Get yourself ready for a funky fresh and fantastic Dreamcast original and the original Xbox successor. Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future are by far among the coolest games I’ve come across yet. These are two games I think everyone should at least play twice.
In Jet Set Radio, you start off as Beat, a rudie – a member of a street gang who’s fighting over territory with your main weapon of choice, graffiti, skating around the city. Beat ran away from home and started his own gang known as the GG’s; the result of being rejected by every other gang in the city. In Jet Set Radio Future, you start off as Yo-Yo, the newest recruit to the GG’s. In both games, you find other rudies who will join the GG’s after passing their tests.
Fighting against other graffiti gangs aren’t your only problem in Jet Set Radio. There’s also the Rokkaku Corporation with their police force and special forces. Their goal is to put an end to the graffiti gangs and they will stop at nothing to hunt you and the others down. It’s up to you to show the gangs which squad is the best and who truly runs the streets of Tokyo.
Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future have similar stories and similar gameplay. In both games, you travel through the streets of Tokyo to find other gangs and cover up their graffiti with your gang’s graffiti – meanwhile, pulling off sweet tricks on your skates. Aside from the similarities, Jet Set Radio displays a few things that Jet Grind Radio misses out on, Jet Grind Radio has a few that Jet Set Radio Future misses out on. Jet Grind Radio has a feature where you can hold on to the back of a vehicle to travel around faster, easier. Another feature includes the involvement between the player and the joystick, moving it accordingly as you spray graffiti. In Jet Set Radio Future, you’re unable to hold onto cars, but you can protect yourself against cops rather than escaping or avoiding them. They’ll only come around after you’ve finished your goal in the area. The joystick actions for spraying graffiti was removed opting for a simple button push.
Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future have different settings from each other. While they both take place in Tokyo, the city is re-designed and has a lot more different and diverse areas. Everyone in Jet Grind Radio either has a new name and/or a redesigned outfit than in Jet Set Radio Future.
After beating the game, you can continue exploring the city and covering up any left-over graffiti. There may be characters you have yet to collect and rival gangs returning to their territories who want their revenge. In Jet Set Radio Future, every city there are hidden cassettes that will have achievements you can unlock. Doing so will open up the option to do test runs. Succeeding in test runs will grant you hidden characters from the dog in the garage to the final boss himself – Rokkaku. There’s a massive collection of graffiti for you to unlock as you play. There is also the option to create your own graffiti if the ones you’ve found or used are not to your liking.
The soundtrack for both Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio future are by far one of the most memorable things about the game. The music is wicked enough and never gets old. Anyone after playing this game would be listening to these songs in their free time. Here’s what Jet Set Radio Future’s soundtrack sounds like.
Jet Set Radio is a fun and exciting game that most gamers should experience. It’s relatively simple yet fast paced. If you enjoy street art, or art in general, this game will be appeasing to the senses. Its cel-shaded style is eye-catching, the gameplay is easy to adjust to (perfect for pulling off cool tricks), spraying graffiti of your choice around the city, and spraying your enemies to death are exceptionally gratifying.
If you can’t get Jet Grind Radio for the Dreamcast, there is an HD version available on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade. Jet Set Radio Future, a personal favorite, is only available on the original Xbox (although my old disc does work on Xbox 360 as well). Go on now! The streets are waiting for you!