Jet Set Radio Future Xbox Review
The setting is Tokyo; the year is 2024. Freedom is a valuable commodity, and freedom of expression is even more so. The thumping beats and mean streets are back, Jet Set Radio Future is on the Xbox video game system. Featuring unique comic-style graphics, new tricks, and hot tunes, Jet Set Radio Future brings the hippest game ever into a brave new world. Is it any good?
You begin the game as a young kid named Yoyo who dreams of becoming a member of the GG gang. Throughout the game you fight your way through challenges, races, and trick attempts. You play as a selection of characters as you battle your way through the game meeting lots of different people (some which you may remember if you played the original Dreamcast title). Speaking of the Dreamcast JSRF, it’s not really a sequel to it Dreamcast original, it is more of a re-imagining, or remake, of the previous title for a new audience. Missions revolve around reclaiming GG turf, claiming rival gang turf, beating down the police, and the occasional challenge for a new character. Multiplayer gamers also have Races which you can take part in which can be entertaining with friends. The control scheme is easy to use and is more refined than its DC counterpart, with the most noticeable differences been able to skate backwards, been able to boost and the use of one button to spray you graffiti. Tag spots are also located in more challenging palaces which can be more difficult to get to than before with the game challenging you at many time to reach the top of the highest building to make your mark but if you can do it is a very satisfying achievement. The level designs are also extremely well done so if you just want to skate around and look at what the game has to offer you should see some interesting stuff.
Cel Shading, it is been done a lot lately with game such as Sly and perhaps the most Prominent been The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It used to be seen as a unique stylized art direction for a game, it may not be very unique anymore, with title similarly shaded title popping up almost once a month, but even though it may now be over used it still manages to have a striking look if done right. If you’re wondering Jet Set Radio Future does cel shading the right way and looks stunning as a result. Loads of other interesting effects are also used such as neon light and sparks coming off the roller blades. The whole game is very colourful and full of life. When you couple this with all the NPC (mostly pedestrians on the street) in the game dashing out of you way you have to say the game certainly looks great. The only problem the game has it that the framerate stutters at times but that is only when an insane amount of stuff is happening on screen, so it really doesn’t interfere with the game too much, but it can get annoying when it decides to rear its ugly head.
Jet Set Radio Future’s sound very impressive with both the sound effects and music been very nice to the ears. The music offers and huge range of different kinds of music with artists such as Latch Brothers, headed by Beastie Boys’ Mike D, BIS, Cibo Mato, Scapegoat Wax, Guitar Vader and Richard Jacques lending their names and talents to the title. The voices are also well done but perhaps over the top at times, some of the characters don’t even speak real words but instead shout random words you way, that sound something like “dum dum dum dum” which can be slightly annoying. All the sounds effect are respectable with all grinding and skating noises been there in full force.
Although game like JSRF are usually very short it is surprising to see that almost 25-30 hours of play can be had from just Jet Set Radio Future’s single player alone. With many hours more play to be had if you want to see and unlock everything the game has to offer. If you are able to reach all of the tags spots, then complete all challenges and then collect all of the ‘Graffiti Souls’ for an area toy, you will unlock Test Run. When you complete the Test Run and you’ll unlock another character to use. You got to do this multiple times on all the game levels to unlock everything the game has to offer, so you wont finish this is one weekend. Then there is the multiplayer mode which can be a whole load of fun if you have similar thinking friends who enjoying playing the game with you.
JSRF is a unique title, the only game you could begin to compare it against is the Tony Hawk series, but once you actually start to play the game you will see that both titles tackle the genre in two completely different ways. There is loads of fun to be had over the course of the single player game and it is a different brand of entertainment that you could experience from any other title. The game does have some flaws most notably the rather annoying camera but for such an innovative game this flaw could be overlooked. This title is worth your money as it offers you something that is not available in any other title on any console and that alone is enough reason to buy it.