Posted: July 22, 2014
-NOTE: As of September 15th, 2014, this review has been updated. Addendum at the bottom.-
This game is everything a bad PC port could ever hope to be. A quick break-down:
+Increased draw distance from other versions. Very nice!
+No HD textures, but improved filtering on PC helps a lot.
+Runs well, no more slowdown as is present in console versions
-No analog support. Acceleration and steering are either on or off, even with an analog stick.
-The digital steering isn't very good, either. Crazy drift is practically broken on a keyboard.
-The configuration menu only saves half of the specified settings
-Need to make registry modifications to get controller/resolution settings to work
-Doesn't work in full screen mode, regardless
-There are only 4 supported resolutions, topping out at 720p
-Severe audio mixing problems -- SFX volumes are all over the place.
-Original soundtrack was replaced with some REALLY UNFITTING music.
-Different voice actors! Somehow even less enthused than the originals.
-Sound clips for all voice actors and announcer are EXTREMELY low quality
-Audio clips are now spammed like crazy. Expect to hear "Taxi!" until your ears bleed.
-UI elements are very blatantly untouched. Extremely grainy/low-res, even at 720p.
-All identifiable buildings, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Tower records, have been removed.
So, in a game that's positively regarded for well-done arcade-style gameplay and control, a fantastic soundtrack, and a slick visual style, this port managed to achieve...well, almost one of them. The UI looks very bad, but the actual game behind it holds up fairly decently. Also, a quick search for 'Crazy Taxi PC Soundtrack Mod' will give you a way to restore the original soundtrack. The terrible audio mixing will still hamper your ability to enjoy it, though.
This really isn't worth your time for anything more than a dollar or two. Pick up a dreamcast emulator and play it that way. It's a pain to configure, but at least you'll get analog steering. How SEGA thought it would be okay to release a game that revolves around weaving a taxi in and out of traffic at top speeds without any fine degree of control is beyond me.
September 14th 2014 Update:
I've left the original text in place to keep track of any improvements this game receives in the future. I'm actually quite pleased it was updated at all, and a few of the initial problems were fixed! Namely, the following:
+The game now has an FXAA option! Not exactly the best AA, but hey.
+No longer need to tweak registry settings to adjust options!
+The game's configuration menu was completely replaced, and supports 1080p+ resolutions, including nonstandard ones. It now works on my 1200p monitor, and fullscreen at that!
+Sound clips were normalized to all be at a reasonable volume level!
+The interface has been updated, and will reflect keyboard bindings!
+Keyboard controls have been reworked a bit, and are now just about playable!
Combined with the fact that you can mod the original soundtrack into the game, the biggest complaints are that the analog steering/acceleration still suck (still digital input), and the crazy drift is still far too touchy with keyboard controls to actually complete any of the challenges easily. There are still minor quibbles like UI resolution, announcer/driver sound quality, the lack of branding, and so on and so forth, but none of them are nearly as game-breaking was what has been fixed.
If this game continues to be updated, pretty soon that thumbs down will turn to a thumbs up. As it stands, the game doesn't control well enough to justify purchasing it. Here's to hoping for one more patch!