Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
The Arcade version of Crazy Taxi was so incredibly addictive that it sucked up a frightening amount of my hard-loaned cash, and indeed my social life, during my hazy student days. Six months later the equally good consoleport was one of the Sega Dreamcast’s saving graces. A perfunctory sequel followed it with an extra map and some kooky mini-games, and yet another 12 months passed before the PC version of the original lollopped into town to a muted fanfare: fun, but also dazed, confused and very much seen before. Times must have changed, however, as instead of being third or fourth on the consoleport food chain, we’ve now been boosted to second in the queue, receiving Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller from our bastard Xbox contemporaries.
Effectively a polished compilation of the first two games - with an added Vegas-style map - if you’ve never scattered pedestrians in a huge yellow taxi to the sound of Dexter Holland of The Offspring shouting “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”, then here’s your golden chance.
With flames spurting from your wheels, shiny bumpers and a modicum of motionblur, there's no doubt that High Roller is a lot prettier than its predecessors. The changes, however, aren't entirely cosmetic. This time around, your car can jump over obstacles, finding loads of new short cuts in the process. It can also carry multiple passengers and discover whole new locations that have been crowbarred into existing maps, like the sudden construction of a funfair next to the baseball stadium on the West Coast level. Also added is a whole raft of mini-games to challenge your Crazy Drift and Crazy Hop skills when you’re bored of hunting down punks who want to go to Pizza Hut. So you’ll find yourself trying to jump higher, knock baseballs further, pop balloons faster and dislodge giant mirrorballs from disco ceilings for no reason.
The new neon-tinged Vegas map, Glitter Oasis, is easily the game’s most welcome addition. With its casinos, fountains and pedestrian walkways, it’s a superb place to earn your crust as a cabbie, while the lakes, canyons and hairpin turns of its surroundings make for some spectacular leaps and crashes. Elsewhere, the Small Apple level shows some Taxi Driver styling, although it's doubtful the game’s engine will enable you to shoot off Harvey Keitel's fingers.
For us, however, Crazy Taxi will always be leaping over trams in the perfectly designed West Coast rush hour, and we can be thankful that this pleasure remains beautifully intact. It’s true to say there’s little territory in Crazy Taxi that hasn’t already been covered by the GTA franchise, but its brand of energetic leapin, leap-out arcade action has rarely been bettered on the PC. We’re stroking our gamepads in anticipation.
Download Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller Screenshots and Media
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