Review by GEO_

"Sega's most innovative effort, next to Shenmue..."

Most of you have heard of this game. Dreamcast fanatics swear by it. But I'll admit, being the 2d fighting/ lightgun junkie I am, I never thought a 'tagging' game would catch my eye. I hardly play sports games, apart from Virtua Tennis. Tony Hawk? I heard it's phat, but not interested. Finally I had to see what the hype was all about. My games store sold a US import of JGR (here in Australia, the games JetSetRadio), that was going for dirt cheap (preowned), so I purchased it.

My initial reaction was disappointment, followed by frustration. The controls were hard- grinding on the edge of your choice proved difficult. After a seasonal ban, I decided to renew my zest for this game. What I played stunned me.....onto the review.

Graphics: 10/10

Breaking new ground, Sega has opted for anime-esque cell shaded characters, superimposed on a cartoonish, 3d world. They're bright, detailed, and downright funky. A nice compliment to the game's outlandish themes. You really won't believe it- it's like playing a cool animation piece! Comic, classy, and original designs plague each character, and the policemen of Tokyo-to are bound to suppress a grin or two. Smilebit can truly work wonders.

Gameplay:9/10

Surprisingly, the game is simple to control, difficult to master. Most players are put off by the rather twitchy grinds implemented into the game, but after a while, they completely wear off. If you've trashed this game on difficulty alone, then something's been overlooked. The sheer originality of this title is bound to spark a hoard of copycat titles. As usual, Sega's the core innovator of the videogames industry. What you're required to do, is control your character, skating through treacherous towns, bustling streets, sewers, skyscrapers and the like, all the while sliding (correct term: 'grinding') off thin or edged objects. It's really cool! For instance, jump onto a stair rail, and watch in amazement as sparks fly off your smoking rollerblades! Not surprisingly, tricks can be performed, like 360 degree turns and super-jumps. Most importantly, you're given limited time to spraypaint certain locations, before the firing squad arrive! Cops of Tokyo-to are on the prowl, and you must tag as many areas as possible, all the while avoiding them. An original concept that deserves more than praise alone. Wow at the tricks. Smirk at the quirky design. Cheer at the coolness. Sega has broken barriers with this title. Dodging cops has never been so fun!

Audio: 10/10

Anything less than 10 is blasphemor. The soundtrack rules! JETSETRADIO is the FM station pumping these tunes. They really whet your gaming appetite! Hear various mixes from known bands, such as Jurassic 5. Nothing complements this game as it's sizzling soundtrack.

Story: 10/10

A hitherto-known radio station, Jet Set Radio, continually broadcasts hardcore tunes to a bunch of budding graffiti artists. They are the GG's, a group of spraypaint weilding skaters, led by their goggle-hugging leader, Beat. As Beat and his cohorts, you must grind, tag, and spray the city of Tokyo-to to your heart's content. Along the way, you'll encounter rival gangs, wily policemen, Tanks and Helicopters, and a mysterious coorperation, the Gold Rhinos. Polish your grinding skills cuz' the opposition ain't givin' up without a fight. Funky story for a funky game. The voice-overs aren't bad, either.

Replayability/Lastability: 9/10

With the ability to constantly challenge each area of tokyo-to over n' over again, you'll go ballistic trying to beat your old time-score, OR trying to achieve the JET status. The game itself is fairly hard, so expect plenty of reruns. Hidden areas and soundtracks lie in each level. My only regret is that it's sequel appears on Xbox...

Overall: 10/10

I don't usually give games this rating. Yup, it's THAT good. Why didn't it sell well? For starters, it's original. Some people hate new stuff. And it doesn't have the word SONY or SQUARE stencilled to it. Open your eyes and play this masterpiece (not just once either). It truly is a prerequisite to every DC owner.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/01, Updated 06/13/01


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