"Hey hey hey, c'mon over, have some fun with Crazy Taxi!
was another of Sega
concepts that upon first glance honestly would make you think, "what the hell were they smoking?
", but once played, made you think, "I sure am glad they smoked that."
A 1999 arcade driving/racing game, ported to Dreamcast in 2000, PC in 2002, and iOS in 2012, the game focused upon four "extreme" independent cab drivers,note
each with his or her own special car and attributes, who picked up random members of the local city's population that bore more than a passing resemblance to San Francisco. Each of these lovely passengers wished to be driven to a destination within the city: a church, a baseball game, KFC
and so on. Your job was to get them there ASAP, even if it meant plowing through outside tables, driving off parking garages or even underwater. Your fare increased via tips when you performed tricks like Crazy Jumps or Crazy Drifts, and your passenger reacted in real time with excitement or disdain, depending on how you drove.
The game was also noted for its soundtrack
, featuring punk bands The Offspring
and Bad Religion
. The original game has seen a number of ports over the years (following Sega's exit from the hardware market), from the Nintendo GameCube
to the PlayStation 2
and even modern consoles/handhelds like the PSPnote
and digital storefronts like PlayStation Network.
Sega and Hitmaker went on to release a sequel in 2001, Crazy Taxi 2
, exclusively on the Dreamcast and set on two New York-inspired
maps with four new cabbies.note
It also introduced the "Crazy Hop", allowing the cab drivers to spring their cab's hydraulic pumps to vault the car over traffic and into shortcuts. The cab can now carry parties of two to four fares who all have unique destinations (this results in the benefit of tip multipliers for everyone currently in the cab and longer time extensions with bigger payouts but it's "all-or-nothing", meaning if you can't deliver the last passenger to their destination you don't make money from any of them).
The third and so far final game, Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
was released on the Xbox
in 2002 (and later ported to the PC two years later). This time, rather than adding two entirely new maps, Sega opted to redesign two older maps ("West Coast", the original game's Arcade map and "Small Apple" from the sequel) and create a single new map ("Glitter Oasis", based on Las Vegas) to careen around. Again, featuring four new cab drivers (Angel, Bixbite, Mrs. Venus, and Zax; the other eight drivers from the previous two games are available on their respective maps and all twelve can be unlocked to drive on any map), the game sticks to the same basic formula as 2
and sets two of the maps (Small Apple and Glitter Oasis) at night, which is a first for the series.
In addition to the fare delivery main game, each game has its own minigame collection designed to test your driving skills in wacky, surreal challenges (such as using your car as a bowling ball to get a series of strikes against pins or trying to score a home run off a huge baseball).
A Free To Play sequel on Mobile Devices called Crazy Taxi City Rush was announced on March 14th 2014. It removed most of the direct control from the player, instead opting to make it play like Temple Run. Early reception has been... less than positive
, to say the least.
This game contains the following tropes:
- Allegedly Free Game: CityRu$h is free to download, but it relies on the classic tricks of premium currency and energy-based mechanics that make you wait to do things. While you can accumulate a surprising amount of premium currency without paying a cent, you probably won't have enough to, say, buy a cab with premium gems unless you save your diamonds or pay up.
- The game also includes ads that appear after your first few missions per play session. You can't get rid of them unless you pay up.
- Attract Mode: "Hey, hey, hey! Are you ready to have some fun? I got some kicking music, and I'm ready to see you drive! Get those coins out of your pocket, throw them in the machine, and let's get started! CRAZY TAXI!"
- Bare Your Midriff: A lot of the characters leave their midriffs on show, although it's mostly the men. Only one of the three female characters in the series - Mrs. Venus - doesn't bare her midriff. Gena and Cinnamon, however, both wear tops that leave their navels on show.
- Big Applesauce: Around Apple and Small Apple from Crazy Taxi 2.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Your score is expressed in the form of fares and tips earned from customers.
- Camp Gay: Implied with Angel from Crazy Taxi 3.
- Cool Old Guy: Hot-D from the second game.
- Although Gus from the first game is perhaps in his 50's, he still counts as one of these.
- Denser and Wackier: CityRu$h is definitely this. The other games weren't exactly grim and brooding, but the art style is much more cartoonish, and the passengers, as well as the plots of the HQ missions, are much sillier.
- Drives Like Crazy: Right there in the title. The passengers give you tips when you get jumps or drive near other cars.
- Easily Forgiven: "Watch it, you nearly killed me! Take me to Kentucky Fried Chicken."
