Review by HeLG3N 3X
"Ayo, strap on ya skates, and grab ya spray canz!"
Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in US) is a Dreamcast game that EVERY Dreamcast owner should have! Infact, it's so good, it should have been included with dreamcasts! Anyway, your main Character (Beat) is a rollerblader/graffiti artist (if I may say), who is just like an ordinary hood from Tokyo. In the beginning, you meat up with Gum, who is also a blader/graffiti artist. She asks you if you can do the tricks that she does, if you can, then she will join your crew, this is also how you gain other members in your gang, which is very cool! Now on to the game stuff.
Story: 10 out of 10
I don't care who says the story is lame, I think it's one of the sweetest stories... maybe because I like gang related games/movies, but I don't care, it's a hot story! At first when you play the game, you just think it's a bunch of gangs blading and tagging up and claiming territory... it's true, but there's a bit more to it.
After you get later into the game, you find that not only is their normal gangs, but a gang similar to the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) is also out to claim territory!
It's sort of like reality, everybody wants a piece of land, but you need the right amount of power and people, which is why more people want to join you later on (I say it like they come out randomly, but they come in the same order, and there's a specific amount of characters too.)
Gameplay: 10 out of 10
Oh man, I'm going to go on and on... well I'll try to keep it a bit down...
MAN I LOVE THE ****ING GAMEPLAY! It's so freaking hot the first time playing it especially! I don't care if the trick commands are limited (actually there are no commands...) If you see a pipe/ledge, anything to grind on, you simply jump on it, if there's a half-pipe, you just gain speed and go up it and press jump, if you see a wall, jump toward it... wall ride... but even though it's simple, there's so much to do! Let me make an example of a sweet trick:
There's a wall on the left, then there's a pole on the right, and then another wall further up and to the left, okay? Now you can jump onto the wall, wall ride it, jump off the wall onto the pole, if the pole is pretty long, then you can jump on and off it a couple times, then jump onto the next wall, and there you have a... a COMBO! Yeah, the game has combos, which keeps it VERY interesting, it's especially interesting after you have completed the game, and can freely skate in any city you want.
It's so dope how you can skate around the cool spots of Tokyo, you have to experience it at least once in real life too!
The cops and the Yakuza start to chase you a lot throughout the game, and as you get further into the game, their difficulty starts to rise...
I just want to know... why would the police chase a bunch of punks with... ARMY TANKS!!!??? SICK!
Controls: 8 out of 10
I know that I said I don't care if this game doesn't have control commands to do tricks (the tricks come out as you gain speed and either jump, or do a continuous grind.) But now I must tell about how the controls are as a video game consumer, and be real about it.
I really wish you had commands, similar to games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, or anything with commands. They are so simple, just jump on a pole, jump on a wall... I wish you had to press something to do that.
Anyway, the controls are real simple, you have jump (A), Turbo (R-trigger) Tag-up (L-trigger when you see the graffiti can above your characters head) and Camera adjust (L-trigger). The character moves wherever you move the controller as usual, but sometimes the camera kind of gets you confused as to which direction your in. The game is real simple, yet complex at the same time, because if you master the controls (which shouldn't take long at all), you will be able to bust out some sick combos, which is a really fun part of the game!
There actually is something else annoying that I left out... sometimes when you are grinding a rail, and you don't have enough speed, you will find yourself falling off. It gets extremely annoying on the "Grind square" stage. If you can master the controls however, you may get used to it.
Sound: 10 out of 10 (5 out of 10 for the Japanese version)
I really love the music they put into this game! It's a great soundtrack for fans of any type of music, they have Hip Hop, Trance, Techno, Rock, Punk, House and so on. See, now the Japanese version of the game doesn't have some songs that the US version has, mostly american songs, but they put GOOD american songs, namely "Dragula", by Rob Zombie, which always proves to be a great song for video games.
The sound effects, such as the grinding effect, and the blade against the concrete sound like how I think they would sound if jet blades were invented, and the SFX of the blades change depending on the type of terrain you're on, which is excellent!
The voices of each character individualizes each character, and they match perfectly! I especially like Yo-yo's voice, he sounds like one of those perverted freaks from a hentai movie, HAHAHA!
Graphics: 10 out of 10
Wasn't this the first cel-shaded game ever?.... As far as I remember, YES, and no matter what, it looks better than any other cel-shaded game that EVER came out! If I remember well, they motion captured the movements in the game, so you defintely know that the character models will look awesome. Characters move realistic, they take hits realistic.
The main thing about this game for me especially... has to seriouslly be the character design... I mean come on, a lot of people know that Japan has a lot of diverse styles, and that's just what this game has! The characters clothing, and design is so freaking awesome and creative! Garam for example is a Ganguro (usually Japanese teenagers who get really dark-tanned, dye their hair blonde, use a lot of make-up, and dance para-para), wears snowstorm army fatigue shorts, with a bug mask, really slick! Beat, the main character looks like a techno head, with headphones on his head, and Dickies type pants, and the word "Beat" in katakana on his shirt, which looks really sweet! I could go on about the design, but then you might stop reading this FAQ, hehe.
The camera is sometimes annoying, and I find myself pressing camera adjust (L-trigger) quite a lot, there's really nothing you can do about that, but I doubt a beginner wouldn't mind that. Since I played the game a lot since it's release, I do a lot of long combos, so of course I get into some sick angles that the camera won't even catch up to yet, but it's not too much of a problem anyway.
The people in the background look like paper cut outs, but that doesn't mean that they are drawn bad, just drawn very basic... but who cares, the game is not even about them. At least they have actions toward you, like if you got close to a dude, he'd be like "Nanja korya!? (What the hell!?" and jumps out the way, pretty funny at first, but gets repetitive later on
Buy or Rent: BUY!
Bladin' around Tokyo, causing trouble, tagging up on property to gain territory, Yakuza and the cops trying to kill you... If you don't have it, you want it now right? Hehehe.
Like I said before, anyone who has a Dreamcast should definitely have this game in their collection, it's just one of those games that everyone should have!
It's like how Super Mario Bros. was to the Famicom, and how Halo is to the X-Box, just got to be in your collection somewhere!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/04
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