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Jet Set Radio Review (XBLA)

Game Review: Jet Set Radio
Release: Sep 19, 2012 (XBLA), Sep 18, 2012 (PSN), Oct 16, 2012 (Vita)
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Sega, Blit
Available Platforms: XBLA, PSN, Vita
Players: 1
MSRP: $10
ESRB Rating: T
Website: Sega

Jet Set Radio can be summed up in three words. Dancing, graffiti and frustration.

While this is the first time I have played Jet Set Radio, the game has developed enough of a reputation over the last several years that I knew what to expect when I finally loaded up the game for the first time. I understand that the game was a Dreamcast game and that in the year 2000 games were completely different, this shows more than ever while playing Jet Set Radio. While some sections are easy, as you progress the game becomes more difficult to cruise through the colourful cities, throw up some paint on a wall and jump around doing backflips without an army of dogs or an insanely accurate helicopter swinging around and blasting you to the ground.

Jet Set Radio has a story, a very vague and random story that loosely ties together what you are doing. You are a member of a gang called the GG’s, a crew of rollerbladers who live in a small district of Tokyo-to, coating walls of buses, cars and buildings in paint with your gang tags. Of course nothing is ever simple when different gangs of rollerbladers from the surrounding districts start causing trouble. At this point you need to step up and do something about them in the only way possible, by skating into their district and covering it in your gang tags of course!

I absolutely loved the idea of the game. Skating around the bright sections of the city are really fun with different obstacles in your way, huge rails to grind down and gaps to leap. I only wish that the main story of the game had me doing something fresh and different every time I jumped into a level. The maps are small enough that after a couple of visits you know the place like the back of your hand and this comes in handy when trying to find a little shortcut or rail to escape from the graffiti hating police or the other gangs. You eventually figure out the best way to complete your objective by painting on the larger graffiti before the tough guys turn up and start pushing you around. This allows you to sail around and clean up the rest of the rest of the district spray paint cans that are strewn about the map.

Everything surrounding the core gameplay is fantastic, the menu screens, the character design, the extremely energetic radio host and even the Carlton Gangham-esk character dancing moments. When it comes to playing the classic game in stunning HD, it definitely does a great job at bringing the fun and wacky gameplay back to consoles with a learning curve that is slow to climb, but once at the top, you can sit back and enjoy a really great game. And for the cheap price of 800 Microsoft Points, I wouldn’t want anything more.

  • Great soundtrack
  • Fun and challenging gameplay
  • Wacky moments, crazy characters and some strange dance moves
  • A learning curve that some might not be able to handle
  • Cheap enough for gamers to re-visit for nostalgia

Final Score: 6 out of 10

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