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Dec 21, 2012

Jet Grind Radio Review

I really enjoyed Jet Grind Radio on the Dreamcast more than ten years ago, so when I heard that they were releasing it again as a HD versiĆ³n I got really excited. The port is very nicely done, with improved menus and extras (such as making of videos and achievements). The graphics, although dated technically, still are attractive (running with a capped 30 FPS), and the music (with only two tracks missing of the original) is timeless and catchy.
The game is set in a funky-fictional city ("Tokyo-to"), where roller blade gangs fight for territory (by tagging grafitti on the walls), while a private security force tries to stop them. Like in Tony Hawk games, you can grind and make tricks in virtually any surface in the city. Each mission consist on painting a set number of grafitti in an area while evading the security forces. Also, other skaters challenge you to a series of tricks, joining your gang if you complete them.

The game is just as I remembered from those Dreamcast days. Unfortunately, that includes the stiff controls and the lousy camera. More often than not I failed a jump because of them. Also, the included game map it's useless, making it very easy to get lost or to miss a wall that needs to be tagged. And when you fail a mission (did I mention there is a time limit to complete a mission?), you restart from the begining.

All of this makes it difficult to recommend to someone who hasn't played it before. But for all of us who were part of the Dreamcast generation (or if you can get it at a discount) and are willing to forgive the gameplay hindrances, Jet Set Radio is still one of the most memorable and stylish games of the Dreamcast.
Verdict: 60/100

Genre: Action
Developer: Blit Software
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: 19 Sep 2012


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