Jet Set Radio, or Jet Grind Radio in the US, is a video game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega, released on June 29, 2000. Jet Set Radio was designed for the Dreamcast, although a version of the game was later released for Game Boy Advance with the same name.
The game begins in Shibuya-cho, and is introduced by Professor K, the DJ of a pirate radio station based in Tokyo-to, who explains the basics of life in Tokyo-to for a "rudie", the term he uses to refer to young people who roam the streets spraying and skating. The city is split into three parts -- Shibuya-cho, Benten-cho, and Kogane-cho, each of which corresponds to a different time of day. Shibuya is a shopping district full of blue skies and daylight, Benten a nocturnal entertainment spot that represents night, and Kogane a mostly residential area, built on the water, where it is perpetually sunset. In each of these areas the player will encounter a rival gang - the Love Shockers in Shibuya, the Noise Tanks in Benten, and Poison Jam in Kogane - that attempts to usurp the GG's home turf. The player starts off forming a skate gang which also resides in Shibuya-cho, and thus forms a rivalry between the gangs in the area. After completing a set of menial challenges, designed to introduce the player to the control system, Gum and Tab join the gang forming the first 3 members of the GG's. The player starts out as Beat, a 17-year-old rudie who ran away from home like many other Japanese rudies. Beat was first shunned from gang to gang over and over again until he decided to start his own gang. Beat is the leader and founder of the GG's. The player first starts out spraying a little graffiti in Shibuya-Cho looking to recruit members. First Gum joins, then Tab.The initial stage is set in a Shibuya bus station, in which the player has to "tag" various parts of the bus station, as well as spray over existing tags, so as to gain the area as part of their territory. While tagging these places, the player is pursued by policemen and their leader, Captain Onishima. The police, the S.W.A.T team, and Rokakku Gouji's Golden Rhinos are yet another obstacle to avoid while defeating rival gangs. Also, Professor K narrates specific parts of the game via his eponymous pirate radio station called Jet Set Radio.
Other gangs which feature in the game as opponents are the Noise Tanks, who appear to be semi-cyborgs, Poison Jam, brutish thugs who wear fish costumes, and the Love Shockers, an all-girl gang made up of jilted lovers. Once the protagonist defeats each gang they hand over their belongings and grant the area to the graffiti gang that dethroned them. Each gang also drops a piece of a red record when defeated.The second and third chapter detail a struggle against an assassin group called The Golden Rhinos, a vicious gang owned by the Rokkaku corporation. The GG's are found by Combo and Cube, who state their 3rd member, Coin, has been taken, and his enormous collection of records was destroyed. The Golden Rhinos make their way into the Tokyo-To area, where the GG's are forced to fight them off. Poison Jam becomes brainwashed and attacks the GG's, and in the confusion, they spill Gouji, the Rokkaku owner's, plan. Gouji is using the Golden Rhinos to regain one of Coin's records which was destroyed, the Devil's Contract. If played, it's said to summon a demon. Gouji hopes to use the record to make a pact with a demon, and use it's power to take over Tokyo-to, and eventually the world. The final battle takes place on top of a giant turntable over a building. When Goji is defeated, the tower explodes, and the record is revealed to be a hoax, incapable of summoning a demon. The Noise Tanks and Love Shockers are told to be preparing to return, but not yet, whereas Poison Jam is told to be back on the run.
Jet Set Radio HD
There was a re-release of Jet Set Radio released on PSN, Xbox Live and PC in full HD. Additional ports for iOS, Android, and Vita were also released at different times. The game was released 19th September 2012, by SEGA. In addition to upscaled graphics, three tracks were removed ("Yappie Feet" and "Many Styles" by O.B. One from the PAL version, and "Dunny Boy Williamson Show" by Deavid Soul from the Japanese version), achievements were added, and a bonus section was implemented, which contains a documentary of the game's development titled "Jet Set Radio: The Rude Awakening" and unlockable music from Jet Set Radio Future. To save space, the documentary is not available on the mobile editions. In 2014, the iOS and Android versions were pulled from both App Store & Google Play due to incompatibility with higher mobile OS'.
The game was received exceedingly well from online sources and magazines. Many have praised the style of the game as the matching soundtrack with up-tempo music. Critics also applauded the simplistic "pick-up and play" arcade style gameplay. The lowest review according to Game Rankings was a 3.5 out of 5 from Independent Gamer . IGN gave the game a 9.6 rating but criticized the camera control, saying, "You'll spend at least a week wondering why all games don't look this good. Then you will spend at least a month wondering why the camera didn't get fixed during localization." The lack of multiplayer was also criticized. In 2009, the main antagonist of the game, Captain Onishima, was ranked 95th in IGN's "Top 100 Videogame Villains" list.
- During the final boss battle, the giant golden rhino statue from the front of the Rokkaku building is the main threat attacking the player, spewing flames and flying without wings. It is implied that this is the demon that Gouji summoned using the Devil's Contract, however, the cutscene after the battle reveals the record to be a hoax, therefore making the giant golden rhino statue make no sense unless the record turning out to be fake was planned for, and the giant statue doubling as a guard being used as a backup.
- SPOILER WARNING Seemingly lost in translation, or simply localized to be less violent, Coin is actually confirmed dead by Combo during his last flashback in chapter 2. On the panel above the final panel in the comic-style cutscene where Combo is explaining his and Cube's motive for getting revenge on the Golden Rhinos, you can see what looks like Coin laying face-down, with a large, yellow spray can in front of him. The messages Coin left that Combo continually references during his flashbacks were the final tags sprayed by Coin.
Jet Set Radio has received multiple awards for "best console game". It also got an award for its music and cel-shaded art.
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