Crazy Taxi 2 Hands-On: Around Apple mode

This week, we're looking at the game's larger map, and a handful of its mini-games.

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Crazy Taxi 2 looks like it will expand upon its predecessor's formula in a number of ways. Primarily, this second game in the series will enjoy a greater overall variety in nearly every respect--the maps are more diverse, the minigames are more focused and plentiful, and the secrets you'll unlock are more varied and abundant.

In our last update, we went over the game's Small Apple mode in detail. This week, Sega has authorized us to discuss the game's other map, called the Around Apple mode. The Around Apple mode is much larger than the Small Apple in terms of area. However, the map is much less densely populated, featuring more relatively barren highways and a larger proliferation of residential, almost suburban areas. A good percentage of that map, though, does consist of dense downtownlike areas, allowing for just the type of madness you'd expect from the game. As such, there are a great many opportunities for Crazy Taxi 2-style gameplay--many multileveled buildings dot the cityscape, forcing you to make heavy use of the crazy hop. Perhaps the most dominant feature in the map, though, is the suspension bridge. It's huge, multilaned, and impressive. You can crazy-hop from lane to lane, all the while avoiding both passing and oncoming traffic, as you speed from one area of the city to another. In all, the Around Apple mode provides an experience decently different from its counterpart. While, in truth, it's hard to spot a distinction when you're bucking like mad and trying to deliver fares under the gun of the ever-present timer, each mode does require a slightly different strategy.

Remember the crazy box mode in the original Crazy Taxi? Crazy Taxi 2 has got one just like it--it's called the crazy pyramid mode. It's larger than the original's minigame mode, and its events are more diverse. The mode is named thus because of the way that events unlock--as you complete events, others are unlocked above them in the menu, making the progression very pyramidal. The minigames we've been able to play both hearken back to the original and set themselves apart from it. The first one we played was the crazy jump, which fans of the original Crazy Taxi will remember. It's premise is very simple: You have to launch off a ramp and clear as much ground as possible. The trick lies in strategic performance of the crazy dash--if you gain enough momentum, you'll easily cover enough space to clear the event. After that comes crazy golf, which is easily the most outlandish of the events we've seen. In it, you're set on a field, with a giant tee and golf ball set up several yards in front of you. The point, of course, is to hit the ball hard and send it flying. This is achieved by accelerating and dashing up to the tee and crazy-hopping when you're near it so that your car hits the ball. It's relatively simple to clear--and strangely engaging. Last is the crazy hurdle game. As its name implies, this event has you crazy-hopping over hurdles so that you can reach a goal within a set amount of time. Alternately dashing and hopping is the key to this one, but it's easily the most challenging of the three.

The minigames in the crazy pyramid mode serve to unlock all of the game's hidden features--secret vehicles, game modes, and other types of extra niceties. There are quite a number present, and we'll definitely have more information on them soon. Expect another update in the coming weeks. Till then, check out our movies and screenshots of all the modes and features discussed in today's update.

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