Review by maximummaker
"Sega's bench mark title that introduced cell shading to video games. Quite original in many ways"
I expected much from this title, first hearing of its existence from the ill-fated Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine. All the boasting and ranting about the game made ecstatic to go and pick up a copy of it. From the moment you turn on the game, to its end, you'll be very pleased how well Sega brought forth this unique graphics style, cell shading. The characters really look like you've taken a jump right into a living comic book, though the story is far from comic book fan fair.
As you'll quickly notice, Jet Grind Radio is not about roller blading at all, you can't even burn out unless you get shot, hit, or blown up by the many strange obstacles that will lie in your path during your adventure. The whole focus of Jet Grind Radio is actually to obtain a gang (which you can play as anyone on your gang), and reek havoc by tagging every part of the city with graffiti, while squaring off against your gang rivals; other rivals will include cops, with their insane magnum-wielding sheriff, tanks, and jets too, talk about going out of your way to stop some kids from putting graffiti all over the city. That description makes Jet Grind Radio seem like a hard and gritty game, but it feels more like the feel of an extremely weird anime. You will be constantly obtaining spray-paint cans, collecting them like coins in a Mario game, giving you the will to tag all over the city, to the tops of large sky scrapers, cars, buses, windows, and for god sake, even walls. When tagging, you just find the indicator that will point out if you can tag that certain spot, there are three types of tags; small tags that just take a small spray and wa-la, your graffiti is done; medium tags will have you stand in front of them and in a series of hook movements on the joy stick, you will complete the picture; large tags require lots of joy stick movements, but if you mess up to much, you might run out of spray paint, and this will ultimately cost you too much time (if your in a race with a gang or something).
The tagging system might seem week for a few, but actually this game would have been a total let down if they made it harder to mark your graffiti, the action oriented levels will have you grinding down rails, forcing you to use sober reflexes to spray the tagging spots that come up as you race down the rails. There still is plenty of fruit booter action here, with awesome tricks to perform, though you can't crash wile doing them, their seemingly sole purpose is you provide you with longer air, more points by jumping from rail to rail, and just to give you the option of adding flare to everything you do; it's really amazing how long you can keep tricks going sometimes, even for almost entire levels.
The storyline is really original and all over the place at times, but almost all the cinema will just be an introducer to what you're going to go through next, very effective in giving you the feeling that you're not just being thrown into a level for no reason at all. Also the sound in Jet Grind Radio is a mix of hip-hop beats, to techno melodies, and hard rock too. The only disappointing thing about Jet Grind Radio is the fact that you'll have finished your adventure in about 15 hours, it's not a horrible thing, but I tend to be picky about the length of games.
A couple extra features that make Jet Grind Radio even more fun is the Radio that you can listen too in your garage house, which is just a collection of songs that you can listen too, some real and some not real. A great, original feature that Get Grind Radio has is the option to create the small tag, medium tag, and large tag that you will be spraying on the walls during your quest, by using a "paint" like program.
Jet Grind Radio is a game that is virtually unnoticed for its undeniable innovative cell shading that has not been copied quite as well yet. Its game-play and representation as a whole won't even close to disappoint you; this goes for the slick control and level layout as well. For any one looking for a Tony Hawk type experience, look else where, because this title is more like an anime action/adventure.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/08/04
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