Jet Set Radio
Jet Grind Radio
US Jet Grind Radio Boxart
Developer(s) Smilebit Publisher(s) Sega Designer(s) Shun Arai (Executive producer)
Takayuki Kawagoe (Chief producer)
Osamu Sato (Producer)
Masayoshi Kikuchi (Director)
Composer(s) Yukifumi Makino (Sound producer)
Fumitaka Shibata (Sound director)
Hideki Naganuma (also sound effects)
Platform(s) Dreamcast Release date(s) Genre(s) Action/Platformer Mode(s) Single-player Rating(s)
- ESRB: T
Jet Set Radio (ジェットセットラジオ Jetto Setto Rajio , Jet Grind Radio in North America) is a video game for the Dreamcast, developed by Smilebit and published by Sega on June 29, 2000. A 2D version of the game was later released for Game Boy Advance; this version was developed by Vicarious Visions and published by THQ. Its sequel, Jet Set Radio Future was released 2 years later for the Xbox after SEGA became a software-based company. The game is known for spearheading the use of cel-shaded graphics in video games.
Jet Set Radio was announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 1999 and generated a prodigious amount of press attention due to its use of the then revolutionary rendering technique, cel-shading. Now commonplace in game design, cel-shading allows for a "cartoon-like" appearance of 3D rendered objects. Jet Set Radio was released in Japan on June 29, 2000. The graffiti featured in the game was the work of Banksy collaborator Inkie, who was Sega's head of creative design at the time.
The US release, re-titled Jet Grind Radio because of trademark issues, contained two new maps, various new songs, and other in-game content designed to increase the game's appeal to Western audiences. This version also allowed the user to connect to the Internet via SegaNet and download user-created graffiti tags, or upload tags of their own, as some could also be used to promote other SEGA games. Sales of the game were relatively low, but despite the slumping sales of Jet Set Radio, it has gone on to achieve a cult following in the gaming community.
The game begins in Shibuya-cho, and is introduced by Professor K, the DJ of a pirate radio station based in Tokyo-to, who explains the basics of life in Tokyo-to for a "rudie", the term he uses to refer to young people who roam the streets spraying and skating, as a means of self expression.
The city is split into three parts—Shibuya-cho, Benten-cho, and Kogane-cho, each of which corresponds to a different time of day. Shibuya is a shopping district full of blue skies and daylight, Benten a nocturnal entertainment spot that represents night, and Kogane a mostly residential area, built on the water, where it is perpetually sunset. In each of these areas the player will encounter a rival gang - the Love Shockers in Shibuya, the Noise Tanks in Benten, and Poison Jam in Kogane - that attempts to usurp the GG's home turf. The player starts off forming a skate gang which also resides in Shibuya-cho, and thus forms a rivalry between the gangs in the area. After completing a set of menial challenges, designed to introduce the player to the control system, Gum and Tab join the gang forming the first 3 members of the GG's. The player starts out as Beat, a 17-year-old rudie who ran away from home like many other Japanese rudies. Beat was first shunned from gang to gang over and over again until he decided to start his own gang. Beat is the leader and founder of the GG's, short for "Graffitti Gang/Gangsters". The player first starts out spraying a little graffiti in Shibuya-Cho looking to recruit members. First Gum joins, then Tab. Then, as the game starts diving into its further plot, many other willing "rudies" decide to join your graffiti gang. But they don't offer to join you as simply as possible. All of the new soon-to-be rudies challenge you to a set of three challenges. These challenges are to test your speed and graffitti skills.
The initial stage is set in a Shibuya bus station, in which the player has to "tag" various parts of the bus station, as well as spray over existing tags, so as to gain the area as part of their territory. While tagging these places, the player is pursued by policemen and their leader, Captain Onishima. The police, the S.W.A.T team, and Goji Rokkaku's Golden Rhinos are yet another obstacle to avoid while defeating rival gangs. Also, Professor K narrates specific parts of the game via his eponymous pirate radio station called Jet Set Radio.
Other gangs which feature in the game as opponents are the Noise Tanks, who appear to be semi-cyborg otaku, Poison Jam, brutish thugs who wear fish costumes, and the Love Shockers, an all-girl gang made up of jilted lovers. Once the protagonist defeats each gang they hand over their belongings and grant the area to the graffiti gang that dethroned them. Plus, after defeating a rival gang, they might offer you a "treat".
The upbeat Jet Set Radio soundtrack includes an eclectic array of original and licensed songs combining the musical genres of J-pop, Hip-hop, funk, Electronic dance music, Rock (Guitar Vader, Reps), Acid Jazz, Trip hop, and even (in the NTSC version) metal.
