Jet Grind Radio

aka: Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio HD
Moby ID: 4126
Dreamcast Specs
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Description official descriptions

Tokyo-to, a city not unlike Tokyo, somewhere in Asia, in the near future. This is the story about the GG's, one of three rival teenage gangs who ride motorised inline skates and are tagging the streets with graffiti. There is a turf war going on between the gangs GG's, the Poison Jam, and the high-tech freaks, the Noise Tanks. The evil Rokkaku Corporation has the corrupt police in their grasp, and, headed by Captain Onishima, the cops are hell-bent on subduing the unruly teen protagonists. But there is light in the darkness: the underground DJ, "Professor K," and his Jet Set Radio station keep tabs on what is happening on the streets of Tokyo-to, and soon our teens will have something much darker than the police to worry about.

As one of the GG's, you skate through a variety of different levels, from busy streets to run-down rooftops and smelly sewers where you learn new moves, collect spray cans, and tag the streets with graffiti. New graffiti designs can be unlocked by finding "Graffiti Souls" in levels, by designing new graffiti yourself, or by going online and downloading any images you find while browsing the internet. Fight the rival gangs "Poison Jam" and the "Noise Tanks", the evil mega-corporation Rokkaku and their police cronies in this fresh take on the platform genre, mixing traditional platform elements with skating similar to that of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. Players are scored on their performance in a level, both on the level of graffiti attempted as well as optional tags and skating tricks. As the game progresses challenge maps open that test the player's ability to do larger tags, more tricks, or race against an opponent.

The American and European release contained two new levels based on New York. The story and order that you meet characters was modified to include these two levels. Both releases also have different unique soundtracks for these levels.

The 2012 HD version has widescreen HD graphics and a new camera system, as well as all the original songs but one.

Spellings

  • ジェット セット ラジオ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Dreamcast version)

138 People (126 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 59 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 100 ratings with 7 reviews)

My favorite Dreamcast game

The Good
JGR uses cell shading technology which makes the game's graphics look kind of cartoony, but in a good way. Very smooth animations and cool graffiti. The soundtrack was totally awesome and I loved it. Though it probably doesn't appeal to all. It's a mix of techno and rap. There were also a few hard rock songs thrown in there.

There are a lot of different characters you can use and many different modes of play, which give the game a big replay factor, even if the story is somewhat short. It'll take you a while to find all the different pieces of graffiti. I love the fact that you can go through the storyline again and again.

The Bad
It seemed a bit too short, at least the story part of the game. There was also slowdown and the load times were too long and too often. It's hard to find too much wrong with the gameplay. The last boss was also quite easy.

The sequel (Jet Set Radio Future) will be on Xbox, instead of the canned DC. :-(

The Bottom Line
A wonderful mix of graffiti and roller-blading, and definitely worth the cheap price it's at now. A great game that has been somewhat overlooked.

Dreamcast · by Attila (553) · 2002

Wonderfully stylish game, but...

The Good
The graphics and overall style of the game is very good and unique and all that stuff. Certainly it was refreshing to see when it first came out. The music gets boring pretty fast but it well made and fits the game nicely. Even though I'm not much into "hip kids owning the streets" or whatever, the story and presentation works fine.
It is a very fun game, in fact I think it's one of the best games for the Dreamcast. And it's still almost unique, the sequel for the Xbox is pretty much the same game.
The level design is mostly wonderful, even if there really are just five different areas to skate around in. The individual stages of the game are smaller or bigger parts of these areas, and upon finishing the game you can choose to play individual levels, or skate around the areas as you wish.
There are three different challenges you can take on upon completion of the game, and these can be done as many times as you want, in any order, or not at all. They are JET Graffiti, JET Technique, and JET Crush. In other words, the graffiti challenge, the trick challenge, and the race challenge. Unfortunately there is no two-player mode, which is a real bummer.
The music is good, the tracks are very skillfully mixed into each other throughout the game, and there is much variation.

