Jet Set Radio was interesting in the year 2000, but the game needed more than a fresh coat of paint to make its awkward design worth revisiting.
- Prettier than ever
- Funky soundtrack.
- Touchy controls
- Inept camera
- Frustrating stage design.
When Jet Set Radio debuted on the Dreamcast in North America as Jet Grind Radio back in 2000, it offered a unique experience that no other console game of that era could match. Players stepped into the skates of energetic graffiti artists residing in the fictional city of Tokyo-to. The goal was to tag as much of the landscape as possible with colorful graffiti designs, a task made difficult by the presence of rival gangs that were attempting to do the exact same thing--and by a police force that believed the best punishment for such vandalism was death by guided missile. The only way to stay ahead of the threats was to keep cruising and grinding, leaping from one point to another and pausing only just long enough to spray an intricate tag before resuming the crazy rush.
Jet Set Radio relies heavily on its presentation and it doesn’t always stress the details. Stages end abruptly once you tag all available points (marked by red arrows), not when you achieve a certain score or defeat a challenging boss. The energetic beats looping in the background and the vibrant cel-shaded visuals have always been the primary reasons to keep playing, and those elements are especially effective now that all of the familiar artwork has been upgraded for high-definition televisions. Most of the original music also returns. Players discovering the game in 2012 may wonder what they’re missing, though, because there’s not a lot to savor beyond the funky presentation.
Jet Set Radio's most regrettable issue is its simple but somehow ineffective control setup. As your skater cruises through the various areas, even the simple act of skating in a straight line can sometimes prove difficult if you're not grinding a railing, because you have to hold the analog stick forward to build speed. The tiniest nudge of the analog stick can wreak havoc, since your skating graffiti artist is prone to wide sweeping movements rather than more precise motions. Yet if you need to change direction slightly while flying through the air (usually because your skater launched unexpectedly toward one side or the other rather than pushing forward in the anticipated straight line), fiddling with the analog stick often has almost no effect at all.
The rails you must frequently grind also lack stickiness, which makes landing on them at the end of a leap a tricky proposition. You may overshoot your intended destination, and that often means you must backtrack through hazardous territory so that you can make another attempt. Building up speed so that you can manage the long jumps required to clear gaps is also an issue, since by default your skater moves at a snail's pace. You're forced to pay entirely too much attention to the controls the whole time you play, lest a split second of inattentiveness lead to disaster.
The inadequate camera does nothing to alleviate such control issues, either. Many of the environments are practically barren until enemies begin appearing in response to your vandalism, but you still stumble across a few unwelcome piles of debris in the most inconvenient of places, or perhaps a series of vehicles parked along a street between you and a wall that you need to tag. The camera gets stuck on objects in confined spaces, jerks crazily if you're following a path through a winding corridor, or spins in such a way that you can't see environmental obstacles that in any other game would be easily spotted. The only way to make crucial runs in some stages is to first memorize their layouts through trial and error.
In some instances, you also must tag objects with precise timing, but since the left trigger serves two functions, it's easy to accidentally start messing with the camera instead of tagging the environment as you may have intended. Such goofs delay your ability to paint for a brief moment, which is time enough that you sometimes miss spraying a target that you should easily have been able to tag on the fly.
I played the Demo and the game is a bad port of the Dreamcast game. It doesn't support Widescreen TV's like Sonic Adventure does. Controls are horrible,Camera is bad, everything bout the game is horrible. I do not recommend anybody buy this game. Okami comes out Oct 30th and is worth the $20 price tag.
@BryanParksSuper THe perfect sonyer trolling.
Bashing a Dreamcast game that you already hated twelve years ago and then Praising a random unrelated Playstation 2 and 3 Game, All of this while in the X360 section of gamespot.
I still have this game for my Dreamcast. I played it a little last year. Surprisingly, it still looks pretty good even when it's not running in HD. But, yeah, the gameplay and design hasn't aged well. This review has it right. Playing the Dreamcast version of the game recently ruined some of the great memories I had of playing the game when it came out way back in 2000. I don't care if the game was a 9/10 12 years ago. If it hasn't aged well, it's not worth anything close to a 9 now.
