Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Isn't it funny what arcade games get away with?

Although in my area arcades and arcade games have been gone for many years, I do have quite a few fond memories playing them. I would go to cafes with my parents, and as I waited for the food I'd play games like Virtua Cop, or when I'd go to the movies I'd be playing Marvel vs Capcom as I waited for it to start. Sure it's been a lot of years since then, but they are some fond memories from my childhood, and I can still remember playing them even today. Still, looking back on it now, it's kind of funny what arcade games were able to get away with back then!

Ok now I know in some larger cities there are some arcades that are still opened, and there are even quite a few theme parks that have them as well, still I'm talking about when arcade games were EVERYWHERE! Stores, cafes, movie theaters, malls, etc. These arcade games were open to the general public, anyone could play them, and everyone around could easily hear what was going on or being said. Sure, we all know that there are quite a few violent arcade games out there (such as Mortal Kombat), but today I'm actually not going to be talking about that; instead I'm going to be talking about a little game called "Crazy Taxi."

Crazy Taxi is an arcade game released by SEGA back in 1999, and later on in 2000 for the SEGA DreamCast. In Crazy Taxi it is your job to pick up customers, drive them across the city as fast as possible, while racking up as much cash as possible by doing tricks, and get them to their destination before time runs out. Depending on how fast you get them there, the more cash you get, and the more cash you get the better your ranking is at the end of your run. It's a pretty fun game that I'd recommend checking out if you haven't (especially since now it is on just about every major console released since the DreamCast), but I still find it funny that they allowed it in stores. Now sure, Crazy Taxi is in fact rated T for some mild language (for example one guy will say "you're one hell of a driver"), but there's one thing which would have pushed it past a T rating by today's standards.

One of the things Crazy Taxi is most known for is its soundtrack. The music in Crazy Taxi are songs from both Offspring and Bad Religion, and all of the songs selected for it just match the game perfectly. When All I Want starts to play, and you're flying through the air and jumping over cars; it just feels right. Still, there's one small thing about Crazy Taxi's song choices that a lot of people have seemed to overlook. Although it isn't always the first song you hear when you start up the game, Crazy Taxi also features the song called "Way Down the Line," and if you've ever heard this song yourself, I'm sure you know what I'm getting at here.

The song is basically about how messed up people are, and how they pass it down to their kids. While the song on its own is pretty sad (and disturbing since a lot of it is true), it also has some very strong language. Not too far into the song the "F Bomb" can actually be heard, and that's something that just really catches me off guard! This game used to be in my local Wal Mart right by the doors when you first walked in, and one of the first things you would hear when entering the store was actually the F Bomb. I'm really not sure why Wal Mart never noticed this, or if they even cared, but it's just something I've always found to be funny. On top of that, the DreamCast, Nintendo GameCube, Playstation 2, and PC versions of the game all remained at a T rating and they all left the song in tact!

Now today Crazy Taxi can be downloaded from Steam, PSN, or XBLA, but none of them are actually the original game. You see, in 2007 SEGA released "Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars" on the Playstation Portable, and it featured quite a few changes. The brand names were removed from the game, they redid the voice acting, and they also replaced the original music due to legal issues as well. Although the download version of Crazy Taxi is a lot like the original, it keeps the changes made by the PSP game, but without the other new additions the PSP game brought to the table (such as the ability to knock people out of cars).

So anyway, what do you guys think? Do you find it funny that Crazy Taxi was open to the general public despite the fact that you could hear the F Bomb? Or do you think it's really not that big of a deal? Please feel free to leave your comments below!