Crazy Taxi - Nintendo Gamecube
Crazy Taxi is one of those games you see almost everywhere. Whether it's taking its original 1999 form in an arcade, waiting to be downloaded on Steam, or enjoying life on any of the sixth generation consoles, Crazy Taxi is nothing less than a classic title screaming with personality. I find this game, with its dumb yellow box, at retro game shops and flea markets everywhere I go. Usually a single copy will be accompanied by a second and third and fourth just sitting on the shelf unwanted, bearing a humbling $5 price tag. I recently grabbed a copy to use its box to brighten up the aesthetics of my Gamecube collection, but instead I found myself hooked on burning rubber.
Even on consoles, Crazy Taxi still retains its arcade feel. Gameplay involves picking up and dropping off passengers on the streets of what appears to be an exaggerated, cartoon version of San Francisco. You are free to drive around the town, disobeying all traffic laws, flying over sidewalks and off of truck-beds, but time will quickly expire if you neglect to pick up pedestrians waiting for a taxi ride. Both taking on and unloading passengers will award you additional time, and the game ends when time runs out. That's pretty much it. The console version keeps track of your high scores, and as long as you're playing the "Arcade" or "Original" version of the game (selected on the main menu), achieving a respectable high score is all there is to it.
The best way to play Crazy Taxi (in my experience) is to put it on if you have 10 or 15 minutes to kill before you need to go to work or something. As many times as I have booted Crazy Taxi since I purchased it 3 days ago, I haven't yet played for more than 20 minutes at a time- this is not a game meant to be played for hours and hours at once. That being said, it is addictive and the punk-rock soundtrack featuring early hits by The Offspring is an excellent compliment to the fast-paced bad-ass attitude the game proudly demonstrates.
Don't get me wrong, Crazy Taxi isn't going to change anyone's life. But it is really fun and undoubtedly worth $5. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something dumb to bust out at a party, or to anyone whose video game box collection is severally missing the color yellow.