Jet Set Radio

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a game by Smilebit
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Dreamcast, PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Skateboarding Games, Jet Games, Sport Games
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio

Jet Set Radio is the perfect video game adventure for anyone looking to engage in a unique experience. This title is one that came out all the way back in 2000, but it still offers a fresh adventure for anyone playing it today.

Premise/Story

When Jet Set Radio first appeared on the Sega Dreamcast in United States as Jet Grind Radio in 2000, it provided a one-of-a-kind experience that no other console game of the time could replicate. Players hopped on the skates of hyperactive graffiti artists from the fictitious city of Tokyo-to.

The goal was to cover as much of the terrain as possible with colorful graffiti designs, a mission made more difficult by the existence of competing gangs doing the same thing—and by a police force that believed the appropriate punishment for such graffiti was death by a guided missile (a bit harsh if I do say so myself).

The only way to stay ahead of the dangers was to keep riding and grinding, jumping from one point to the next and halting only long enough to spray an elaborate tag before resuming the insane rush. This approach to gameplay was something interesting to see for the time. It was also quite impressive how well it translated for audiences.

Compared to a title like the upcoming Nintendo Switch title Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, Jet Set Radio definitely serves as a heavy influence to it. However, there are also titles like the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series where there’s a more grounded experience with an equally fun setting.

Fun Soundtrack

As you ride around town skating and tagging, you'll be treated to some of the finest music ever heard in a video game. The music to Jet Set Radio includes hip hop, funk, dance, rock, and house tracks, as well as uptempo original compositions by Hideki Naganuma and licensed songs by Deavid Soul, Guitar Vader, and others. In reality, this edition includes virtually all of the region-specific tracks that were not included in the original Dreamcast title; 29 of the 30 tracks are included.

Gameplay and Levels

Timed level design. That is probably the main gripe I have with the Jet Set Radio experience. There's so much to do from one instant to the next—explore stages, acquire paint cans, escape the fuzz, pull off pranks for additional points, and tag walls—that the time is a bigger threat than the cops.

In comparison, a game like

Levels, luckily, allow for pleasant, quick movement. Most are well-planned courses of interconnected streets, railroads, and hitch and grind devices. The stages are short, but it works to the game's advantage; you may complete a quick loop to lay out your graffiti attack. Having said that, the camera in Jet Set Radio occasionally positions itself in unusual angles, though this does not happen very often.

7

Despite a few antiquated design decisions, Sega's 15-year-old homage to street culture remains an entertaining game because to its rapid action, comedy, and fantastic music.

Pros

  • Beautiful cel-shaded graphics in HD
  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Fun skating

Cons

  • Time limitations
  • Low res textures occasionally

Download Jet Set Radio

Dreamcast

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

At first gander, Sega's extraordinary-looking Jet Set Radio--due here this fall--may seem like a stylized take on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but don't think you've figured this unique title out that easily. "The development team (which includes veterans of the Panzer Dragoon and Sega Rally games) kinda wanted this game to be a genre breaker," producer Klayton Vorlick told us. "They didn't want it to be classified as another skating game. And it's not a racing game. There isn't one specific goal."

Instead, Vorlick says JSR assails you with several simultaneous objectives. Whizzing around town in special "Overdrive Magnetic-Motor Skating Shoes" (the 21st century's answer to inline skates), you spray graffiti at specific tag points such as cars and walls throughout your turf and pull off tricks--all while evading cops and dodging rival gangs. An onscreen arrow guides you to the next tag point, as well as scattered safety zones where cops won't touch you. On top of that, the game packs a story filled with plot twists; it's not just spray, run, spray, run. Graffiti designs come in three sizes (and you can even edit your own designs; more on that later). The larger your design, the longer it takes to spray it--and the more cops you'll have hot on your tail. "When you first start out," Vorlick said, "no one's around. You spray once or twice and the cops come. Spray a few more times and they send in reinforcements. Spray a few more times and they send in the captain. Depending on the level, they sometimes send in parachute troops or SWAT teams. Basically, at the end of the stage you're running from every type of police force possible."

The trick system is simpler than what you'll find in Tony Hawk. Depending on your speed, angle of jump, etc., you'll perform one of several tricks per character. Grinding is automatic when you leap onto a rail. "While grinding, you can jump and do tricks," Vorlick said. "Jump and you'll do a flip, and if you spray while doing that your character will twist around and do another trick, then spray, then land back on on the railing."

The Japanese version of JSR contains three massive cities--each crammed with pedestrians and traffic--to wreak inline havoc in, but the U.S. version will contain a fourth metropolis. Cities are divided into several sectors. Depending on the current mission, you can access other sectors by skating to the edge of your current area. Terrain types include train tracks, parks, residential areas (where you can skate on rooftops) and back alleyways. "In some levels you can actually go through buildings as shortcuts and secret areas," Vorlick said. JSR gives you 10 characters to choose from, and each has his or her own set of tricks and graffiti designs. Better still, you can make your own designs with a special graffiti editor, which lets you type in words and dress them up with a variety of effects. Although you don't get any multiplayer modes or network play, Sega is planning to provide downloadable extras for this surefire blockbuster soon after its release this fall.

Snapshots and Media

Dreamcast Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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