- Endless Game: The game simply goes on until the extendable game timer runs out. Unless you're playing the console versions, which offer fixed-limit modes.
- Endless Running Game: CityRu$h blends this with the traditional Crazy Taxi gameplay style. While it controls like an endless runner, you do have a time limit, which can be extended by making stops or, in certain modes, picking up blue coins that will add a couple seconds to your remaining time.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You drive a taxi, like crazy!
- Fictional Counterpart: Averted in the original game, where they got the rights to use KFC, Levi's, Tower Records, FILA and some others. Played straight in the downloadable re-release, which declined to resecure any licenses.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the Offspring track "Way Down The Line", the word fuck is clearly uncensored in the background, even in the E10+ version.
- Have a Nice Death: Mostly in the Crazy Box missions:
- Hide Your Children
- Irony: Delivering the priest to the church and having him exclaim "You're one hell of a driver!"
- Lucky Charms Title: The mobile game's subtitle is CityRu$h.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Crazy Taxi 2 and Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller are just like the first one, but have new cities to play in. Although they do add a controllable jump.
- Motion Blur: A feature of the night stages in 3: High Roller.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Name any city where your driver will ramp public transportation off a car-carrier with The Offspring blasting in the background.
- And then ask for a $200+ fee.
- Nintendo Hard: The Crazy Box/Pyramid/X. You'd better know how to Crazy Boost and Drift with nigh perfect accuracy if you want to complete every mission.
- Optional Traffic Laws
- Product Placement: All over the place, though mysteriously absent in the PSP and downloadable re-releases (probably because the licenses expired).
- CityRu$h opts for playing advertisements for other mobile games like Clash of Clans after missions or to bypass certain time restrictions instead of putting the ads directly in the game world.
- Racing Minigame: Crazy Box, Crazy Pyramid, and Crazy X.
- Repurposed Pop Song: Courtesy of The Offspring and Bad Religion.
- San Francisco: Or rather, West Coast.
- In CityRu$h, the downtown area is clearly supposed to be San Francisco. The beach, however, is much closer to what one would find in Los Angeles or Orange County area, while the uptown area could easily be any city with large skyscrapers.
- Scoring Points: Earning dollars, really, but it's the same principle.
- Secret Car: Completing all of the minigames nets you a goofy new taxi to drive (a rickshaw bicycle, a baby stroller, etc). In Crazy Taxi 2, you can also unlock the original cabbies from the first game — along with their cars, of course.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Think you know the map by heart? Turn off the guidance arrow and find out.
- Super Drowning Skills: Fall into water during the "Crazy" missions and it's Game Over. To be fair, you're driving an automobile.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: On the other hand, some maps in the series have water you can drive into with no damage to you, your vehicle, or your customers. In fact, you can even find prospective customers to pick up in the water!
- Superhero: Not one, but two superheroes are playable in CityRu$h. One of them, Ca$hman, was part of a special event and couldn't be set as your driver for longer than ten runs at a time, while Captain Crazy is playable full-time.
- This Loser Is You: After the end of the game if you get a class D license or lower, these are the kinds of messages you get.
- Timed Mission: The entire point of the game; if you're slow, your customers will get out of your taxi.
- Too Dumb to Live: Your passengers do not understand basic concepts like "wearing a seat belt" and "sitting down." They will stand up repeatedly in the car while you're doing crazy stunts, crashing into things, swerving, and generally driving like a maniac. Oh, and if you don't get them to their destination on time, they jump out of the cab, even if you're driving at almost 100 miles per hour. The only reason these idiots survive is because Sega doesn't program passenger deaths in.
- Totally Radical: Delights in it.
- Updated Re-release: The Dreamcast port of the original added an original level as well as Crazy Box mode (later to become a Crazy Taxi staple). The PSP port adds a multiplayer mode (thanks, Sega, it only took 8 years).
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Averted as pedestrians and customers will always dodge any attempts to be run over.
- Viva Las Vegas: Glitter Oasis from Crazy Taxi 3.
- What the Hell, Player?: Your passenger will berate you if you pick them up but force them to jump out of the way in the process. They'll also insult you or kick your cab on poor performances, and if their timer runs out they'll jump out of the taxi even if it's still moving!
- Widget Series
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: As seen in the above screenshot, this applies to Axel, one of the playable drivers.
- Sadly, in CityRu$h, he loses this, instead wearing an identically-colored bucket hat.