Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360] Xbox 360 Arcade, Playstation 3,Vita, PC, iPhone
Genre: Action and Adventure, Platformer
Rated: T for Teen
SEGA really couldn’t have picked a better game series to re-release back into the gaming community. Jet Set Radio has always been a highly regarded game for its strange style, killer soundtrack, skater-punk theme, and exceptional arcade game-play. A lot of people haven’t actually even played this game, surprisingly, but its a franchise that has not long since touched the ears of many gamers world-wide. So now that we have a remake, let us look to see if there is more to Jet Set Radio then just the massive amounts of nostalgia.
Jet Set Radio drops you off in a punk-styled fictional city of Tokyo-To. You play as a gang of young skaters (the GG’s) who roam the streets of Tokyo-To and spray their “art” all across the objects there-in. Several rival gangs compete for the control of turf and you will be quested to take them out in a series of runs. This is not your only problem however as the local police force uses excessive police brutality to try and take you off the street. Attack dogs, helicopter, tanks, and other annoyances will be thrown at you to take you down. As the story unfolds you can sit back and listen to the glorious tunes provided to you free, courtesy of pirate radio station Jet Set Radio and DJ Professor K.
While we are on the subject of the soundtrack (f.y.i the biggest thing about the game) you should be pleased to know that SEGA got usage rights to almost every original song from all the original’s versions besides “Yappie Feet” and “Many Styles”. Yeah, “Yappie Feet” didn’t make it for some bogus legal reasons I would assume. Despite this minor drawback, there is still another surprise to overcome this lose. Tracks from Jet Set Radio Future can be unlocked by playing through the game! Exciting isn’t it? I know hearing “Funky Dealer” and “Fly Like A Butterfly” really sent me back a few.
Gameplay in Jet Set Radio is really arcade centered. You are given a certain task such as tagging all the designated targets in the map, defeating your rival’s in a show-down, finding graffiti souls, etc. You play on a timer and some maps require thinking and strategy to complete the mission. You will probably fail several times when taking on some challenges. With time you learn how to overcome failures and approach the level differently. This is a game that isn’t too easy and it delivers a good experience because of it.
Some notable downfalls for Jet Set Radio include occasional texture clipping, vanishing environment, clunky movement, and (sometimes) poor camera angling. There are several places where the texture clipping and “ghost buildings” occurred and it does seem like it would have been completely avoidable. As for the camera, you have a little better control over the camera than the original but it still doesn’t solve all the issues. You can get into certain predicaments where the camera will go completely bonkers and mess you up in the process. No one likes fighting a camera. Not even a little bit.
Controls could have been smoothed and fixed a WHOLE lot more then what was done. It’s easy to overshoot/undershoot jumps and platforming moves as compared to the improved controls in Jet Set Radio Future. Using the thumb stick to apply motions in spraying graffiti can sometimes feel unresponsive and largely frustrating. I’m dead serious. It’s too frustrating trying to draw a circle in the right way for you to get a higher graffiti spray chain. Controls aren’t extremely unbearable but all together I think the gaming community would know it could be a lot better.
The story still gives a solid length of gameplay and a roster full of various character from the original. Graphics have aged very well for 10 years and the cell-shaded style still stands strong for today’s standards. Texture can now be seen in true digital HD and they are very crisp and appealing overall. Others might disagree as to the aging factor but any way you look at it, if Borderlands can pull if off today, then why not Jet Set Radio? Think about it.
Jet Set Radio has aged fairly well and still stands strong as an arcade-eccentric skater platformer. Fans wanted to be delivered the experience a-new and that is what SEGA gave us, bag of downfalls and all! The only real way to step things up is to revive Jet Set Radio Future and make it hit the market next. You might even wonder why they didn’t just release the more improved Jet Set Radio Future in the first place. I wouldn’t put it past SEGA releasing more old titles in the future, Jet Set Radio Future being one. More of the story, don’t be surprised if Jet Set Radio Future is in our close future!
When you look at Jet Set Radio, you have to take it for what it is. It is still very much enjoyable and that is the overall point to be made here. Everything that made the game great is still there and you get the experience that many didn’t get to have during the Dreamcast glory days. SEGA and Smilebit march on to share their colorful creation to today’s gaming community. Jet Set Radio is made available to so many platforms there is almost no excuse not to pick it up and relive the glory days of old. The question is, are you game enough to try it?
Overall Rating: 4.25/5