- Original release year: 2000
- Consoles: Dreamcast (later: PS3, PS Vita, Steam, Xbox 360, iOS, Android)
Jet ‘Grind’ Radio? What the hell is Jet GRIND Radio, America? Jeez. I’m going to be referring to this game by its true title, Jet Set Radio.
Cel-shaded graphics may have once had certain graphic snobs looking down their noses at the artistic style, but 15 years on,the graphical style has aged tremendously well, particularly when compared to other styles of the time.
It wasn’t just the visuals in Jet Set Radio that were stylistic though. The gameplay was also very cool and fresh, playing much like a roller blade version of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, but with the emphasis being on exploring the different Japanese inspired locations and spray painting your graffiti all over the cities. All of this needed to be done whilst avoiding the cops, the army and other rival gangs. It’s a game I still find myself coming back to all these years later, especially with the fairly recent HD port.
So the gameplay was innovative and fun, the graphical style was innovative and fun, but it still gets better than that. The soundtrack was also innovative and fun, boasting both amazing original music, as well as fantastic licenced tracks. The music really helps to make Jet Set Radio even better.
So, any flaws? Well controls are a little… clunky at times and the camera can be a pain (slightly alleviated with the HD remaster, with dual stick support), but otherwise, you get used to it and it’s mostly not too much of an issue.
To summarise what makes Jet Set Radio such a great game for me, is that it epitomises what the Dreamcast represented for many of its fans. Unlike so many tired old franchises that get pumped out, with no energy or effort, on an annual basis, Jet Set Radio is a completely original creation, packed full of detail, style and charisma.