April 14, 2001
Crazy Taxi 2 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
1/7/2001SegaHitmaker1$99.95

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Ignore the law, just like real cabbies.
Anyone who owns a Dreamcast would have, at the very least, considered purchasing Crazy Taxi to play on the system. With superb graphics and frantic gameplay there is little doubt about the enjoyment gained from playing the game. It was obvious that a sequel would be developed, and fortunately before the Dreamcast is delivered to the heavens Hitmaker will be releasing a sequel. With the game now set in New York we can expect some frantic action on the rooftops of skyscrapers. Hey, who said the game had to be realistic! Of course there are several more enhancements planned, and the Crazy Box mode will be returning with all new puzzles to complete.

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Regular New York gridlock.
So what is new in Crazy Taxi 2 then? Well, the game is now set in New York between the skyscrapers that apparently you will be able to drive on top of if you manage to find the shortcuts. Four new drivers will be replacing the new old drivers and will be more accustomed to the New York streets. The other major change to the game is the ability to pick up multiple passengers at a time which will increase your fare, but will require good determination to take them to their destinations within the time limit.

Initially there were plans to include online gameplay with Crazy Taxi 2 however that has been dropped for no apparent reason, although slow modem connections may have had some impact on the decision. It's sad to see the Dreamcast just getting people used to online gameplay with great titles such as Phantasy Star Online and Quake 3 Arena and then have it yanked away from them only months from release.

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That is definitely the coolest cab.
Graphically, Hitmaker are aiming to remain faithful to the original title rather then push the title to new levels and risk detracting from the gameplay. The cars are now racing through streets surrounded by skyscrapers and while the development team aren't travelling to New York itself they have studied hundreds of photographs and hours of video footage.

One of the best aspects of the original title was the sound. As well as great sound effects such as squealing tyres and people shouting the game included some awesome music from The Offspring and Bad Religion. While the music soon became repetitive it would be great to have the same intensity.

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Power slides are critical to success.
Crazy Taxi 2 will be heading directly to the Dreamcast with Hitmaker deciding not to develop a coin-op version first. This is a strange move following the success and popularity of the arcade game. The limited sales potential of the game on the Dreamcast makes it an even stranger move although it's possible that the game will be released on other systems much later on.

While Crazy Taxi 2 may not have significant changes to the gameplay there is bound to be plenty of small refinements. Wether or not it's enough to justify a purchase for owners of the original game remains to be seen, but people who never owned the original will be hard to pass up the chance to own what could possibly be one of the Dreamcasts last great titles. Expect a worldwide release for the game sometime in July.