightly remixed, and at night), a brand new night-time course called Glitter Oasis, and, surprise surprise, some more crazy box minigames, this time arranged in the shape of an X. The Original and Around Apple levels are also completely absent…

The game plays just as it always has – pick up passengers and dash around the level until you get to their destination and collect the fare. Repeat until you’re out of time. In Crazy Taxi 3 you get all the ‘additions’ from the 2nd game, such as the Crazy Jump and multiple passengers (even on the West Coast course) and some pretty fire effects every time you do something crazy. There are a few new bits on the earlier levels, usually reached with the jump. The multiple passengers offers a new twist on the gameplay but the repetitive yapping from the back-seat drivers is irritating enough to make you drive past them most of the time, and the crazy jump only serves to confuse the perfect level design from the first in the series and make the others more maze-like, which is a shame as the 2 harder levels really aren’t as playable and as fun as the first ever was, and is.

Shockingly, there’s still no multiplayer. Even on a machine as powerful as Microsoft’s Sega still haven’t managed to get in a split screen mode. Even more disturbing is the fact that there’s still horrendous pop-up and slowdown all over the place, although the textures and polygon counts have been upped slightly. Load-times are also longer than the Gamecube’s, seemingly making no practical use of the Xbox hard disk. And although Sega have added a few new songs to the tracklist, you can’t use your own soundtracks, so if you’re not a fan of The Offspring et al, it’s tough.

A disappointing release, for sure. If Hitmaker can rectify some of these problems for the PAL release we’ll take another look, but in the meantime don’t waste your

Gamestyle Score: 3/10

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