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I want to make a petition to ban Gelugon_baat for ever from Gamespot. Lets make a page or something. It would be so much fun <3 She is terrible. The only thing she does continuously is post stuff all the time just to troll people and to project Gamespot reviewers. She is terribly sick, the first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is put up a post on Gamespot. This has to stop! She has to get a life back!! The poor thing! <3 WHO IS WITH MEE!!
Let me give you guys a little bit of insight on the majority of the people that favor Jet Set Radio Future. Those people have flat out admitted that they only played Jet Set Radio Future or played the original after the second game. Whenever I see someone say that the soundtrack of Jet Set Radio Future is "better" than the Jet Set Radio, I get the feeling that it's their nostalgia for Jet Set Radio Future that's making them believe that songs like "Birthday Cake" is a better.
Don't get me wrong, I love Jet Set Radio Future, but the direction that Smilebit went with that game, in terms of aesthetics, music, and gameplay, wasn't the reason why I got into Jet Set Radio. Though I will admit, I like the trick system of Jet Set Radio Future more.
I'm really hoping that SEGA does make a new Jet Set Radio, BUT, it should be a direct sequel to Jet Set Radio - SEGA should call it Jet Set Radio 2. Jet Set Radio Future was never a true sequel, I believe SEGA themselves even said that it's a re-imagining of the first game.
Jet Set Radio's ending was setting itself up for a sequel. And it irks me that we never saw a continuation of the original story.
I say, take JSRF controls and give it an adjustable camera like this for the new game, only now with the ability to lock-on to tags, so that you can spray them on the move, but with right analog stick prompts. I wouldnt like it to be a sequel though, I´d prefer if they went with a Legend of Zelda type of universe, where the games dont connect, but share the events and characters.
"Stages end abruptly once you tag all available points (marked by red arrows), not when you achieve a certain score or defeat a challenging boss."
Why is that considered to be an abrupt end when tagging all available points is the primary goal of every level?
This game is stil fantastic. Of course the controls were touchy but that it exactly what made this game so challenging and rewarding.
This review must be taken down, the game is supossed to be hard it is a fucking plataformer and the controls are just simulating that the player is on skates all the time.
How can a masterpiece with better graphics be a 4.
Dreamcast 94 metacritic.
I'm going to post some of your stupid quotes on why the game is so bad:
"Stages end abruptly once you tag all available points (marked by red arrows), not when you achieve a certain score or defeat a challenging boss."
you have to hold the analog stick forward to build speed
Yet if you need to change direction slightly while flying through the air fiddling with the analog stick often has almost no effect at all.
The only way to make crucial runs in some stages is to first memorize their layouts through trial and error.
Until you memorize the stage layout in its entirety (along with the route your rivals follow), you don't stand a chance.
ives you time to gather paint cans (since your graffiti-loving skater always starts with none on hand).
The city environments you explore have invisible boundaries, and you receive a warning if you're about to pass one. However, no barrier prevents you from actually doing so.
Please fire this reviewer, probably a sony fanboy with a growing hatred since the psx vs dreamcast age...
Having played the original on the Dream Cast all those years ago, i have to say this definitely brought back memories, and a good couple hours of fun on the day i downloaded it...The only gripe i have about this game is that you can't physically save the game yourself, and the only way to make sure your game saves your current progress is to go back to the main title screen...Other than that, and the large amount of loading needed between levels this game is definitely still a heck of a lot of fun, especially for those of us who were already hardcore gamers back in the late 90's...
least IGN game it a 7.5 this guy did not bring up how you can get trophies or achievements or anything much all he did was cut it down all i can say is very poor rev you make me sick gamespot
this rev is trash iv been playing on the ps3 and its been good old fun maybe this guy just cant take the heat
Where the hell is Dave Halverson when you need him? Someone put out the Gamefan search light so we can get a real game review!!
Honestly... I was extremely disappointed to find out that this was the mediocre Jet Grind Radio rather than the much more improved Jet Set Radio Future. I naturally expected it to be Jet Set Radio Future considering the name is more similar to that of the 2003 sequel rather than the 2000 debut.
