Jet Grind Radio Hands-On

Jet Grind Radio is Sega's extreme skating/graffiti-spraying adventure. But is it just another boring skating game, or does it have more than that? Check out our hands-on impressions to find out.

Jet Grind Radio is just plain weird. Your goal is to skate around a certain area and tag different objects with your group's graffiti sign. Sometimes you'll tag cars, sometimes you'll tag walls. Sometimes you'll have to spray over a rival group's tag. When you do this, the game switches to a different perspective and makes you complete a series of analog-controller movements. Spraying over a small tag may require you to move the analog stick back to front in a fireball-like movement, then up to down in a circular motion, while larger tags require difficult, more complex movements.

You can only tag a certain number of things before you run out of spray cans. But don't worry - there are usually plenty of spray cans lying around an area. They're usually tucked away, making you rail-grind to get there. In one case I slammed into a rival character tagging a bus, and he was knocked over, spilling his cans about.

After spending some time in a level tagging whatever you see, the cops are eventually called to deal with you. The cops mostly run around in riot gear and really don't affect you all that much. In several areas you can simply rail-grind your way out of danger, leaving the poor cops behind. Also, sometimes this odd-looking man in a trench coat with a huge revolver chases you around. Who he is and why he's chasing you isn't explained.

The graphics use that weird animation technology that makes everything look like it's been hand-drawn. This effect is pretty cool, and some of the characters look downright awesome. The main female character in the game is a tall, tightly clothed gal with short blonde hair and a pilot's cap. The other two characters that were selectable in the demo were the game's main male character and a goofy-looking big guy.

Jet Grind Radio, while not an amazingly involving game, is still somewhat addicting and fun. I had a hard time pulling myself away from the demo kiosk.

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