“We’re back, and it’s time to make some crazy money!”
This is what players are greeted to once they boot up Crazy Taxi 2 for the first time on everyone’s favorite little “console that could,” the Sega Dreamcast. Hitmaker is back and the Crazy Taxi formula is left virtually unchanged with it’s fast speeds, great music, and all around fun factor that keeps you coming back for more and more. This is why people push hundreds of dollars worth of quarters at this machines everyday, this kind of insane fun is something that we thrive for as human beings, but you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your fix this time, because Crazy Taxi 2 is only to be found on Dreamcast, and for a very reasonable 40 bucks.
Crazy Taxi 2 is increasingly harder than the original. San Fran had it’s share of narrow streets, but for some reason navigating the big city of the Big Apple is hard stuff. Granted you will get better as you play more. I played Crazy Taxi so much that I can just see the entire city in my mind when I play so I don’t even really have to look at the arrow, and there is a cheat to turn it off. The difficulty level in CT2 stems from the arrow itself. The Big Apple is nothing more than square blocks put together to make what most people would consider a city. With the arrow telling you where to go, you could start going the opposite direction, and the arrow will just start to go crazier than Uncle Louie on some new dosage of crack and Advil. The arrow does do a good job most of the time directing you to your destination, but more than once it will decide to pick the most round-about way to accomplishing this task, and you will have a hard time getting a Speedy or Normal rating. I have gotten more “Bad” ratings playing Crazy Taxi 2 for two weeks than I have ever gotten in Crazy Taxi 1, and I consider myself an expert at the game.
There is a new advantage to working with the increased difficulty, the Crazy Hop. Utilizing hydraulics placed on your car, a simple push of the Y button will send your car about 20 feet in the air allowing you to vault over oncoming traffic, obstacles, and even small buildings. This is by far one of the coolest additions to the game, although it is almost too easy to pull off in my opinion. With the Crazy Turn and Crazy Dash you have to use some sort of button combination, but with the Crazy Hop just hit Y and up you go. Surprisingly I don’t use the Hop as much as I thought I would, maybe from the fact that I’m not used to having it there.
Returning with the music side of the Crazy Taxi universe is The Offspring who supply some of the best tunes from Americana and Conspiracy of One. Methods of Mayhem also joins in with a few tunes, but none that you actually get to hear during actual game play, which is a rather disappointment, because I was really looking forward to hearing them while cruising along.
Also making the return this time around is the Crazy Box mode (aptly renamed to the Crazy Pyramid). By completing the different levels of this mini-game section you can open up Maps, secret cars, and even the original drivers from Crazy Taxi 1! The games range from hopping up stairs, to getting customers to their destination on time with some crazy stuff standing in your way.
In the end I can’t see why the Dreamcast failed to be a bigger splash in the console entertainment world. With so many AAA titles like this one, how can a system fail, and a system with abysmal launch titles is so hard to come by? Crazy Taxi 2 is just one of the 30+ must have titles released for the Dreamcast. It is definitely something that should be had by the Crazy Taxi 1 veteran, casual/hardcore arcade gamer, or just someone looking for a good game to pass by some time. Crazy Taxi 2 is one of those kind of games that you can play for 10 minutes or 2 hours, it really depends on your mood, but every time you come back, you get a fulfilling and fun experience that makes you want to jump in your car and see what crazy stuff you can do.
Take my advice. If you don’t own a Dreamcast, get out there and buy one. The system is one hundred dollars for Christ’s sakes. Some of the best games are $20 and below, and within these last nine months leading up the total death of the system, we have more hardcore AAA titles than all of the other systems combined. Treat yourself right. You won’t be sorry.
As I stated earlier, the basic formula, that all arcade, Dreamcast, and Playstation 2 players are familiar with is back for the sequel, and luckily, while nothing dramatic is changed, there are some subtle differences that add more flavor to the game. The most noticeable difference is the game has moved from the hilly streets of San Francisco to the busy, crowded streets of New York City. Utilizing the new Crazy Hop feature (which I will get into later) you have the ability to tear up the streets of the Big Apple and show those pleasant New York Drivers, just what it means to be from the west coast.
The basics are still in place. You objective it to make as much money as possible in either a set time limit (3, 5, or 10 minutes) or play by the arcade rules (the better you are, the longer you will last in the game, and the more money you will make). So basically, depending on how fast you can get from local to local, the better ranking you will get. Fans of Crazy Taxi will be able to jump right in and get going from the start, but they will have a few new things to master.