Thursday, September 5, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 67 - Crazy Taxi 2

Eric plays Crazy Taxi 2 for Dreamcast on day 67 of Eric Vs. 365. This one isn't nearly as well regarded as the original Crazy Taxi, despite being bigger, better, and more badass, so we set out to try and figure out why. It turns out this formula isn't as simple and easy to crank out as SEGA and Hitmaker likely thought it would be. Read on for more and to watch gameplay.

When people think Crazy Taxi it is almost exclusively regarding the original game even though it had other sequels and spin offs. I think I've figured out why - the new maps always sucked. Not that the arcade or original maps included in the ports of the first Crazy Taxi were perfect, either, but you sort of got used to their quirks and awkward angles and dead ends out of necessity because it was the only game in town. It wasn't unreasonable to expect that the maps would improve as the developers figured out how to make the gameplay flow better and be more fun, but instead the opposite happened. The NYC and Vegas inspired maps in Crazy Taxi 2 and 3 were even harder to navigate, had less flow to them, and weren't nearly as fun to play. 

Another problem that I had playing Crazy Taxi 2 for this video is that the navigation the game provides is bad almost to the point of being broken. Because the maps are awkwardly designed, the little arrow on top of the screen doesn't know where the heck to send you and often times will have you driving way off of the most efficient line to your destination, resulting in a lot of failed fares through no fault of your own. Picking up green passengers was almost always a failure because the game just can't handle directing you over such long distances. Now, I'm sure you can play the game enough that you learn the maps and know where everything is and just go directly there without using the arrow navigation, but most players aren't going to bother doing that.

I had a great time playing Crazy Taxi 1 a couple weeks ago, but was pretty miserable playing Crazy Taxi 2, which I really didn't expect. One other surprising anecdote is that the Crazy Taxi 1 video got 12 Content ID claims on it due to the music, but the Crazy Taxi 2 video has none thus far, though that is probably because the sound quality isn't as good ... Sorry about that. I forgot to do post processing on the audio for a half-dozen videos to start September. My bad.