- B.B. Rights - Funky Radio
- Castle Logical - Mischievous Boy
- Deavid Soul - Miller Ball Breakers
- Deavid Soul - On the Bowl (A.Fargus Remix)
- Deavid Soul - Up-Set Attack
- Deavid Soul - Yappie Feet
- F-Fields - Yellow Bream
- Guitar Vader - Magical Girl
- Guitar Vader - Super Brothers
- Hideki Naganuma - Grace and Glory
- Hideki Naganuma - Humming the Bassline
- Hideki Naganuma - Let Mom Sleep
- Hideki Naganuma - Moody's Shuffle
- Hideki Naganuma - Rock It On
- Hideki Naganuma - Sneakman
- Hideki Naganuma - Sweet Soul Brother
- Hideki Naganuma - That's Enough
- Idol Taxi - OK House
- Jurassic 5 - Improvise (North American and PAL versions only)
- Mixmaster Mike - Patrol Knob (North American and PAL versions only)
- Professional Murder Music - Slow (North American version only)
- Reps - 'Bout the City
- Richard Jacques - Everybody Jump Around
- Rob Zombie - Dragula (North American version only)
- Toronto - Electric Tooth Brush
- Feature Cast - Recipe For The Perfect Afro (PAL version only)
- O.B. One - Many Styles (PAL version only)
- Semi Detached - Funky Plucker (PAL version only)
- Deavid Soul - Dunny Boy Williamson Show (Japanese version only)
Jet Set Radio (Game Boy Advance)
A version of Jet Set Radio was released for the Game Boy Advance system in 2003, created by Vicarious Visions, the developers of the numerous Tony Hawk Pro Skater GBA games; and published by THQ. It featured an isometric perspective similar to the GBA Tony Hawk games and, despite the hardware limitations, cartoony graphics were designed to emulate the look of cel-shaded graphics, despite the smaller resolution. Music is reduced to 30 to 45 second samples. The levels ranged from exact duplicates to reminiscent counterparts of the original Jet Set Radio.
De La Jet Set Radio
After the public reported several bugs in the original Japanese version of Jet Set Radio, Sega decided to re-release it under the name of De La Jet Set Radio ("Deluxe" Jet Set Radio). This version was only sold in Japan via Dreamcast Direct (later renamed Sega Direct) making it one of the more rare Dreamcast titles available. The gameplay in this version was easier to pick up and included the added music from the PAL and North American versions, including the two levels only included in these two versions. The text featured in the game is localized in the main language of your Dreamcast, unlike the original Japanese version, which means that if your Dreamcast system is set to English language, the text in the game will be in English. The same goes for Japanese, German, French and Spanish. However, the voices remain Japanese.
The game was received exceedingly well from online sources and magazines. Many have praised the style of the game as the matching soundtrack with up-tempo music. Critics also applauded the simplistic "pick-up and play" arcade style gameplay. The lowest review received was a 70% rating (3.5 out of 5) from Independent Gamer. IGN gave the game a 9.6 rating but criticized the camera control, saying, "You'll spend weeks thinking 'Why don't all games look like this?'. Then you'll spend a month wondering why the camera wasn't fixed in the development." The lack of multiplayer was also criticized.
In 2009 the main antagonist of the game, Captain Onishima, was ranked 95th in IGN's "Top 100 Videogame Villains" list.
Jet Set Radio Future
Said to be a sequel, yet also a prequel to Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future, was developed for the Xbox and released in Japan on February 22, 2002, in North America on February 25, 2002 (under the title JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future) and in Europe on March 14, 2002 as a launch game for the console. The game's style and cel-shaded graphics remained faithful to the original, although somewhat improved to take advantage of the Xbox hardware.
Appearances in other games
Two of Jet Set Radio's characters, Beat and Gum, are playable characters in the sports title, Sega Superstars Tennis. A tennis court is based on the game, with other characters from the game watching the match. Beat also features as a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, taking his looks from Jet Set Radio Future, where his All-Star move is speeding through the track on his skates, spraying graffiti on his foes. There are several race tracks based on the game as well. Goji Rokkaku makes a cameo in Yakuza.
- E3 2000 Game Critics Awards: Winner for Best Console Game, runner-up for Best in Show
- 2001 Game Developers Choice Awards: Winner of Excellence in Visual Arts and Game Innovation Spotlights awards, nominated for Game of the Year
- 4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (2001): nominated for Game Design, Game of the Year, Console Game of the Year, Console Innovation, Original Music Composition, Sound Design, and Visual Engineering
Notes and references
- ^ "TGS: Sega Shows Jet Grind Radio". September 1999. http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/action/jetgrindradio/news.html?sid=2461289. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- ^ "Inkie". filthymodernart.com. http://www.filthymodernart.com/artists/inkie. Retrieved August 31, 2011. "[...] his graffiti featured in SEGA’s seminal video game Jet Set Radio."
- ^ Joseph, Claudia (2008-07-12). "Graffiti artist Banksy unmasked ... as a former public schoolboy from middle-class suburbia". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1034538/Graffiti-artist-Banksy-unmasked---public-schoolboy-middle-class-suburbia.html. Retrieved August 31, 2011. "Those arrested included Tom Bingle (aka Inkie) [...] who is now head of creative design at the computer games manufacturer Sega."
Jet Set Radio video games Sega franchisesAfter Burner • Alex Kidd • Billy Hatcher • Bonanza Bros. • Chu Chu Rocket • Columns • Crazy Taxi • Daytona USA • Fantasy Zone • Football Manager • Golden Axe • The House of the Dead • Jet Set Radio • Landstalker • NiGHTS • Out Run • Panzer Dragoon • Phantasy Star • Puyo Puyo • Sakura Wars • Samba de Amigo • Sega Bass Fishing • Sega Rally • Sega Superstars • Shenmue • Shining • Shinobi • Sonic the Hedgehog • Space Channel 5 • Space Harrier • Streets of Rage • Super Monkey Ball • Total War • Valkyria Chronicles • Virtua Cop • Virtua Fighter • Virtua Striker • Virtua Tennis • Virtual On • Wonder Boy • Yakuza
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