🐳 How many games has Beethoven been credited on? (answer)

Jet Grind Radio

aka: Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio HD

[ All ] [ Android ] [ Dreamcast ] [ iPad ] [ iPhone ] [ PlayStation 3 ] [ PS Vita ] [ Windows ] [ Xbox 360 ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 88% (based on 59 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 98 ratings with 7 reviews)

Gameplay almost as unique as the graphical style

The Good
The tricks are extremely easy to pull off, which actually makes them a little less satisfying. The object of the game is to skate around levels, performing tricks, and spraypainting ("tagging") over the graffiti creations of rival teams. Of course, that'd be too easy on its own, so the keisatsu (police force) are hot on your heels too. There's also the slight problem of rival gangs that you have to chase after every so often.

The graffiti spraying part of the game is done with a Simon-says entry style (think Parappa the Rapper). When you skate up to an area that you can tag (marked by an appropriately colored arrow), a series of arrows appear on-screen. You have to move the analog stick in the right direction to match the arrows, and after a few repeats, the rival teams' tag will be completely covered over with one of your choice (more on that later). Red arrows indicate an area that must be tagged in order to complete the level. Green arrows indicate areas you can tag if you want bonus points.

They're some pretty simple mechanics, with a varied number of skating tricks and environments to keep things interesting - a classic Sega recipe. As a result, Jet Set Radio's gameplay is so simple that it's even a joy to re-play, and is pure gold the first time through.

Another damn fun feature is the tag creator. The game comes with a huge number of great looking tags already, but you can always create your own with the built in editor. People that find this a little lacking in the features department can just as easily use Photoshop, and upload the file to a web server as a JPEG image, because the game can convert images saved to the memory card from the Dreamcast web browser into game textures.

The game runs at a near-constant 30 frames per second. When slowdown occurs, it's usually because of smoke or sprite transparency effects - thankfully this isn't much and rarely affects gameplay. Jet Set's cel-shading technique requires double the polygon count to display characters, due to the fact that they are heavily outlined in black. This means that the developers can't make the character geometry quite as detailed as they otherwise could, so you might sometimes notice a rough edge here and there. It's pure luck that the comic-like visual style of the game soaks this up nicely and if anything, makes the end result more stylish.

This game uses licensed music tracks, which could make it or break it for some. While I didn't find many of the songs especially good, they certainly weren't bad either and seemed to match the feel of the game. You can always turn the Background Music level to zero, if you seriously don't like them. NOTE: The American NTSC version has a few extra licensed music tracks by Rob Zombie, that play over the Grind City level. I have played this version and in my opinion they fit in with the rest of the tracks quite badly. This might be of interest to you if you have access to either version of the game. The voice effects are also good and the characters'll give a cry of "nice!" or "cool!" when you pull off stunts. It's a pity there's no voice-overs for the the cut scenes (which are delivered in real-time, there is no FMV in the game).

The Bad
If there's any faults with this area of the game, the controls could be seen as a little questionable. At times they feel as though they could be more sensitive, and they certainly take some getting used to. Die-hard fans of games such as the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series might also be annoyed at the simplicity of the skating tricks - they're more or less random and you don't get too much control over them, which can make them less satisfying than they could be for some.

There is some polygonal warping and draw-in, but nothing to lose sleep over. Slightly more severe are the shimmering/flickering effects that some of the textures produce. These can be an eyesore but again don't get in the way too much.

The 50hz PAL version is poor. The mentioned anti-aliasing problems are worsened making a very flickery image, although the game isn't as bordered as badly as it might be. This is irrelevant however as Jet Set Radio supports PAL60.

The game's menus aren't too well laid out. After quite a slow boot-up (hampered by a message that reminds you that vandalism isn't cool and crime doesn't pay, yaddayadda), you're presented with a menu screen that gives you the option of New Game, Load Game, and Tutorial. The Tutorial is pretty poor and does nearly nothing but let you skate around the games' Bus Terminal area with a few on-screen prompts, and is fairly useless anyway since selecting New Game gives you a much better set of practice challenges. Once you load a game, you'll get another series of options, presented in a pretty cool way - you press the left and right directional buttons to cycle around different areas in the skate gang's garage hideout. This lets you do stuff like listen to background music, browse the internet to download new tags (if your DC is connected to a phone line), or start a new level. The annoying thing is, if you want to change memory card file, you'll need to reset the whole system over, and that means going through the long, boring bootup sequence. It'd surely have been a better idea to combine these two menu systems into one. Even still, it's hardly worth complaining about.

