Review by Larcen Tyler
"Get down with it and grind it!"
When I first saw this game in action, I knew this was definitely something that I would have to pick up as soon as it arrived. The thought of being a rollerblader spraypainting your 'calling card' in the city while dodging the police and enemy gang members was enough to make my mouth water! Coupled with a jammin' soundtrack and the ability to pull amazing tricks, Jet Grind Radio is definitely something I can get down with!
The characters are drawn in a flat 2D style sort of like Parappa the Rapper, only when they turn, you don't see some flattened image. The rest of the game is rendered in full 3D, giving it that unique comic book feel. You have several graffiti designs to choose from, but if that's not enough, you can create your own designs!
Although the skaters don't say a lot, when they do speak, their voices are well dubbed. The DJ of Jet Grind Radio sounds like someone you'd find on a hip-hop station, and the music is just plain incredible. Featuring music by Rob Zombie among others, you'll find yourself grinding to the beat almost immediately! The other sound effects, such as people screaming in terror, cars honking their horns, and such things, are also well done.
You can skate with ease thanks to the analog stick, and pulling off tricks is simply a matter of jumping while grinding and pressing a direction. Don't worry about finishing tricks, your skater finishes them automatically, but it's still cool to see them in action! When you come across a graffiti area, depending on the size, you may only need to tap the button, or you may need to do motions. Follow the arrows to spray your symbol. If you miss, the bonus counter starts over, and you lose one can of spraypaint. Of course if you do it right, you lose that can of spraypaint anyway, meaning that you can run out midway through. Fortunately, if you need to leave, the tag will remain as it was, so you can resume where you left off. Useful if those men in blue are coming to get you!
There are many characters to play as, several large cities to grind, paint, and cause havoc in, and tons of rockin' tunes to grind to! Plus you can customize your own logos and share them on the internet! If that isn't enough, I don't know what is!
Now you can finally live out your dreams of being a skate punk and spraypainting the city with your favorite colors without risking getting a free ride downtown to get booked, or a free ride in an ambulance if you mess up! Jet Grind Radio is definitely one game every Dreamcast owner should get down with!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/00, Updated 07/16/01
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