Jet Grind Radio
|Reviewer: ReesesInPieces||Date: Aug 18, 2022|
|Jet Set Radio is one of the most unique, appealing, and sounding games on the Dreamcast. With the player taking control of a teenage roller-blading gang known as the "Rudies", You set out to cover cities with your graffiti, steal turf from rival gangs, and fight against the evil conglomerate of Rokkaku. The game has garnered a cult following for its cel-shaded look and one-of-a-kind soundtrack, although sadly the gameplay isn't anything to write home about.
The cel-shading effects look eye-catching on the characters, although the environment and objects could have had some more work done on them. They look... decent. The HUD is simple and straightforward, only showing what it needs to, which is nice in a game where one of its draws is it's visual. The NPC's look t e r r i b l e, but you usually won't be seeing them long enough to notice. All of the graffiti the player sprays look amazing! Graffiti experts were brought in to make the over 100 you can spray, and it shows. And if you don't like any of the graffiti, than you can make your own. Overall the good visuals are amazingly done, and the bad ones won't be on your screen long enough to critique.
This legendary soundtrack deserves most of its praise, with my main problems with it being that some of the songs didn't hit, but over time they grew on me (even though I can still recognize they aren't the best). This soundtrack covers a lot of bases, and strikes a nice balance between original music and licensed music. You got punk rock, techno, hip-hop, ska, breakbeat, and probably some other genres I'm neglecting, what's not to love? Also worth noting is that the sound design isn't too shabby either, with no sound that felt out of place.
Unfortunately, the actual game part of this game doesn't feel good. The controls are slow and clunky, the camera is just plain bad (though this is due to the limitations of the Dreamcast controller), and the level design can be downright punishing, as seen in the Grind Square level. Thankfully, there are some saving graces. Chaining together grinds feels good, the act of spraying graffiti is done really well, and each character feels different from one another and appeal to certain playstyles. There's also a sizeable amount of post game content with unlockable characters and 100 graffiti souls to collect. Although with all that said, this gameplay isn't great, and it will take some time to get used to.
Jet Set Radio is a stellar experience. Although the actual game part is pretty weak, that's not what you play this game for. You play this game for the bangin' beats, crazy awesome soundtrack, and off-the-wall style. You can skate around as a DOG and destroy military-grade attack helicopters with SPRAY PAINT, it's taking all I have to not let my bias shine through this review! I can't recommend you play this game enough!
A sequel called Jet Set Radio Future was released in 2002, and is objectively bigger than the original game in every way. An HD remaster was also rereleased in 2012, and a new Jet Set Radio project is to undergo development from SEGA.
|Reviewer: RageAndFury||Date: Aug 12, 2022|
|Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio in the US due to copyright stuff) is an absolute masterpiece, and a hidden gem on the Dreamcast.
The graphics are ageless. The 2d-Esque style truly hasn't aged. Even if it isn't that convincing when it comes to looking 2d, it still looks great, and kinda makes it's own style. The Pop-Culture inspired art style makes it all the more better, and carries into the gameplay!
Hideki Naganuma. What else do I have to say.
Out of all seriousness, the soundtrack is truly superb. A lot of artists on the soundtrack would either become famous, or gain even more of a cult following. The voice acting's pretty decent for a game from the 2000's, but is goofy at times (like how the Civilians that walk by in the levels still use their Japanese voice lines in localized versions, and certain characters use their American voice lines in localized versions).
Other than the Soundtrack, this is where the game truly shines. The gameplay is engaging and proves a challenge for some gamers. The camera is a bit finicky and something that kinda ticks me off is the Graffiti system. While it is fun, it can slow you down in certain cases. They do fix this in JSRF, by making the Graffiti system a simple tap of a button, instead of a whole trick show.
Overall, this makes for a truly fantastic game on the Dreamcast, and could even be considered a work of art by some! It even spawned a sequel on the Xbox!
To close this off, Jet Set Radio is truly a game worth checking out, whether it's your first game on the Dreamcast, or just another add to your collection. It's both a challenge, and a de-stressor. If you appreciate Pop-Culture, then this is the game for you.