(Thanks to Jdevy for highlighting this – I would have posted earlier, but didn’t check my YT subscriptions today)
If I were to ask you, the readers, which games you hold the most fondness for, I know that answers would vary widely. Even then, there are certain titles that will show up frequently across top 5 or 10 lists. One of those is certainly Sega’s Crazy Taxi. The style of play that CT embodied (essentially an open world driver for arcades) is something that has become a bit of a lost art in recent years, as most drivers have stuck to a familiar formula of closed or open circuit racing. The only exception to that has been Batman.
Until today, where UNIS unveiled their own modernized take on Crazy Taxi that they are calling Crazy Ride. I need to reiterate, there is no indication that Sega is involved with this title – it is entirely UNIS’ own design by what we see here. The similarities with CT are something that fans will easily catch, but there are some differences that we’ll get into. Trailer first, then we’ll talk:
Going with the ride sharing idea is clever and current, while allowing the player to choose from a variety of cars (instead of just sticking to a taxi). The basic premise appears to be the same – pick up a ride share request, then get them to their destination as quickly as is possible, regardless what might be along the way (that said, by this trailer there does seem to be a lack of obstacles/objects that you can drive through, but we’ll have to wait and see).
The boost ramps and nitro also make a difference, throwing in those elements that most modern arcade racing games do incorporate.
I like the graphical fidelity by the preview, although this is always an area to wait and see on. The soft shadows, motion blur and color all seem to be spot on, just as long as they keep the frame rate at 60. We have no idea what the soundtrack on this one will be like, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up on The Offspring for it.
Jdevy mentions that if they licensed Uber or Lyft for this, that would give it a great name recognition boost. I agree with that, although I’m not against games eschewing licenses either.
The cabinet appears to be a variation of the Cruis’n Blast Motion (a China only release) game that UNIS & Raw Thrills did; it has a motion base as well as fan to give it that extra simulator effect. The most surprising addition to the game though is the 7″ touch navigation screen. It isn’t clear how that will work by the video; We don’t know how early of a game this is – it’s the kind of thing that could end up on the cutting room floor before production.
The online VS. mode is also something that could be fun; I imagine this would link locally too.
In case you are unfamiliar with UNIS, they are also known as Universal Space and while a lot of their output in recent years has been on the redemption side, they have come up with their own video games often enough. One that hit the market earlier this year was Fantasy Soccer, their interpretation of Namco’s old World Kicks. They’ve gained most of their international attention as of late though via the Atari PONG Table, which I hear continues to do extremely well on the scene, especially at bars.
Crazy Ride is not listed on the UNIS website yet, and it is normal for the company to reveal a game on YouTube quite a while before production starts, so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for it over the next few months as IAAPA 2019 approaches in November. Hopefully it is there, and we’ll get some hands-on time with it.
What do you think of it based on what we’ve seen so far?