The Bottom Line
Jet Set Radio is just one of these games that's looked back upon by Dreamcast owners so fondly. When it was released, the relatively new cel-shading technique wowed gamers everywhere, with the grungy urban-style visuals that it rendered. It's a must for every Dreamcast owner. The gameplay is almost as unique as the graphical style, the sound fits the on-screen action perfectly, and the whole style is just so damn cool. So go ahead - paint the town red. Or green.... aquamarine..... orange - what ails ya.

OVERALL: 9/10 (www.lyris.tk)

Dreamcast · by David Mackenzie (47) · 2003

Not Quite Tony Hawk, Not Quite Mario Paint, Not Quite Like Anything Else...

The Good
The game itself is quite lengthy and extremely fresh. There is just enough emphasis placed on the skating aspect of the game without distracting from the graffiti. Unlike other skating style games, there isn't too much pressure on the player to pull off tricks - points are awarded for those who do though. As for the graffiti aspect of the game, it is quite unique. Whenever "tagging" on a wall or object, you are prompted with a control stick movement that you need to execute. This almost makes the game feel like a rhythm game. Overall, the levels are well designed and the characters are comical. I strongly recommend this title to any Dreamcast owner and to anyone looking for a wonderfully fun romp.

The Bad
At times the controls can be incredibly frustrating. Jumping from place to place can feel unnatural and speeding up doesn't always feel the same. Also - some frustrating, repetitive jumping challenges await you on the levels where you go against new characters.

The Bottom Line
A hyper-stylized, visual treat with some of the most fun bits to be found in any game from this era.

Dreamcast · by Steve Thompson (87) · 2005

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

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.


Dreamcast · by Satoshi Kunsai (2021) · 2002

A visual feast

The Good
Most obviously is the graphical style. I don't know if this was the first game to use cel shading, but it was the first I played that used it. Every part of Tokyo-to is stunningly realised in a cartoony style. No part of the town is shoddily done, every part has been taken time over, and this extends to other aspects of the game.

The idea of graffiti hadn't been tackled before in a game, at least in this sense, where you are actually doing the graffiti. This was a brave move from Sega, and even got them in trouble when they held a graffiti contest to promote the game.

The music was perfectly selected, supporting the game at all times with tunes that you just had to tap your feet to. The characters voices were all well done too, especially DJ professor K, who expanded the story at several points, including many bizarre references to personal hygiene.

Finally the noise that the police make while they chase you, I'll always remember 'hup hup hup hup hup hup hup'

The Bad
The fact that you didn't choose which trick you would perform each time you jumped, or attempted to grind a rail. Perhaps this would've detracted from the overall game experience, as it was mainly about the graffiti and avoiding the law.

The Bottom Line
A very brave and individual game. The cel shaded graphics put this game in a league of it's own, if you find this game cheap I seriously recommend you buy it over it's X-Box sequel, Jet Set Radio Future.

Dreamcast · by Tracer__ (11) · 2003

Jet Set Radio, Radio!

The Good
Jet Grind Radio is a wonderfully original game lets list what the many things is the first to do first to use Cel Shading, first to have a game about Spraying Graffiti and one of the first games to have licensed music. In the game you play as a gang called the GG’S which compete with other gangs like the Poison Jam from the city of dusk, Noise Tanks from the city of the night, and your gang is from the city of the day in a futuristic Tokyo where it is illegal for youths to express themselves the game begins when a newcomer gang hits you’re home turf and you have to get it back and in no surprise the cops try to stop you at first its just beat cops then slowly escalates to dogs, SWAT, Paratroopers, helicopters, and tanks. Once you take a territory you have to do a sort of “battle” in which you spray the backs of the gang members sort of silly which brings another point to mind I’ve seen reviews trashing this game one of their complaints being its too overblown but that is intentional to parody how overblown other Japanese entertainment can get. The music is one of the best game soundtracks ever except for Super Brother and you’ll hear a song end and it gets mixed with the beginning of the next song like a real DJ would do Perfection.

The Bad
Now the Bad the camera can be sloppy and the controls take some getting used to specially the spraying technique of course now I have mastered it playing it since it first came out and have beaten it about 100 times now I can get a jet rating on every level.

The Bottom Line
Overall I think the good out weighs the bad this is my favorite Dreamcast game and favorite game of all time.

Dreamcast · by Classic Nigel (108) · 2006

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

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, Big John WV, Ace of Sevens, lights out party, Jeanne, SlyDante, vedder, Riemann80, Kohler 86, Alsy, mikewwm8, coenak, Patrick Bregger, Parf, eradix, Gianluca Santilio, Kabushi, Arejarn, Tim Janssen, yellowshirt, jaXen, Opipeuter.