Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars Updated Hands-On

We try to make some "crazy money" in Sega's compilation of the first two Crazy Taxi games.

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Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars
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The original Crazy Taxi was a hit in the arcades as well as the Sega Dreamcast. Its fast-paced driving action, colorful personality, and memorable soundtrack courtesy of The Offspring were just a few of the things that made the game so addictive. The sequel wasn't quite as popular, but it added new twists to the formula and gave it a bit more depth. Now, Sega is taking both games, tossing in some ad hoc multiplayer, and releasing Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars for the PSP. We posted some impressions of the game earlier this year, and recently had a chance to play a more complete build of the game at Sony's recent press event in sunny San Diego.

Once you boot up Fare Wars, you're able to choose from the original Crazy Taxi, the sequel, or a host of new multiplayer options. We started off by playing a bit of the first game. One neat feature is that you can play the arcade version or the Dreamcast version, which has a different map layout. The available drivers will be familiar to anyone who played the original: Axel, B.D. Joe, Gena, and Gus. Once the game started, it was time to make some crazy money, though don't expect the original announcer; sadly, all the voice-overs have been redone. We quickly scooped up our first passenger and drove as quickly as possible down the big hill to her destination, which was marked by a large set of rings. Once we collected our fare, we threw it in reverse, picked up our next fare, and promptly wowed them by jumping ramps and weaving in and out of (and sometimes hitting) traffic. We kept this up for a couple more passengers before we ran out of time. It seems that the game is indeed still quite difficult.

For the most part, the games play just as we remember them. The controls are simple and the cars are responsive. However, it takes a lot of practice to get the timing of the boost down, and you'll spend a lot of time memorizing the location of fares and destinations. It was odd not hearing The Offspring as we tore through the city streets, but the band's omission isn't all bad news. You can play your own MP3 files while in the game, and there's a whole new soundtrack, as well.

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars was originally slated to come out on June 26, but we were told at the event that the release date had slipped a bit and the game would now be coming out in late July. Expect a full review of the game then.

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