It was like my first date, I was so nervous I forgot to wear my underwear baby!
Oh dear, I can't even tell you how many times I've played this game. Mostly because I can't count past 7, but also because it's alot. I probably go through JSRF at least once or twice a year. This game is outstanding and really REALLY needs a sequel... preferrably on the wii u (custom grafitti with a game pad would be sick just sayin...) but I'd even take one on the gameboy colour. Why do I Love this game so much? Let me explain.
You see kids there once was a magical time in gaming where FUN was more importantant than gritty realism. You mean games used to be games, and not pieces of poorly written social commentary from people who failed film school?! Yes, and it was a great era in gaming. The era of games I grew up with had games like Kabuki quantum fighter, a platformer in which you beat down your enemies by whipping your hair to and fro.
Games where you played as a ninja who fought with in a giant robot because you could, and I grew up with JSRF. JSRF is about a far from gritty and realistic as one can possibly get. JSRF is a game where you take out tanks and helicopters using imaginary spray paint. It is a game that embraces it's sillyness without drawing attention to how silly it is (looking at you sunset overdrive...), in fact I didn't really realize how silly this game was... until I had looked back on it years after my first playthrough. For some reason this game holds some wierd power in regards to suspension of belief, because of how consistant it is.
At this point there are some of you who are like dafawq is a JSRF? It is to you whom I'm writing this review for, but if your also a fan of the series feel free to stick around. So, what is Jet Set Radio Future(JSRF)? Jet Set Radio Future is a game released on the Original Xbox back when Sega actually liked making games and knew what they were doing (I'm looking at you 360 era Sega, pls stahp doin all the drugs). At the time Sega had just come off the dreamcast failure (i cry evrytim) and decided to dump all of their great unique games on the xbox. I'm talking games like JSRF, Panzer Dragoon and NFL 2k5 which is still the greatest and most innovative "realistic" football game of all time(realistic because otherwise mutant league football would win by a landslide and really that isn't fair). JSRF is a... uh... 3D platform, erm, 3D action platformer? It hard to really classify this game because it's so unique. Basically you play as an angsty youth with rocket roller blades, who must go around spray painting all the things. Sometimes this requires platforming, by jumping, wall riding, or grinding.
JSRF is, as my friend puts it, stick it to the man: the game. You play as one or more of the members of a group known as the GGs. The GGs are a group of what's known as the Rudies. Rudies are simply a term coined for kids on rollerblades, sticking it to the man. There are serveral rival Rudie groups that you will come in contact with, all with their own interesting theme behind them. The story starts off with a character named Yoyo attempting to gain membership with the GGs. Meanwhile some crazy dictator is taking his raise to power in Tokyo-to. Throughout the game you really you spend most of your time fighting rival Rudies. That is until the story takes a turn and the story goes full anime. I really don't want to ruin anything because the story is simple, but amazing. I wish there was an animu :(.
As stated before JSRF is a fairly unique expirence mixing elements from all sorts of different genres. Platforming, extreme sports, and even a little brawling. Whether your using some of the default graffitis or you make your own in the graffiti creator, most levels your objective is simple, cover the streets in dank graffiti.
I know you all too well internet...
The way graffiti...ing(?) works is that there are 6 sizes of graffiti; super small, small, medium, large, and extra large. Each one you can set to be a different graffiti. As you skate along there will be little floating discs either on the ground or against walls. When you press the right trigger near them, you'll begin to spray.Unlike the previous title, there is no QTE that needs to be preformed to tag the sites. Meaning that you can spray the entire city without stopping. This really helps make the gameplay fast paced and smooth.
