Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller

Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller

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DEVELOPER: Hitmaker!   |   PUBLISHER: Sega   |   RELEASE: 07/22/2002

Every once in a while an odd little game will come out that’s totally fun. Crazy Taxi 3 is one of those games. Who would’ve thought that picking up passengers and driving them to their destinations would be so much fun. Fortunately, the oddball developers at Hitmaker and Sega thought so. And what do we get – a weird little game chock full of fabulous gameplay.

If you have, like me, been Crazy Taxi deprived, you have to check out this game. If you’ve been a longtime fan of the game, then Crazy Taxi 3 is the one to own. The previous two games (West Coast and the Small Apple) are included on Crazy Taxi 3, plus the new area called Glitter Oasis. Basically it’s like driving passengers around in your choice of a California type area, a New York City type area, and a Los Vegas type area.

The game is loaded with cheese, from the announcer to the drivers to the passengers you get to pick up. Each area has four different cabbies to choose from; all truly the oddest of cabbies. And your fares range from the single person to group of passengers like the tourists or the weightlifters (clad in bikini bottoms, of course) or even showgirls. And the game is loaded with sass. If you go too slow you passengers will start complaining and the cabbies will sass them right back – it’s worth driving a few bad runs to hear their complaints!

Of course the goal here is to get you passengers to their destinations fast and with lots of tips! The more Crazy maneuvers you pull of the better you passengers will tip you. So what do you do? Get them to where the want to go as fast as you can. Drive through parks and parking garages, hop over traffic and catch air on hills, weave in and out of traffic – without hitting the traffic – and watch your tips climb.

The game is full of Crazy maneuvers to get you where you want to go in style. There a Crazy dash to pick up speed, a Crazy hop to – well – hop, and a Crazy drift to corner like there’s no tomorrow. Combine them and you get even more special maneuvers. The controls are basic, but don’t be fooled, the maneuvers are harder to pull off then you think. Your gas pedal is one trigger, the brake the other. The buttons are drive reverse and hop. All in all the controls feel just fine as you drive and hit the gas to pull of a Crazy dash or brake and hit reverse to stop on a dime.

So how’s the game play? Well you can play arcade style where you have a certain amount of time to start and gain time by getting your passengers to their destination quickly. Your time will go from passenger to passenger so you gotta be quick picking ’em up as well as dropping ’em off . You can save yourself previous time by stopping by them not running through them so they scatter – it’ll take them longer to get into your cab if you do. And don’t forget to look for your fares in odd places like under the water! If you fail to get someone where they want to go in their time allotment, you’ll run out of time in the game – then it’s game over. The better you do, the more passengers you pick up. How much money you rake in will determine your final score from no drivers license all the way up to Crazy. If you’re new to the game you might want to try the other play option and play for a certain time limit like ten minutes to get the feel for the area before you try it arcade style.

The other gameplay is the mini-game area under Crazy X. You gotta check these out – from the simple (doing a Crazy hop over 400 yards) to the hard (Crazy Bowling anyone?) Not only are these games a blast, they also help you fine tune your driving skills. Wanna hit the disco ball ten times in the time allotted? Then you gotta know how to hop and drift.

The music is good for driving like a madman – Offspring, Methods of Mayhem, Bad Religion. The only thing is you may get tired of hearing them all the time, but that’s the brakes. You gotta have the volume up if you wanna hear the sass. Sega didn’t allow for the X-box users to play their own music in the game.

You may find that this is the kind of game that you don’t play all the time. It may get boring for some of you, but like any good racer or fighting game, playing it for hours on end is not what it’s all about. It’s about kicking some ass on the road for a bit. It’s the kind of game you’ll come back to ’cause it’s just so much fun , not the kind of game that sucks hours from your day like and RPG or platformer. So what do I think? Should you own it? Hell yah! Crazy Taxi 3 an odd little game that definitely deserves a spot in your collection.

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