This game may seem very familiar to another game probably have played before on the Dreamcast or in arcades. It’s painstakingly obvious that Crazy Taxi the game that the developers stole the ideas from. You drive around town, pick up well-known Simpsons characters, and deliver them to well-known locales within Springfield, it’s almost copied directly from Crazy Taxi. You’ll enjoy this game even if you never watched a Simpsons episode in your life, but it’s exponentially more enjoyable if you are a big fan of the series. But, if you played Crazy Taxi heavily on your Dreamcast, PS2, or even GameCube, this may not have much to offer, other than the many laughs you’ll get from the craziness of it all and the hilarious speech said by the drivers and populous of Springfield.
This game’s presentation is overall about average. The menus are functional, and its fairly easy to get around, but they look like something any average joe could have created in a half hour on Photoshop. The intro cartoon in 3-D is pretty neat lookin, and is really funny, but could have been cel shaded to give it a more authentic cartoon look. The voice acting by the real actors throughout the game is a major plus. The one thing that keeps me from giving this higher rating are the awful loading times you’ll experience every time you go into play. You’ll feel like you are playing on a PlayStation at times, and even when you restart a level it takes an excessively long time to reload. If you had a PlayStation, you might be used to it, but for those used to the typical speedy GameCube loading times, it’s a pain. There are 4 main modes of play; Road Rage, Sunday Drive, Multi-Player, and Mission. A funny little intro cartoon, Bland and unexciting menus. Wonderful voice acting performed from the real actors.
While the graphics aren’t necessarily bad, there is still vast room for improvement. The visuals are in fact successful at recreating the look and feel Springfield quite well, and all of your favorite well known, and not so well known, landmarks are fully modeled. Practically everything you see has been in at least one episode. Everything looks cartoonish and it all fits together quite well.
At sometimes, it will feel like you are playing an N64 game, due to the sloppy unpolished graphics. The pop-up can be annoying at times, and the textures range from super clean, to super blurry. The geometry is hardly impressive, and the only thing that seems to be truly cel-shaded is the car that you drive. The jagged edges bothered me a lot also, as they could have used the GameCube’s power to anti-alias it, but rather, it’s a direct port of the PS2 version. The framerate keeps up at a blazing fast pace and never lets up. While the graphics in no way affect the gameplay, they aren’t anything special. The PS2 and Xbox versions both look similarly as well. While its not a pain to look at, It Obviously lacks the extra polish and finesse of higher games.
The gameplay screams of excitement through and through. It plays almost exactly like Crazy Taxi, from the moving lines around your destination point, to the enhanced physics. Although, I found this game to be a lot more ‘crazy’ than Sega’s Crazy Taxi. The game runs at a faster pace, includes tons of hits to get airborne from, and nearly everything you see is destructible. The game also tosses in a few twists into the gameplay occasionally, like sometimes when picking up a character they will ask you to avoid traffic, so if you hit more than 3 cars on your way to the destination, you lose out on an extra $250 bonus. Sometimes, they will ask for the opposite, and you will have to destroy a set amount of objects to get a $1000 bonus. This type of gameplay never gets old, and you could definitely play for hours upon hours unlocking extra vehicles and the 6 HUGE levels that are available to you. The game plays nearly flawlessly, with no noticeable bugs to annoy you. Each level includes many familiar places, and the largest, and most entertaining level, Downtown, contains an insane amount of Simpsons locations all seconds from each other. Luckily, they have included a very cool Sunday Drive mode where you can simply drive around at your own pace to explore on your own. Everything is so basic and easy to learn, your friends will be able to just pick up and play and enjoy instantly. More crazy than Crazy Taxi, and a few extra twists to keep it interesting. The giant sized levels all contain tons to see and do.
This game is really fun. If you are a Simpsons fan like myself, you’ll enjoy this even more. The lines that the characters say are really funny, but do get repetitious, and you’ll start memorizing everything they say. To a Simpsons fan, there are some many recognizable people, and places, you’ll enjoy just driving around, looking at the people, and locations, and just exploring. You’ll find places like Moe’s tavern, the Simpson’s house, the Kwik-E-Mart, and Jebodiah Springfield’s statue, which you can decapitate by running into it, and so many more locations taken directly from the TV show. The fun of knocking down everything you see and getting insane amounts of air never fades away. The thrill of racing against the clock in Road Rage mode will keep you coming back for more until you unlock everything.
The Multi-Player mode is adequate. It doesn’t try to go above and beyond, but it is still great fun when matched up with someone with comparable skill. The basic premise involves the normal Road Rage mode, but there is only 1 customer to pick up at a time. The person to deliver the customers to the destination the most until they reach the set point limit wins. You can steal the customer by ramming your opponent. And the player currently in possession of the customer will move slightly slower to give the other player a chance. The split screen gets annoying, but there is really no way of avoiding this. Great fun while it lasts. The split screen becomes annoying at times.
This game, once completed (all 17 vehicles, 6 neighborhoods, and 10 missions) won’t be as exciting. By the time you complete the game, you probably will seldom come back for more. For this reason, I only recommend a rent, unless you are a die-hard Simpsons fan, and crazy taxi fan. It does in fact have more reason to come back for more than Crazy Taxi does though. You’ll seldomly come back for more once you 100% everything. At least give it a rent.
This game is obviously the most enjoyable for the Simpsons fan. To the casual watcher, or someone who never watched the show at all, it is still a lot of fun, but it loses a lot of the excitement. While I would not recommend buying the game, I highly recommend a rent. It’s only about 5 bucks, and it will be worth your cash, unless you own Crazy Taxi, and don’t watch the Simpsons. Although it may deserve a high score, it is and always will be a rip-off even if it improves upon the game is steals from.