of the more memorable games on the late Dreamcast was Jet Grind
Radio. This game was the first to showcase cel-shading animation
on any console. Jet Grind Radio also caused a stir over the
"glorification" of graffiti. The powers at Sega decided
that slapping a disclaimer before the game starts can fix any
problem. While many games that start controversies can be quite
lame, Jet Grind Radio proved to be the diamond in the rough in the
Dreamcast’s game library. Naturally, Sega decided to churn out a
sequel for the Xbox gaming system named Jet Set Radio Future. It
manages to capture the same charm showcased by the original game as
well as making a few updates for the future.
has caused quite a stir in the gaming world recently thanks to
Nintendo’s announcement to use cel-shading techniques in the next Zelda
game. For some reason, people seem to forget that there are
cel-shaded games out in the world and that they actually look great.
Jet Set Radio Future looks excellent. Hands down, this is one of the
finer looking Xbox games out there. Sure, it doesn’t look
realistic, but this game is not designed around a realistic world.
Since the characters are exaggerated and humorous, why should the
graphic style be serious and stern? The colorful graphics match the
colorful world. Speaking of the game world, the world present in Jet
Set Radio Future is massive and completely connected. It is a
massive city with people everywhere. Thankfully, the problems of
graphical slowdowns have been solved in this game. The graffiti
artwork in this game is extremely colorful and matches the world.
Objects also seem more dimensional in this game. Everything had an
almost paper look in Jet Grind Radio, but objects and people now
look like they have depth.
gameplay for Jet Set Radio Future is one of those styles that people
either love or hate. If you’re looking for a realistic inline
skating game, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a genuinely
fun game, this is your stop. You skate around areas of the city and
spray paint graffiti. Tricks can be performed, but they are done
automatically by simply jumping into the air. Grinds are also
automatic. You have to land on a rail and it automatically grinds
until you decide to jump off (or the rail ends). You do not have to
worry about landing tricks or balancing it. This simplistic game
design is one of the major reasons some people do not like this
series. However, I think that a realistic skating scheme in Jet Set
Radio Future would take away the enjoyment of the game. Without
having to worry about landing grinds and tricks, players can become
immersed in the game’s environment and spend more time looking for
places to spray paint.
level design bears a striking resemblance to the stages in the
Dreamcast game, but they are massive and contain additions. There is
only load times when going from one area of the city to another.
Even then, the load times are not that long. The city itself is as
colorful as the characters and each section has a different style of
environment. The city was created in great detail and players
actually feel like they’re in a city, not a generic neighborhood.
create-a-graffiti option is done well. Players can design their own
graffiti designs for use in the game. You can choose a variety of
colors and sizes. While it can be hard to create great looking
designs, the feature is still fun to play around with.
to the series is a multiplayer option. One of the major problems
with Jet Grind Radio was the lack of a multiplayer mode. Jet Set
Radio Future adds a multiplayer mode. While it isn’t a cooperation
mode, it does pit multiple players against each other in a variety
of contests. Its fun, but somehow isn’t as addictive as Tony Hawk
3’s multiplayer modes. Hopefully in the next installment, a
cooperation mode is added.
soundtrack of Jet Set Radio Future is decent. If you cannot stand
techno, mute the TV and put on your own CD. Like the original game,
Jet Set Radio Future only has techno tracks. While they are decent,
they can get repetitive and near annoying. My major problem is the
fact that the Xbox hard drive is not utilized for custom
soundtracks. Addictive games like this almost scream for custom
soundtracks, and for some reason developers do not utilize the
use of cel-shading
though it's great, it makes me wish for a realistic inline game
Set Radio Future further proves why Sega is one of the top
developers out there. They manage to bring a great looking and
addictive game to life on the Xbox with only minor errors (like an
annoying soundtrack and the lack of a cooperation mode). If you own
an Xbox, you should buy this game.