Well well well. I never thought I'd see this game again. I really didn't. When it was on dreamcast I would just play this for hours non-stop. Partly because I was 6 when I played it but still after all these years I still can't get enough of it.
Back when it first came out in the year 2000 it was called Jet Grind Radio. Now it's called Jet Set Radio. Partly because the story was based around a pirate radio station called Jet Set Radio and the sequel that came out in 2002 on Xbox was called Jet Set Radio Future. Now the franchise is not so mislead and now its finally back with this great remake.
Its the same game back in 2000 but its improved with better graphics and well... a bit more content. I say a bit as in you get to listen to some of the Jet Set Radio Future's soundtrack and a documentary about the game. That's it really. Could've added more content but hell at least the game is back with its stunning cell-shaded looks. Yeah that's right. I said stunning. Not at all old looking.
Time for a review that I should of done when I was a kid.Graphics:
For an HD port the developers have done an astonishing job of rebooting the graphics. Cell-shaded graphics always look good but this, this game is different. It's different because the art direction is spot on and the whole roller skating theme really blend in well. If this was a brand new game on Xbox 360 with these graphics. It would pass as a triple A. OK that might be an over exaggeration but the graphics really do look modern and up to date.Ain't she a looker. Don't get the wrong idea
The game also performs well. The frame rate is mostly solid and the draw distance is much improved. If you remember the draw distance on the dreamcast version, the distance was pretty short. But now distance has been extended by miles. You can literally see the end of the road with all the props there. (props mean parked bikes and such). The animations are also very slick. The animations aren't even motion captured so the developers really worked their arse off creating those animations bit-by-bit. Hats off to ya!
I give the graphics a 9.5/10. Definitely one of the best looking remakes. Wonder if Doom 3 will do better? Hmm.Sound:
The soundtrack is absolutely immense. They range from funky to rocky to electric. My favourite song is funky Radio by BB Funky. The voice acting is well done and its especially nice to hear professor K's witty call outs again. Jet Set Radio!
Unfortunately the voices aren't in good condition. The voices sound muffled which wasn't noticed on the dreamcast version. My Theory is that the developers couldn't find a way of updating the sound to the latest tech but at least the soundtrack is left in tacked. There is also a rare case of sound glitches. Sometimes the sound will just cut off for a few seconds. At least it's only a few seconds though and not a few minutes. Plus it's rare to experience this issue.
I give the sound an 8.5/10 simply because Professor K plays some sick tunes. And him of course.
Gameplay holds up pretty well. It's simple and fun. Tagging the streets with your own creation of graffiti never gets old and jumping from grind rail to grind rail has never been so fun. Some of level design however is quite poor. Some are cramped and mind boggling because you don't know how to get to the other part of the stage. Also the races are poorly done. This is because you don't know where to go. There will be a dot on your map and that's it. no way point. And not only is getting there an issue you will also have to find a spray can to tag your destination. And the spray can is not marked on your map. The only way to win these races is by following your rival the first time round and then win on the second run. Apart from that everything else is fine although the last boss fight does have a glitch where you will go onto a platform and for some reason your camera will just look directly up to the sky.
Despite these faults the game does have plenty to do. You can battle your rivals, race, perform tricks, boss fights and spray the streets with your very own work of art. That does mean you can create your own graffiti.Art is the best way to express your feelings. Beat is doing the same thing.
I give the gameplay an 8.5/10. Despite its faults.
The story is as witty as Professor K himself. The story is basically about tagging each gang members territory with your graffiti and collecting 3 pieces of a broken album and hiding it from the rokkaku. The story is mostly narrated by Professor K and that's OK cause he is awesome. I wish I was like him. Oh wait. I kinda am. I'm crazy, witty, do voices and I just love doing call outs. Jet Set Radio!
I give the story a 8/10
-Fantastic art design
-Sick tunes and professor K
-A timeless classic (Shame it didn't sell well)
-poorly designed races
-Some bad level design
-Wishing that there was a soundboard of Professor K
Overall I think it's still a fantastic game and certainly has aged very well.
I give it an overall score of 8.5/10. Hopefully there will be a port for Jet Set Radio Future in the Future. Did you see what I did there!?