Format reviewed: Dreamcast
Ever since Jet Set Radio was first announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 1999 it was instantly on gamer’s radar. The main reason for the interest was due to the revolutionary rendering technique that Smilebit was using, which would make Jet Set Radio to be one of the first cel-shaded videogames. We’d also argue that it was gaining fans because it just looked incredible fun.
Gamers weren’t wrong with their assessment. When Jet Set Radio arrived a year later, it proved to be as inventive as it was striking to look at and proved that Sega’s console was the place to be when it came to delivering fast-paced thrills-and-spills.
The aim of Jet Set Radio is to become the main skating gang of Tokyo-To, whilst evading the clutches of Captain Onishima, who wants to put The GGs away forever. Most levels simply revolve around tagging your graffiti symbols throughout the city, so that the tags of rival gangs are nowhere to be seen. Things are made more difficult however by Onishima and his police force who will constantly hound you down as you skate across the stunning looking environments.
It’s possible to pull off a variety of tricks and grind across various objects as you attempt to become the leader of Tokyo-To, but Jet Set Radio is a world away from games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, playing more like a traditional platformer. It’s also worth noting the incredible soundtrack that features a dazzling array of music that suits the game’s distinctive look perfectly.
It’s been re-released on various consoles recently, including the Vita, PS3 and Xbox 360, but many still prefer the original. We can’t say we blame then.