Jet Set Radio Future
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
Sega
Developer
Smilebit
Genre
Extreme Sports
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence, Strong Lyrics
 
Grade
The Good

• Excellent style musically and visually
• Large levels
• Lots to do after initial completion of levels

The Bad

• Slight Camera issues
• Repetitive Sound Effects
• Limited tricks

 
Grade
A-

Jet Set Radio Future is all about hip futuristic culture and style. You get to play as one of the GG gang, a group of hip rollerbladers that uses graffiti as a means to an end, either to mark new territory, cover up opposing gang's graffiti, or as a weapon against the Rokkaku police. All along the way, you have to perform certain tricks or duties to impress other rollerbladers into joining your group or just to move onto the next area.

Graphically, this game looks great. The design and layout are well conceived and pulled off convincingly with the highly stylized cel-shaded world. The levels are large, well-populated and fully active. There are excessive amounts of detail and lots of things going on at one time. It's impressive to move about in such a large area, with only the occasional stutter when a new section of the area loads. The further along in the game, the larger and more impressive the levels get. In fact, by the time you unlock later levels, you'll realize how limited earlier portions of the game were. This expansion is partially due to a growing learning curve that's given to the player over the length of the game. Early on, places to find Graffiti Souls and "tags" are easy to get to, but by the time you reach 99th street, you'll be needing to grind up wires and timing out your tags as you slide from rooftop to rooftop.

The gameplay is a nice blend of skating action seasoned with finding the hidden Graffiti Souls in each level. At the start of every level, you will have to "tag" or mark areas with graffiti to unlock certain events, like a race or a game of follow-the-leader with opposing gang members. On occasion, you'll have to fight it out with the police. Once you've completed the initial priorities of an area, you can either move on or come back and try to beat the trick requirements for the level. Or you can just skate around and see what kind of trouble you can get into. Along with the main game is a handful of multiplayer games, which are good fun when you have friends over.

Audio-wise, the game is well realized. The music is fun, energetic and varied enough to keep from getting stale. When playing this game, you must realize that the soundtrack is solely a mixture of rap, techno, drum and bass, and dance. If you're not at least tolerant of those genres, you'll grow tired of the soundtrack quickly. The sound effects are well done, but don't be surprised if they manage to get a little old after a while. Every time you jump or run through a crowd of people, you'll get the same sound effect. It's easy to ignore, but may get old for some gamers.

Jet Set Radio Future is only held back by minor flaws. The in game camera can, on occasion, move so that it's hard to see where you want to go and in tight areas can move behind a wall, thereby leaving you to your own devices until you can move to a better vantage point. Also, the trick system is fairly limited, but considering the style of gameplay, they work just fine. If you're expecting Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, you'll be disappointed.

Smilebit has managed to put together a nice package here, only stumbling with a few minor flaws that can be overlooked. If you aren't big on the futuristic hip-culture that Jet Set Radio Future brings along, you might want to pass, but for everyone, check this one out.

- - Vane

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