A highly innovative game, with plenty of fun and difficulty to go around.
Anyways! Guess what game we're reviewing? (If you don't know, check the game where this review is on and then slap yourself to make sure you're still on the same planet as me.) JET SET RADIO: FUTURE! Gosh, took you long enough…And ouch, I didn't tell you to slap yourself so hard! The backstory I have with this game might help to ease the sting yes? Well, as it turns out, in 2001, when I was 5 years old, I had just gotten a relatively new Playstation 2 for Christmas and was very happy with some of the games I had already played on the console such as Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (which was my favorite game I had ever played up to that point.) Once Christmas drifted by in 2002 though, my grandmother realized we (me and my younger brother) were over at her house quite often (usually one or two weekends a month) which gave my parents a lot of time to do date stuff and not have two young children to deal with so much. Now, even though my grandma is freaking awesome, and there was always something to do (especially eat) there, she sort of realized that we were getting pretty big into video games (mainly just me) and she thought it would be a good idea to take me into Best Buy and have me pick out a console I could play at her house while we spent the days over there. When we got in there, I remember the distinct smile on the guys face who randomly decided to help us out, and when my grandma told him what was going down, he immediately looked to me and asked if I had any questions about the three main consoles at the time. (At this time was the Gamecube, the Xbox, and of course, the PS2) Keep in mind I looked pretty grown up for a 6 year old, looked more 8 than anything else so I wasn't surprised the guy decided to ask me if I had any questions. I thought about this a good long moment, thinking first on the console I had already formed a bond with in the Playstation 2 and thinking that maybe I should try and get a different console just because I already could play with the Ps2 all the time at my parents' house. So then, my mind wandered on the GameCube, which believe it or not… as a kid, I wasn't formally introduced to Nintendo yet as my mom was a Sega person as a kid and my dad didn't care about video games. I grew up on Sega and Sony consoles, so I hadn't really played Mario or Zelda except for moderately on my Gameboy, where I was mainly into Pokemon. The game lineup on the Gamecube didn't look all that interesting to me on the GC, so finally, it was onto the Xbox, which my best bud Javier actually picked up a little while before. When I asked the Best Buy guy for a difference between the Xbox and the PS2, and he said it mainly had to with the exclusive games on the Xbox not being very good at the time, (I agree with him completely that the Xbox had pretty shitty exclusives during its first year.) But he also said some other minor things like it had "potential" ( a word I really didn't understand back then) and that the console tended to freeze more than the PS2 but the graphics looked better in his opinion. None of that really mattered though, the GC didn't interest me, and the Xbox actually looked sort of interesting to me simply because of it's design, and one game in particular. When I saw this game, Jet Set Radio: Future, I was pretty enthralled with the art on the cover, but also the concept of roller skating and spray painting that sounds pretty silly, but 6 year old me thought that sounded pretty damn cool. So, I decided to pick this game up along with others. (One ended up being the famous first Halo.) What did I think of JSRF?
I thought it was great, innovative, flashy, fun, and it really holds up after revisiting it today. Everything done here was done right, and completely felt like an experience I never had before. I mean, maybe it was because my mom gave up on Sega and bought a Ps1 and Ps2 and I was never introduced to Jet Grind Radio, but this game even now after many other gaming experiences, still feels completely and utterly fresh. Let us begin with a short synopsis of the story, and I will give you my opinion of it after yeah? Well, in Tokyo a police force has pretty much taken over the city with hatred and lameness and all that's left to keep the force at bay is a few street gangs, one being yours, the GGs. I think this story is awesome, especially considering all the elements of originality and striking out with all the art and the rebellious style of skating this gang does. All the main characters in the game, despite having pretty much no dialogue, have pretty apparent personalities just through the analysis of the DJ on the radio station that's tuned throughout the game, and how they yell (which sounds silly) but every time they do a trick, they express a phrase or something that really can give some insight on personality they have. Speaking of the radio station though, the soundtrack in this game is absolutely FANTASTIC. I'm not a big techno/electronic fan, but frankly, this soundtrack blew me away on the basis of it's sheer originality and epic soundedness/catchiness. I'm pretty sure you can listen to this soundtrack somewhere online, and I'd advise you to do just this, as it is very much worth your time in it's quality and feel. As for the gameplay, you mainly go around and skate in epic locations in the city of Tokyo and spray paint over that territory's gang graffiti, and eventually they will come out, challenge you to a race or other misc. challenges, and one of their gang members will join your cause. Meanwhile, you have to fight off the Shukaku (police force) and of course, explore the city to your hearts content. The graphics are very appealing to me, and the art style is very memorable and pretty unique. As for the gameplay itself, I really only have one minor complaint, and that is in the fact that it got rather repetitive after awhile and the city didn't hold my interest after I had been in every nook and cranny the game had to offer. As for just a blunt summary to that gameplay, the skating was smooth, everything, in fact, was smooth and fluent and it really shows the quality of game they released here. Aside from a few camera problems here and there, missions becoming repetitive and somewhat tedious, everything skated on pretty well in this Xbox Original classic that should easily warrant a sequel someday. This is the most fun I've had playing a game in quite some time, and I'd love to go back and play through the game 100 percent again someday.
I strongly recommend this to anyone.
Now as sort of an exit summary, I'm sure many of you are wondering what I thought of the Xbox console in itself. Well, even though I didn't like it as much as the Gamecube (which I got for Christmas that year as well ironically XD) and of course, my favorite console, the PS2, I still thought and still think the original Xbox has a lot to offer. I'm sure I will do some more reviews for games I loved as a child soon, and I know one of them is going to have to be on this system. The guy in the Best Buy was right, the console did have potential! And it definitely fulfilled it with some memorable classics such as Jet Set Radio Future!