Taxi Chaos (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 08.01.2022

Review for Taxi Chaos on Nintendo Switch

Those old enough to remember the cult hit Crazy Taxi in the arcades or its sublime Dreamcast ports will often be longing for a sequel, especially as the mobile games never lived up to expectations and the Xbox version of Crazy Taxi 3 is strangely not available via backwards compatibility. It is a bit strange that SEGA haven't taken it upon themselves to launch a new game in the series given its popularity but that is where Taxi Chaos comes into play. A spiritual successor of sorts, trying to re-create the memories of old on a modern console but can it live up to the cult phenomenon of the Crazy Taxi series?

Taxi Chaos is not original in its approach to gameplay, it is essentially Crazy Taxi, with players shuttling passengers from point A to point B as fast as possible, utilising shortcuts, jumps and a good knowledge of the sandbox map. As with the game it is trying to live up to, Taxi Chaos is a very arcade experience with a timer whittling down, and to add to the mayhem drivers are rewarded for fast and frantic driving, so it is encouraged to throttle it down on the wrong side of the road or to drift around corners. The scoring system is the total of all the collected fares from passengers, so the faster they get to their destination the higher the fare. Strangely the thing missing here is the endorphin rush from bonuses collected during the run. In Crazy Taxi this used to happen with performing drifts, jumps and near misses adding to the frantic nature of the game, but also encouraging the player to take risks and showing them the rewards first hand when they chose to do so. Taxi Chaos feels somewhat bland without this element.
The game takes place in the fictional, New Yellow City, which is heavily inspired by New York City, with tall buildings, American flags and a huge park in the centre of the map. Do not worry though, players will not need to learn the map off by heart, although doing so does have its many advantages. Instead, there is a traffic-light colour coded arrow instructing drivers in the general direction of where the destination is. This is not wholly accurate, sometimes there might be a faster route by taking a shortcut or even jumping up on to the rooftops to cut corners completely. Exploring New Yellow City is highly encouraged and there is a free-roam mode that allows players to discover the city for themselves without the issue of a timer to worry about. Once there is some familiarity assembled then there is a Pro mode which turns off the arrow way-pointer to make things just that much harder.

Screenshot for Taxi Chaos on Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, there are a few performance issues that let down Taxi Chaos, namely the graphical fidelity, which is a bit of a texture blurry mess. Consistent choppiness, stuttering and dropped frames on a game which is only targeting 30fps as it is, altogether it does not add to the experience of a fast, frenzied arcade title that it is trying to emulate. To make matters worse, they have taken one of the most recognisable cities in the world and dulled it down to a generic, bland and dull land. Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 had a number of licenced locations from KFC, Burger King to GAP, Hard Rock Café and HMV to spice up the neighbourhood. Even beyond that, SEGA's attempts felt more alive twenty years ago then Taxi Chaos does in 2021. Adding to the bland flavour is the rather generic soundtrack of casual instrumental mix of pop rock, and with even further reflection the soundtrack on Crazy Taxi is only improved by the jamming beats of Bad Religion, The Offspring and Methods of Mayhem. The soundtrack sounds disjointed for what it is aiming to do and completely misses the mark in attempting to set the tone of the game.

Screenshot for Taxi Chaos on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The danger of playing with nostalgia and doing it injustice means that the high bar that was set before it is the bare minimum that needs to be achieved to be even deemed worthwhile. There are a lot of call backs to Crazy Taxi in this review and that is due to the derivative nature that Taxi Chaos borrows its concept from. The sub-par graphics, generic map, bland soundtrack and lack of new ideas or the ability to even replicate what came before it has destined Taxi Chaos to the copycats of shame bin. If, even after reading this review there is still some urge to play Taxi Chaos then it is highly recommended to go and track down a copy of Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 and play these instead.

Developer

Team6 Game Studio

Publisher

Orange One

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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