Dreamcast has not been able to guarantee Sega’s survival in the console business, but no one can blame it for the lack of a rich and varied catalog. One of the most famous, because there were also many trips to gambling halls around the world, was Crazy Taxi. An arcade driving game … or realistic, depending on which taxi driver is touching you. The Japanese company gave him one more chance but let him die with the PSP version in 2006 and never talked about taking it back. And in this era of “spiritual successors”, Team 6 studio did it on its own and without the official license, calling it Taxi Chaos.
The basic mechanics are identical to the original. Wearing the uniform of any of the characters to choose from, you’ll have to walk the streets of this city, theoretically inspired by New York, and so much money in the very limited time available for the tour earn as possible. Additionally, each game ends with a star rating based on the minutes (or seconds) it lasted and the score each customer gave the driver for their reckless driving. So you have to measure whether you arrive on time, cut off the route, skip red lights and suffer accidents.
The touch of the wheel is arcade and the result is slightly better than the original. The ZR button on the Nintendo Switch (or the correct trigger in general) is used to accelerate and the B to propel you into the air and avoid other vehicles or obstacles on the road. In addition, they didn’t put the need to switch between acceleration and reverse as Sega had as the heir to the arcade machine. The solution is to press ZL and move the camera.
In addition to the arcade mode, there is a free mode and a pro mode. The first is to explore the streets of New Yellow City at your leisure without the pressure of the timer, finding shortcuts, learning routes, and finding some scattered collectibles. Pro mode, on the other hand, is like a taxi driver before GPS was invented, in that you have to go to your destination without an arrow to guide you on the location screen. But the stage is so big that it’s very complicated.
So that everything doesn’t always have the same configuration, the team has produced six different cars in terms of appearance and statistics ( acceleration, speed, braking, weight and turbo), which have to be unlocked through certain challenges. And then there are a few achievements and the collectibles mentioned above for those who want to be entertained. The truth is the only thing I was worried about was getting the other taxis but there are no incentives for the rest. There is no sticker or decoration for cars inviting you to choose this or that design.
The nostalgic kick that feels like you have something like a Crazy Taxy in your hand lasts about an hour and then starts abruptly. They copied and pasted the Sega gameplay with a few tweaks, with nothing more to suggest that two decades have passed between them. Neither have they paid attention to diversifying the dynamics with different modes like history, personalization or competitiveness at the local or online level. And the 34.99 dollars they charge seem like a real surplus to me when you see what it offers and what price range there is today with a Minecraft Dungeons or a Little Nightmares II coming out in half.
It can also be said that they visually copied the original or that it was a success in choosing the styles because Taxi Chaos perfectly captures the look and feel of the series. Lots of light and lots of color to reconstruct this fictional version of New York that has more life than there was in the past. In what does not even reach the sole of the shoes in the area of sound. It’s worth the fact that a small studio like this can’t afford licenses like The Offsprings or Bad Religion or contemporary equivalents, but the fact is that even lowering expectations doesn’t do anything decent. Looping dance music is played repeatedly and cannot convey the urgency and excitement of the time.
Taxi Chaos cannot be denied that it is so faithful to Sega’s invention that there is nothing wrong with calling it plagiarism, and that it wouldn’t be surprising if the Japanese were a little angry. The worst thing is that it stayed there, but without the music, and it didn’t go any further in practically any aspect: neither in gameplay, nor in mechanics, nor in the modes or in the alternatives. The minimum effort for a price that has little of a minimum.