The genre-busting Jet Grind Radio
brought an innovative look and refreshing gameplay to the industry. The cel-shaded style
of graphics, which made the game look like a cartoon, are now ubiquitous, showing up on
titles ranging from Fur Fighters 2 to Cel Damage to Johnny Drama. Indeed, now that
weve somewhat wrangled the beast of photorealism in game graphics, were
seeking ways to create non-photorealistic visuals, and Sega did it extremely well with
Not only was
JGR a revolutionary game as far as graphics technology goes, but it was just damn fun. The
sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, scheduled to premier on the Xbox this Fall, looks to make
the same kinds of strides, both technically and with regards to gameplay. JSRF (as the
game will most likely be known) follows the same basic structure of its forerunner
you play a futuristic character who is involved in a gang of graffitti artists cum extreme
inline skaters, and your main goal is to take over rival gangs territory while
avoiding the authorities.
graphics are the same blend of cel-shaded characters and 3D backgrounds, but they have
been given some serious enhancements. The most noticeable differences are the amazing
camera effects. When speeding up a handrail your skater blurs, as if in a hyper-stylized
Anime film. The speedblurs dovetail nicely with what is being called the "stretch
effect," where the screen seems to stretch and then bounce back as your skater speeds
away. These effects give the game a visual punch not unlike seeing The Matrix for the
first time just when you thought you knew all the joy your eyes could give you,
JSRF makes you see brand new things.
gameplay has been enhanced through improvements to the trick and stunt system. In JGR,
your skater was somewhat static, and tricks were accomplished by simply pushing a button
combo. The button combo didnt necessarily determine which trick you would do, but
that you would do one. Now you have much greater control over which tricks are executed, a
much larger repertoire of tricks, and the ability to link together multi-trick combos both
in the air and while grinding.
like JSRF will be a huge title on the Xbox, and will hopefully introduce a whole lot more
gamers to the glory of the Jet Set franchise. This is the kind of game that can be a big
hit, with characters and elements that will create a real fondness in gamers hearts.
Expect another great soundtrack to compliment the game as well, although details are
sketchy about that. The only drawback to JSRF is the fact that details are still
unavailable regarding the presence of a multi-player mode, although a Sega rep told us
that multi-player is a possibility. With a game that so obviously begs for a multi-player
mode, it would be a crime not to include it, much more of a crime than tagging a few walls
in this gamers opinion.