We’ve heard amazing things about Jet Set Radio, but can it really be as good as everyone says?
Jet Set Radio is being touted as a new type of gaming experience – not to mention a leg up for Dreamcast’s graphics technology.
Parellels have been drawn between the infamous Crazy Taxi and Tony Hawke’s Skateboarding, but JSR brings a new dimension altogether, not least of all because of the exceptional graphics – you ain’t seen nothing like this before!
Picture the scene: it’s the future in Tokyoto City and rival skate gangs compete for the best tag spots. To do this, skaters must ‘jump and grind’ their way round three urban playgrounds acquiring paint for their artistic mayhem on the way. You start the game as Beat, a young ‘Ruder’ who’s trying to put a hip’n’happening skate gang together. Accepting challenges along the way can earn you extra points and win the membership of new skaters to your up-and-coming gang – essential to progress as different skaters have different qualities.
Who are the bad guys?
Well, there are other gangs, but their members are easy to scare off. The real problem comes when the law decides to bust your head… and they get pretty extreme! A few graffiti misdemeanours brings out the Mook patrol – Tokyoto’s bumbling, yet persistent equivalent of the Keystone Cops. As the game progresses more serious offences against municipal property bring out the dogs, police bikes, patrol cars and – can this be right? – a missile equipped Apache-style helicopter gunship, all intent on popping caps/dog’s teeth/missiles and the like in yo’ ass. But take extra care when Lieutenant Onishima shows up – a cross between Columbo and Dirty Harry, largely down to the king-size Magnum-esque shooter and flashers mac. His mission: death to skaters!
Sounds good – but is there much depth?
There’s plenty to do around each sizeable cityscape: grind along railings and walkways to access rooftop tagging spots, bonus health and spray cans, while keeping out of Plod’s reach and tagging all that stands before you.
You still haven’t answered my first question – is it any good?
Jet Set Radio is one helluva game. As soon as it boots up you’re immersed into a slick, stylistically rich cartoon environment, all expressed through graphics that can be described as nothing less than stunning, not to mention a blindingly straightforward user interface and the kind of gameplay that has you coming back time and time again. Much more fun than Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding, more involving than Fifa 17 as a game here, and probably a good reason to invest in Sega’s latest, if you’ve not taken the plunge already. Basically Jet Set Radio looks like being a must-have game – fantastically executed, fun to play, easy to pick up yet impossible to put down.