#443 Jet Set Radio

Posted: 27th August 2021 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

992nd played so far

Genre: Action
Platform: Dreamcast
Year of Release: 2000
Developer: Smilebit
Publisher: Sega

Back when we played Jet Set Radio Future it really felt like we found an odd piece.ย  While we obviously have plenty of other skateboarding games, with Tony Hawk‘s games being great, this game’s graffiti focus in a dystopian future made the skateboarding and its tricks almost secondary.

We lamented playing the game out of order back then as we focused on some other collections, and apparently we ended up saving the original until pretty close to the end of the list. We still see how that holds up and how the original was different.

Our Thoughts

We still have a very stylized skateboarding game with Jet Set Radio, but while the sequel seemed to focus more on tricks and physics-defying stunts, Jet Set Radio focuses more on straight up skateboarding. It still doesn’t all make physical sense, but the training is its own challenge level where it expects you to grind for a long time – and only when you realize that’s optional for playing the game do you start to see how finishing the training level is something for advanced players.

Where I struggled mostly – and I’ll admit this is partially because I played the PC port, which I suspect wouldn’t work as well as the designed controller – are the controls. They are fairly awkward and I’ve found it quite difficult to turn corners. It made it quite difficult to avoid the enemies in each level as well, especially with the lack of hiding places in the first levels.

The aesthetic really makes you push past a lot of that, though. The punk feel of it really adds to that rebel element, which carries through in the design of the different characters even where those are difficult to unlock. The use of graffiti adds to that and the whole set up creates this stylized feel that really worked to connect with me. While the music wasn’t quite as memorable as Jet Set Radio Future, it was still pretty good here.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve played the sequel, we’ve seen a game that is refined and focused more on the elements we enjoyed – the ridiculous stunts, the music and the entire style of the game that feels inspired by the graffiti you spread in this game. It’s a bit more arcade-like here, as well as frustrating as you need to memorize the levels, but it’s good as long as it doesn’t expect you to skate and do tricks – the levels where you had to do them in a specific order where I couldn’t pull that off were frustrating enough to put me off playing the game for longer.