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Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller

Review By:  Nick Arvites

Developer:   Hitmaker
Publisher:   Sega
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Driving
ESRB:   Teen
Online:   No
Accessories:   Memory Unit
Date Posted:  

8-27-02

A few years ago, Sega produced an arcade hit named Crazy Taxi. The idea was simple and addictive; drive around a city, pick up passengers and race to their destinations before time runs out. Eventually, they ported the original game and its sequel to the Dreamcast and the other two consoles. The Xbox has now received the 3rd installment in the series entitled High Roller.

What does High Roller give you initially? You get the original stage (San Francisco) and the stage from Crazy Taxi 2 (New York) as well as a new stage (Las Vegas). You also get the drivers from the previous games for use in their stages.

This game does not look realistic and has more of a hip cartoonish look. If you want realism, go play Project Gotham Racing. The graphical look of Crazy Taxi matches the gameplay: over the top and wild. Colors are bright and the drivers can be even brighter with their looks and comments. The cities themselves look pretty good. They actually create the ambiance of the unique areas of the cities, be it the urban canyons of New York, the hills of San Francisco, or the Las Vegas strip.

Crazy Taxi is set up like an arcade game. You have to beat the clock and rack in a high score. The game basically plays like its predecessors. Picking up passengers and dropping them off earns tips and fares. You can also pick up groups of passengers in this game. This is the only way to rake in the big scores because all tips are modified on how many passengers are in the car.

This game is addictive and fun (true to its arcade roots), but replay value is lost since it is only meant for quick sessions. The designers have tried to add some replay value by putting in the Crazy X collection of mini-games, but this can only hold out for so long. Completing all of the Crazy X games does unlock a few special features (such as maps and all drivers on all stages). However, this is not enough to salvage the replay value. Once you get all of the secrets, it is only a matter of time before this game winds up collecting dust.

The music is basically the same from the previous games. You can expect to hear tracks from the Offspring, Methods of Mayhem and Brian Setzer as well as a few other groups. While there is not that much variety in music, you shouldn’t really notice since you probably won’t be playing this game in long sittings. If worse comes to worse, put on a CD and mute the TV.

My biggest complaint about this game is the lack of any form of multiplayer. I find it shocking that multiplayer options are absent after three installments in a series. They could throw in a split-screen competition mode or at least have a multiplayer option in the mini-game. This contributes to hurting the replay value since multiplayer always gives some competition.

Highs:

  • Like all Crazy Taxi games, it's addictive and fun.

Lows:

  • Very little replay value
  • No multiplayer

Final Verdict: 

This game would have been at least a 9 if there were something else to do in the game. There is no replay value whatsoever to the game and only the most die-hard Crazy Taxi fans should actually buy this game. And what about Multiplayer? Single player games are fun, but games like this should especially have some sort of multiplayer mode. Even with its faults, Crazy Taxi 3 is one of the best rental titles released yet. However, this title should not be bought out of a bargain bin simply because it is too short.

Overall Score: 7.0

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