In order to spray you need to make sure you have enough cans of paint. You can find these littering the streets of Tokyo-to, but don't worry only those with Graffiti Soul (and possible a straight jacket) can see them, so there's no environmental concern... I think. Usually after you tag all the spots, you'll have to compete against a Ronin Rudie, or fight the man... Hayashi to be specific. In the first, you'll have to find the Rudie, then they'll challenge you to some sort of competition, usually a race or a platforming challenge. Fighting the man is quite simple. They'll quickly surround you with electric fence and a lot of police officers, meanwhile Hayashi, the freakin psycopath, shoots a pistol at you with live rounds. Sorry I thought that graffiti can was a grenade... So how do you defeat the 5-0? Simple you knock them on their backs and spray them with your imaginary graf- I mean totally real graffiti. Then they die from aspiration from the paint? Eventually things escalate and you end up having to tag down tanks and even helocopters... because science! Speaking of science let's talk about those Rocket boosters. Your rollerblades have built-in rockets in which you may use to burst yourself around with. PSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOW
In order to use the rockets you'll need 10 of those graffiti cans. Why does spray paint work as fuel? BECAUSE SCIENCE!
So how does it all control. Good? At times JSRF controls so well that it'll put you in a zen like state... at other times it'll put you into an an aneurysm inducing fury. The best way to describe it is, big movements are stasfying as bawls. Grinding, platforming, and bursting around feels amazing, however if you want to make micro adjustment or just take a tiny step... it's the worst thing ever. Which to be fair, you're on rollerblades so you probably should be able to finely move, but there are times in the game where the controls are very frustating. Why are the controls so satisfying? It's probably because in order to maintain top speed you'll need to time grinds and air tricks. It seems like the timing is set to the music playing, but that could just be me. Either way it really works, and is a super fun mechanic.
Why is this section called Music and not sound, why isn't it after graphics?! Look, the sound effects and graphics are fantastic in this game. I like them... but the music, the music might be the best part of this game. I frequently listen to this soundtrack. It's amazing, mixing hip-hop, rock, electronica, and j-pop/rock. Mmmmm so good. It's like Beef n pudding for your ears (pls don't try putting beef and pudding in your ears). Not only are the songs fantastic, they are so fitting for the atmosphere and setting of this game that I truely believe this is THE BEST soundtrack for a game ever (although Legend of Mana and Banjo Kazooie are pretty close runners up). Oh yeah, and there's a lot of tracks from The Latch Brothers (a Beastie Boys side project). that is all.
I love stylized graphics. Really they stand the test of time. Especially cell-shaded graphics. Best part is that the original Jet Set (grind) Radio really pioneered cell shading in video games, and JSRF really improves on this. I think one of the most notible results is the number of people there are on the streets. Cell shading is alot easier on the system, and thus the city is actually believably populated and they didn't need a poor excuse to evacuate the entire city (I'm looking at you Batman: Arkham Knight >.>). What I'm sayin is, this game looks pretty good, even by todays standards, and it's nice to remember when games weren't all about dos realistic graphics in a 26:1 aspect ratio with a gun that takes up half your screen running a 24 fps. The order 1886 #neverforget
4 player split screen action wooop. There are a variety of competitive game modes. The best and most notable modes are racing, and death ball. Racing is as simple as it sounds, but death ball... oh what I would give for an online death ball. Death ball is a simple concept. Carry the ball for an entire lap. However when an opponent hits you, you'll drop the ball, well drop is a poor term, the ball goes flying out of your hands. The other team can then take the ball, or you can retrieve it as well. Either way the lap resets. Meaning you'll have to take it around the arena for an entire lap back to the spot you just picked the ball up at. While carrying the ball you cannot boost, instead your option is to pass the ball to a team mate. It's very simple and a LOT of fun. Especially 2 on 2.
Alot of the story is told through cutscenes. These cutscenes take place in the underground pirate radio station known as Jet Set Radio, with the sultry voice of a one, Mr. DJ Professor K. I HATE cutscenes. I can't stand them, I feel like they are a waste of the potential of story telling that video games have. HOWEVER I love these. I think because it fells like you're actually tuning in to the radio broadcast, these cutscenes work. Also DJ Professor K is hilariously amazing. The voice actor and writers did great work with his character and he's one of my all-time favorite video game characters. He's so awesome I had to give him his own section.
If you haven't played this game, you need to. With it's zany plot and atmosphere, fun and unique gameplay, brilliant music and timeless graphics it's hard not to fall in love with Jet Set Radio. Unless of coarse you're the man. Then you'll probably hate it.
Jet Set Radio Future gets an