The Bad
The controls. Oh man, the controls seriously ruin the experience for me, and indeed for anyone I know who has played this game.
Simple things like running up a set of stairs or wallskating to tag something can get very frustrating and often requires many replays. And the worst part is that I don't know if it's Sega's fault for designing the Dreamcast's abomination of a controller, or if it's just poor programming. Which brings us to the trick system. As far as I have been able to figure out, all tricks are random, the manual doesn't really mention them, and that's a big bummer. Something more like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater would have been preferable. As it is now, you only have to use three buttons (A, L and R) to play the game. Would it not have been a good idea to use B, X and Y to perform tricks? Getting a high score on all levels certainly would have been more fun and challenging if there were actual tricks to perform, not just jumping and grinding, hoping that the character will do some nice tricks along the way.
And the fact that there's always a time limit makes me so stressed out that I almost don't want to play it. But I paid for it so I have to. Also, the game's menus are extremely annoying, think Medal of Honor x10.
There should have been a two-player mode, I do however think that it would require two Dreamcasts linked in some way, since the graphics can slow down quite a bit in the single player mode, and I shudder to think what would happen in split screen mode.
The system for designing one's own graffiti tags is quite simple, and could have been better, perhaps utilizing a system similar to Animal Crossing's system for designing patterns for use in the game. There used to be downloadable graffiti tags and other goodies, but I have no idea if there are any official servers left, since the Dreamcast's untimely demise.

The Bottom Line
Great eyecandy, ok music, pretty fun game hampered by extremely frustrating controls, overly simplistic trick system and a long, boring loading/warning-don't-do-this-at-home sequence in the beginning...it is however worth the small amount of money you'd spend on it. It is a fun game, but be prepared for some extremely frustrating moments, and it's all because of the controls.
However, I seriously feel that not even the controls can spoil the fact that this is, in my opinion, one of the top three games for the Dreamcast, and if you don't own this, you suck.

Dreamcast · by optrirominiluikus (70) · 2006

Bring in da tunes...bring in da tricks...JET SET RADIO IS IN DA HOUSE!!!

The Good
Sega's a company with a lot of guts; they'll release some of the wackiest and weirdest games ever known to man, and some may succeed, some may be cult classics, and some may fail. I don't know where Jet Set Radio ended up, but I do know this: tell me of any other game that mixes rollerblading, racing, action, and spraypainting. I'll bet no one can. Jet Set Radio is simply one of the coolest, most original, and all out quirkiest ideas Sega's ever come up with. I bought this out of sheer curiosity and ended up with one of my favorite Dreamcast games ever made. Let's move on and see how the game stacks up.

Well, first there's the whole story and premise: somewhere in Asia is a city called Tokyo-to (although it's really obvious that the game obviously is taking place in Tokyo, Japan), where several gangs roam the streets. In the district of Kogane-cho are the Poison Jam; in the district of Benten-cho are the Noise Tanks, and then in Shibuya-cho, we have the game's heroes (or good guys, if you insist): the GG's.In the center of it all is the pirate radio station Jet Set Radio, manned by funkmaster DJ Professor K, who is the man on the street who knows everything that goes on in Tokyo-to. He'll keep you informed during the game of the latest news from the street. But to continue on, someone invaded the GG's territory and tagged (or spraypainted) their graffiti somewhere in Shibuya-cho. Of course, since Shibuya-cho's the coolest section of Tokyo-to and the GG's aren't up to sharing, they have to defend their territory from rival gangs. But there's one more problem: the fuzz want to eliminate all the gangs to, as they say "make the streets safer", but it's just an excuse for them to throw everyone into jail for life. So now you've got several objectives: go and steal the other gangs' hangouts by tagging them with your own graffiti, and avoid the cops at any cost. So each level basically works like this: tag designated locations marked by arrows, avoid the cops as much as possible, and grind through the stages while performing some really wicked tricks.

If you're going to ask about stuff like "Well, I guess there are enemies and such, right?", then the answer is yes. You have rival gangs to deal with, the cops, Police Chief Onishima (a.k.a. "Shorty"), and later in the game a deadly group called the Golden Rhinos. The cops are pretty tough to deal with: they are all nuts, and love using tools of mass destruction. The worst of the lot is Onishima, who chases your characters and shoots rubber bullets at them. Thankfully, you can also tag Shorty and get him off your tail, as well as choppers, which crash when their windshields are sprayed. But if you thought the cops were bad, wait till you run into the Golden Rhinos...

The tag system is rather easy to use: when you come to any place that can be tagged, a thought bubble will appear over your character's head, meaning they're ready to tag. Tags come in several sizes: small graffiti, which takes only one blast of paint to tag; large graffiti, which takes 3 cans; and extra large, which can take up to 11 cans. Tagging larger graffiti requires several circle strokes with the analog stick, so keep your hands steady while tagging so you don't waste cans.

