This is a really bad ass looking game for the Sega Dreamcast. It is due out in the states on September 1, 2000. The game centers around kids on rollerblades 'tagging' graffiti on buildings and public transportation. The cool parts of this game are the smooth control and the style. The characters are 3D animated models rendered in flat anime style animation. The look and feel of this game are incredible. Here is what the Sega site has to say about it.


The Tokyo government is trying to silence kids, but the cops have to catch 'em first--the kids have Overdrive Magnetic-Motor Skating Shoes. And the Jet Set Radio keeps them unified and inspired to fight for their right of expression. Design your own piece of graffiti art on an immense wall in the 3D interactive city. Join like-minded hipsters who help you guard your territory from turf-grabbing adversaries. The cops are after you, too--so be quick. The 10 cartoon-style characters are pumped up with polygons so they come alive in 3D on Sega Dreamcast. Each character has exclusive abilities and style. They like to show off too--18 missions provide plenty of time to impress. It's fast, fun, funky.
Name: Jet Grind Radio
Developed By: Smilebit
Published By: SEGA
Year Released: 2001

Description: Jet Grind Radio is a unique blend of a super-simplified rollerblading simulation, a futuristic world, and graffiti.

Jet Grind Radio (released as Jet Set Radio in Japan) is one of the most original, distinctive-looking, and fun games to come along in a while. In the futuristic city of Tokyo-to, street gangs known as Ruders mark their territories with graffiti, and use superfast inline skates to run away from the horribly repressive cops.

The look is marvelous - it was one of the first games to use the cel-shading technique to make polygonal figures look like they were hand animated, and it works very well. Combined with the superb character and level design, and you've got a game that you just can't look away from.

The second aspect of the game is the gameplay. You'll have a series of missions to carry out in the various burbs of Tokyo-to; each one involves tagging certain areas with graffiti and skating like crazy to get away from the cops when they show up. The skating aspect of the game is marvelously simplified but still gives you the feeling that you are doing the tricks, not your character. When you tag graffiti, the game gives you fluid moves that you must match with the analog stick of your Dreamcast controller; doing so eventually paints the graffiti onto the surface.

Between missions, you may be challenged by potential gang members. Completing their fun but usually difficult challenges causes your gang to grow, and since gang members have different stats, having more members makes missions easier to complete.

Late in the game, you'll discover why the cops have been pulling out all the stops to catch the Ruders (using tanks and helicopters at points!) and it's up to you to put an end to an evil conglomerate that wants to enslave everyone in Tokyo-to.

My Opinion: A fantastic game, with only a few flaws. I have a personal gripe about the control scheme. Despite the fact that there are only four controls used in the game - tag, center camera, jump, and dash - Smilebit inexplicably decided to put both the tag and the center camera controls on the same button, and the controls cannot be customized. Late in the game you'll be asked to tag LOTS of moving objects, and having the tag and the center camera controls both on the left trigger ensures that if you miss the tag, you'll end up facing the wrong way and swearing profusely. I haven't let this annoyance prevent me from playing the game all the way through twice, however.

Notes: This version is an expanded version of Jet Set Radio. It includes two new levels (Bantam Street and Grind Square, both set in America) that weren't in Jet Set Radio, and includes a few new tracks from American artists like Cold, Mix Master Mike, Rob Zombie, and Jurassic 5. The two new levels are actually incorporated into the storyline, which was expanded from the Japanese version. In general, the new levels are hard but good, and are worthy additions to the game.

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