I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as I could've. I had fun with the original game back in 2000 simply because, as the reviewer mentioned, the game was unlike anything before it, or anything else at the time. I didn't play near as much Jet Grind Radio as I did Jet Set Radio Future though. The controls of Jet Set Radio Future seemed to be much more intuitive and much less irritating; the soundtrack was a lot better as well. I can't tell you how many times I left the game running to listen to the funky tunes if I needed to do some cleaning or work on homework at the time.
All in all, I strongly agree with the sentiments expressed in this article. I often have found myself disagreeing with statements made in reviews on GameSpot lately, but I think this review hit the nail on the head.
Glad you didn't sugar coat anything here Jason, and good work; nostalgia only goes so far to reinvigorate a love for an old series. You definitely have to enhance the old experience so it doesn't seem to fall completely short of something you would expect now in 2012.
@Andrex1212 Boooooooooo hisssssssssssss! Just so you know the Japanese game was Jet Set Radio, they changed it to Jet Grind Radio when it was localized. Man, this game is pure fun!
LOL at this Gelugon_baat guy. I can tell right away that this dude is just a Gamespot fanboy trying to impress them so well for a mod status. I've seen this kind of crap a million times before in gaming forums, users does nothing but sucking up, then ironically enough, that user becomes a moderator. Gelugon_baat is not chiming in every chance he gets because he feels that the review is "accurate," he's just doing it for the sake of GameSpot's defense. Like I said, anything for that mod status.
The guy is also a troll. He claims that the people that disagree with the review are "whining," but he doesn't even read the disagreements that are posted. psuedospike posted a well written, lengthy post, and all Gelugon_baat gives him is a mediocre reply that's only one sentence long. I'd imagine he'll do the same with my reply as well.
Gelugon_baat is just another example of a fanboy that will troll, ignore, or use any other cut-throat tactics when arguing in order to get their way.
did you just give jet set radio a 4.5!! where you sane when writing the review?I wounder. this is a game like no other game,ignore the review and give it a try yourself.
definitely the most bogus review score of the game, regardless of me being a MASSIVE Dreamcast and JSR fan this is just ridiculous, sayings its only a 4.5 is like saying its soooo bad its broken. I've been playing it for an hour or more now and its just as good and easy to play as the original, the controls are fine they are not any worse than the original and when it came out in 2000 it won several awards and consistently received 9-10/10 review scores... so why the fcuk does this guy give it a 4.5?? Ignore the score and download the game, its brilliant and looks better than ever
The score should be more between this mark and the original mark, 4.5 in my notes would be a game that you cant barely play, you look at it with disgust and you think oh wow, why the hell I play this game! I hate it!The game was released in the year 2000Was one of the first tittles released within the first year in the Dreamcast console.
The first game to feature cell shaded graphics full of art style of its own.
Its the most original game that I can think of, in those years. Actually, I am sad that Dreamcast had to stop manufacturing consoles all together, I would have kept supporting their games.
4.5? make a game your self first you fool, you would be surprised if you made a camera control that was a quarter of a quarter better than that, and a controller setup that was a quarter of a quarter better than that.
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@Gelugon_baat You wrote the exact same thing down below, nice way of spamming. Copy and paste some more text around. Its really nice that these famous game reviewers get to say what is great or not. Also, to rate a game with that score. I has to be bad. Jet Set Radio is a classic, they cant change the game just to make people like you and him happy.
@Gelugon_baat make more comments please! you need to reach to99999999 COMMENTS
@Gelugon_baat Lol, I made 526 posts, you made 23283 posts, so you have made a tonne of posts, GELUGON TO THE POST SHE GOES
@Gelugon_baat Still alive? I thought you died. Comment away! You should have a super hero suit. GameSpot's lover commentator! Weeee!
I am pretty sure the reviewer is going to invite you for dinner. Congratulations. Its fun having a go with someone random that you do not know from the internet! Its like talking to a wall and you get more stuff back!! Tell me, what do you do, what do you study and do. So we can then talk in another level.
@Gelugon_baat Oh wow, actually, you are not going to leave me alone are you, you actually wrote a bazillion comments below, perhaps you should spend your life writing comments to protect the reviewer instead of playing games.
@Gelugon_baat Also get a life, you seem to be telling everyone that said that this does not deserve a 4.5 something. Look at metacritic. That average score seems way more correct.