Controls are easy to handle. Tricks are done more or less automatically, so you don't have to worry about complicated button combos for them. The A button jumps, the R trigger makes you dash, and the L trigger controls camera angles and tagging. That's it!

Now, let's move on to graphics, sounds, and music. The graphics in this game are freakin' EXCELLENT!!! Everything is drawn and rendered using cel-shaded graphics, lending a VERY cool hand-drawn look to everything. Everyone and everything is drawn in really good detail, but still retaining the look of an anime of some kind. The sounds are also of amazing quality, with plenty of voice effects, lots of ambient sounds, and of course, the sounds of grinding and skating abound. As for the music...there's a TON of damn good music in JSR, ranging from rock to hip-hop, from dance to techno, and everything in between. Some of the best pieces include "Let Mom Sleep", "Yappie Feet", "Up-Set Attack", "Magical Girl", and the final boss theme, "Grace and Glory". So why doesn't someone tell me where a JSR soundtrack CD can be bought so I can buy the damn thing already? ^_^

The Bad
Combining the camera and tag functions into one button is a pain in the ass sometimes, and a few of the selectable characters are kinda worthless. Your best bets are to use Beat, Tab, Garam, Combo, and Cube for main stages, Mew for speed stages, and Gum for some of the rival stages.

Also, seeing its sequel on the Xbox and not on the 'Cast or PS2 is a bit disheartening...>_<...guess that means ANOTHER system to buy...

The Bottom Line
For game-starved Dreamcast owners, this is a definite must-have. It's original as hell, and a LOT of fun to boot.

JET SET RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Dreamcast · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2002

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Dreamcast version of Jet Set Radio appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Soundtrack

Sega released a soundtrack for the Japanese version of Jet Set Radio.

Tracks List:

    1. Let Mom Sleep
    1. Humming The Bassline
    1. That's Enough
    1. Everybody Jump Around
    1. Sneakman
    1. Bout The City
    1. Mischievous Boy
    1. Sweet Soul Brother
    1. Rock It On
    1. Yellow Bream
    1. Electric Tooth Brush
    1. Funky Radio
    1. Moody's Shuffle
    1. Grace & Glory
    1. Jet Set Medley
    1. Jet Set Station / Toronto Feat.Dj-K
    1. Jet Set Groove #1
    1. Jet Set Groove #2

Those who preordered the American version of the game received a "Jet Grind Radio Music Sampler" soundtrack CD featuring music by the artists added for the American release of the game. The track listing is: * 1. Rob Zombie - Dragula * 2. Rob Zombie - What Lurks on Channel X * 3. Jurassic 5 - Improvise * 4. Mix Master Mike - Patrol Knob * 5. Cold - Just Got Wicked * 6. Professional Murder Music - Slow * 7. Shuvel - Set It Off * 8. Shuvel - Hit List * 9. Lefty - Girls * 10. Jurassic 5 - Improvise (Instrumental)

Tokyo

The three districts of Tokyo-to are actually the names of real districts of the real city of Tokyo in Japan. They are Benten-cho, Kogane-cho, and Shibuya-cho. The names of the real districts are simply Benten, Kogame, and Shibuya, but the "-cho" suffix can be added, as "-cho" simply means "district" or "area" in Japanese.

Version differences

The original Japanese version, did not contain the levels featuring Cube and Combo (Grind Square was one of these levels). When the game was brought to the USA, the name was changed to Jet Grind Radio and these extra levels were added. Songs from Rob Zombie were also added. Although, during the game, DJ Professor K still refers to the radio station as "Jet Set Radio". The US version of Jet Set Radio got a limited release in Japan as well, called De La Jet Set Radio. This version was released only through the Dreamcast/SEGA Direct system, and is completely in English.

In Europe, the game kept its original title and had the extra levels. It does not have the Rob Zombie songs. It also has some differently translated dialogue from the USA version.

Information also contributed by 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro-, David Mackenzie, Opipeuter and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Goteki45.

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows added by Lance Boyle. PS Vita added by Sciere. Android, iPhone, iPad added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Satoshi Kunsai, Sciere, Foxhack, Keeper Garrett, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added May 21, 2001. Last modified March 23, 2024.