Come on over and have some fun!

Why did the Dreamcast fail? It's one of the unknown mysteries of mankind; like the origins of Stonehenge or why people like R.E.M? The system had beautiful VGA supported graphics, fantastic sound, network play, and some of the most original games ever seen on consoles. However, I think we'll leave that particular gripe for another time.... 

Developed by Sega's now defunct Hitmaker division (the team behind the Virtua Tennis, Sega Rally, and the Initial D series), Crazy Taxi was first released in the arcades in 1999. It ran off of Sega’s Naomi hardware and was developed initially as a big sit-down machine. Its subsequent success, coupled with the similar architect and ease of porting Naomi-based arcade games to the Dreamcast prompted Sega to release the game to their home console in 2000. It proved to be a smart move and became one of the top selling games on the console, and was the second highest selling game on the system in the US; selling almost two million copies (a pretty high figure back then, especially for an arcade title).

From driving a truck in 18 Wheeler to a operating a fork lift in Shenmue, Sega has a unique knack of making even the most mundane occupations a huge laugh and Crazy Taxi is no different. It's built around the simple premise that you drive a taxi around a colorful San Francisco location picking up customers and dropping them off to collect your fare. Your goal is to collect as many customers and fares as you can until the time runs out. Extra money can be made by driving dangerously, drifting, making but taking, and generally driving “Crazily”, but take too long to get to your destinations and your customers will hilariously jump out on you; often commenting on the lousiness of your driving as they do. Although, your taxi driver will reply with quips of their own; in the Japanese version, B.D. Joe can sometimes can be heard to say, "why don't you suck my dick?" when his driving his criticised, although unsurprisingly this was taken out of English language version of the game.

In Crazy Taxi getting your passengers to their destinations swiftly grants you a time bonus, allowing you to play the game for a little longer, and picking up new customers keeps the cycle going to rack up the points. You have license to drive anywhere you can see, drive off a highway-no problem, drive into a car park followed by a suicidal jump off the top floor- go ahead, in fact that game rewards you for doing just that.

The crazier the driving the more cash you will rack up at the end

It is just great arcade style fun gameplay and I keep coming back to it to better my old scores (my record in Arcade mode is $13,965 btw). It simply has a fantastic pick-up and play quality about it that most modern game just seems to lack. The presentation still stands up today it is that good and the soundtrack with music from bands like The Offspring & Bad Religion (and I don't particularly like Punk rock) are an inspired choice and suit the game perfectly. There is also a great use of licenses, with Pizza Hut, KFC, Fila and Tower Records providing some real life locations you will be required to visit.

The game features a variety of cars and modes to play through. In addition to the regular arcade mode there is an original mode which features an entirely new map with its own look and also Crazy Box mode which teaches you the various techniques which you can use in the game. This mode is bonkers and has you practicing the games various mechanics by driving down a huge bowling alley knocking over pins, or making suicidal leaps off of ramps. It is essential though as it teaches you all the basics and advanced moves to help you become a pro and there is an added bonus for those that complete it as it allows you to use the insanely fast rickshaw in the main game.

Crazy Box is vital for improving your game. 
It's a huge laugh to boot!

Crazy Taxi epitomizes SEGA's Dreamcast-era arcade gameplay. In Sega world, every day the skies are blue, the music is loud and it’s beers all around. It’s such a shame, and at the same time one of the main draws of retro gaming, that such settings just don’t exist in the dull palleted games of today. Crazy Taxi is just so much fun that if you're one of the few people in the world not to have yet to play it,and it has made its way to a fair few platforms, including PS2, Gamecube, PC, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360 and IOS, then you’ve really got no excuse, this is a game that deserves to be in your gaming library. However, each of the conversions has its own faults and there is simply no alternative to playing it with a Dreamcast controller on the original hardware. Go crazy!