@kane638 did you even read the review?? jesus christ read the article before you start flaming you idiot
@kane638 I think the reviewer is giving it this score because he believes that when a game is re-released it should get with the times so to speak (dual analog back to just one), lag, and ridiculous camara is a problem compaired to other 2012 releases, but i disagree with his score as well though its still the same game just hd.. so if you've never played jsr before this score is still 9/10.
@skatergirl72I read the review. It's a pretty stupid review. I cleared the game when it came out, and I'm aware of the issues back then as they are today. I own the PS3 game, played it and still enjoy it. I'm aware of the issues today, and play it well with my PS3 Controller. Every review always clears their exact statements at the end. The reviewer states that this game is a fresh coat of paint. Well back in the day this game scored over A+ in all regards. Suddenly we're comparing the 'dated' gameplay design because gamers are more intelligent and more astute because the games have advanced since then? Well that's arguable. As far as I'm concerned this reviewer faults the game for being what it was then, when others clearly in 2000 didn't agree with on a professional review level. The fact that this is a re-release and not a remake is what makes this review a joke. I could understand if this was a review warning us to stay away from a bad remake; however, it's not.
I agree with this as well. I think they should re-do Jet Set Radio Future with achievements, etc. The controls were much better. I loved that game.
I played the demo yesterday and i agree with that the score should be low. It does have touchy controls that make it hard to navigate and don't always respond, lousy camera, and its too hard to play through and frustrating.. a total piece of garbage of a game. The voice work was bad too, like the voice actors didn't want to work on the game... i gave the game a 3 out of 10
@Gelugon_baat I have reccently played Anarchy Reigns and that game changed my view on Action controls. Yeah, now I can safely say that Jet Set Radio feels a bit dated, but not to the point of a Poor rating...
I somewhat agree with this review, I think it probably deserves a 6.0 but either way JSR hasnt aged well.
JSRF from the original Xbox on the other hand was a work of art, it rectified almost all of the problems JSR had and also made the world more like a free roam sandbox.
Fingers crossed Sega get around to porting JSRF onto XBLA at some point... also while they are at it port Panzer Dragoon Orta too.
@kekejefferis JSRF is a terrible game, worse than the original in almost every way. The original had a sense of balance that made the team's history with arcade games evident. The sequel removed the action in favor of platforming, but with controls that weren't appropriate for (or precise enough for) platforming. Couple that with clumsy, frustrating level design, and you have one of the most disappointing sequels of all time. The origninal JSR hold up pretty well in my opinion, and it's fun to play for score/rank, which was an element ruined in the sequel.
@The_Frogacuda @kekejefferis I actually think its great that both games are different enough for us to enjoy, and dont connect to each other like sequels (JSRF is a re-imagining after all). Your argument about platforming is ridiculous though, it´s as if you only ready what Gamespot had to say about its platforming-nature and figured it would play like Banjo Kazooie. It does have platforming, in a radical kind of way, by allowing us to get to places and heights through grinding, wall riding, boosting and tricking, in levels that are expert-ly crafted for you to tackle them both in linear and more open-ended ways. The levels cater to the different modes you can unlock better than Jet Set Radio´s: linear - racing; open - tag and flag. The only exception is for the Jet Tech mode, which Jet Set Radio excelled at by providing level design with infinite loop possibilities.
@kekejefferis @psuedospike @l3igl3oss @The_Frogacuda The Beastie Boys had nothing to do with the music in the first JSR. Mike D's side project Latch Brothers did a few tracks in the sequel though. And Cibo Matto and Scapegoat Wax were friends and (I think) label mates of the Beasties. That's about as much of a connection as there ever was, though.
Still though if it ever happened i'd be a very happy man.
Totally agree with the Gorillaz as unlockable characters, I remember playing the Demon days album when playing JSRF and it totally fit, also the Beastie boys would be great to have as they were responsible for alot of the music found in both JSR games.
Jet Set Radio is one franchise that should never be allowed to die off along with Panzer Dragoon and Shenmue.
@l3igl3oss @The_Frogacuda @kekejefferis Oooh, can I get in on this? Both games are good in their own ways. I agree more with Frogacuda in that the second game took away a lot of the things I loved about the first game, like the QTE tagging and replaced the circular level design with more perilous platforming challenge and it is good and bad, on the one hand the streamlines tagging made the skating more fluid, but on the other hand I remember the diffuculty was more about not falling off the rails than the finding the perfect path in the first one. In a way that made the diffuculty more frustrating than the first game. Personally, I prefer the original game to the second, but they are both great games with a lot of style and attitude you won't find anywhere else! Both games have great character design and audio production though, so they both will always exist in my game library. I would love to see a Jet Set Radio Ultra on new hardware more about free roam tagging and tricking and less about infinite grinding....with the Gorillaz as unlockable characters (in a perfect world). Also, I support the return of Panzer Dragoon and Gunvalkarie IPs, both great games based on gameplay...diffucult, but rewarding gameplay! Great thread!!
@l3igl3oss @kekejefferis I'd say it's much MORE of a platformer than something like Banjo. With the enemies and timer gone, almost all the challenge comes from trying to complete these ridiculous platform gauntlets built into the levels. Which are all obnoxiously designed so that if you fall down, you have to backtrack a quarter mile and try again. It turned this fast and fluid game into something of a chore. There was nothing open-ended about JSRF. It had bigger areas, but the gameplay was far less dynamic. There weren't any enemies except the level itself, and the level didn't move or change, so it was really more about just rote trial and error execution of these jumping sequences.
@The_Frogacuda That's entirely your opinion, I don't agree with it but you are fully entitled to it :]
For me i'll always hold JSRF above JSR.
@The_Frogacuda I have nothing to argue with you about, I agree that JSRF dropped the more arcade style of gameplay for a more popular at the time open world structure.
Both the games in my opinion are excellent games, Loved the original JSR on the Dreamcast which I played to death (this XBLA port dosnt do it any favors though) and I loved JSRF. Yes they are different kinds of games but both are very enjoyable just for me JSRF is my favored one.
The loose controls for JSRF were never an issue for me, I looked at it as a sort of Marble madness type platformer where you have to compensate for psyhics.
@kekejefferis They are, at the very least, totally different genres of games. We can argue about what JSRF brought to the table, but it abandoned the core gameplay and design of the first game in the process. JSR had this really refined level design where it took skill and technique to achieve infinite grinds and big combos, and this balance of fighting against the clock and increasing numbers of enemies while having to do it. It got really intense trying to keep your combo going amidst all that, brilliant arcade design. JSRF dashed the enemies, the timer, and littered brainless infinite grinds everywhere, in order to put the challenge on platforming.
@kekejefferis I know Gun Valkyrie isnt appreciated by many people, but I think it doesnt hurt to have it in a Smilebit HD collection, along with JSRF and Panzer Dragoon Orta.
@l3igl3oss Gun Valkyrie was awesome if you could get past the learning curve for the controls.
Also Otogi 1-2 would be a nice addition too.
@l3igl3oss Yeah I think the whole Otogi+Smilebit thing comes from the time frame it was released in and just the care and attention to detail that it was given makes it appear like a Smilebit game to me.
It certainly does feel like a classic mech game in controls, I also get alot of Burning Rangers from the Saturn coming from it too.
@kekejefferis Actually, scratch what I said about Gun Valkyrie being more akin to a classic shooter/platformer. The controls remind me of Mech games, only we are controlling jet pack and gun wielding humans.
@kekejefferisYou mention Otogi a lot, but it wasnt made by Smilebit, only published by SEGA. But I agree, they all have stunning graphics.
@l3igl3oss I completely agree with you, GV was one of the first games I brought for the original Xbox and I loved it. It had stunning graphics for it's time too but then the same could be said about Orta, Jsrf & Otogi. Smilebit were way ahead of everything else in graphical terms back then.
Even now Orta still has me slack jawed at its beauty.
I want these games so badly on XBLA
@kekejefferis Well, I look at it as an experimental game, because it got released in such a short time span along with Smilebit´s other XBOX games, that they didnt have time to go past the arcade jet pack simulation shooter into a full blown adventure. It is pretty lacking in terms of setting, enemy design and mission objectives, though in terms of gameplay and controls it is more akin to action shooters with platforming of the 80s and early 90s than modern FPS.