Jet Grind Radio (known outside North America as Jet Set Radio) is an action rollerblading game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega for the Dreamcast on November 1, 2000. As a member of a group of roller-blading delinquents known as the GG's (Graffiti Gang, led by the young Beat), players must try to take over the cel-shaded streets of Tokyo-to by spraying graffiti, evading police, and one-upping each of the rival gangs. A sequel, titled JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future, was later developed and released for the Xbox on February 25, 2002, where the GG's must fight an oppressive mega-corporate enterprise to take back control of the streets.
The game was originally released in June 29, 2000 in Japan. The international version (later released in Japan as De La Jet Set Radio) features two new maps (set in a place based on New York City), new songs, new characters, and other new content (including the ability to connect to the Internet to download and upload custom graffiti). A handheld version for the Game Boy Advance was produced by Vicarious Visions and published by THQ (Sega for the European version) on June 26, 2003, featuring isometric graphics and gameplay similar to their handheld Tony Hawk ports.
A high-definition port of the original game (as Jet Set Radio) was released for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade), PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network), and PC (via Steam) on September 19, 2012. It will be released for the PlayStation Vita (also via PlayStation Network) on October 16, 2012.
Jet Grind Radio has the player controlling a roller blading graffiti artist and so there is the expected array of grind rails, half pipes, wall rides and jumps worked into the game world. However the layout is not like games such as the Tony Hawk series. The emphasis in Jet Set Radio is on using the various obstacles and your skating skills to reach taggable objects and then spray paint them in ridiculous, often mid-air style. Points are pushed more into the background with time limits creating the challenge. Tagging buses as you grind past them or bill boards as you back-flip over them is a common event.
At first, the player will be dropped into an area of one of the cities of Tokyo-to. The player can skate around, earn some points by grinding on rails. If given enough speed, the player can perform tricks, the player can also wall ride to earn more points as well.
But most of the player's time shouldn't be spent on just performing tricks, the player has a time limit to tag certain walls. First the player has to collect spray cans and get to a tagging location, by pressing the left trigger, the player will enter a quick time event. In the quick time event, the game will direct the player to perform certain motions on the analog stick. The player will accumulate more points when the player completes the motions on the analog stick.
The more tags the player completes the more aggressive the police will get. This isn't a realistic games by any means and the cops will happily shut down the city in order to to kill vandals. Swat teams, Attack dogs and Tear gas are frequently employed. Players do not have any mechanism to defeat the police instead having to use the rail and the environment to outrun them.
The DJ Professor K provides much of the narrative via the pirate radio station Jet Set Radio and gives you heads up on whats going on throughout the game. Additional roller blading degenerates are met throughout the game and recruited to your gang as playable characters.
The game has multiple characters that the player can chose. Each character differs in terms of attributes such as, the amount of spray cans each character can hold, the amount of health they have, and the way each character handles.
There are three versions of the spray cans that can be found in the stages:
- Yellow Spray Cans - 1 spray can
- Blue Spray Can - 5 spray cans
- Red Spray Can - Will restore health
Jet Grind Radio features a total of five levels located in the various districts of Tokyo-to.
The very first level of the game. The rival gang that owns Shibuya-Cho is the jilted Love Shockers.
This area is owned by a gang known as the Noise Tanks, a group of otakus with a robot-like behavior.
This area is owned by the Poison Jam gang. Poison Jam are a group made up of horror movie fanatics.
A level that was added to the U.S release of the game. Bantam Street is loosely based off of an area in New York City.
Another level added to the U.S release of the game. Grind Square is based off of Times Square in New York City.
Rokkaku Group Building
The game's final level takes place at the top of a large skyscraper in Tokyo-to.
Jet Grind Radio's funky and upbeat soundtrack was a big part in helping form the game's distinctive style. New songs were added in the North American and European releases of the game to cover more musical genres and round the soundtrack out. An American version of the soundtrack CD was released on September 18, 2012 by Sumthing Else Music Works to coincide with the re-release for digital platforms. However, the soundtrack only contains 10 songs from the original game with tracks composed by Hideki Naganuma and one track by Richard Jacques, along with 10 tracks from Jet Set Radio Future, all of which were composed by Hideki Naganuma.
- Humming the Baseline - Hideki Naganuma
- Let Mom Sleep - Hideki Naganuma
- Moody's Shuffle - Hideki Naganuma
- Rock It On - Hideki Naganuma
- Grace and Glory - Hideki Naganuma
- Sneakman - Hideki Naganuma
- Sweet Soul Brother - Hideki Naganuma
- That's Enough - Hideki Naganuma
- Super Brothers - Guitar Vader
- Magical Girl - Guitar Vader
- Miller Ball Breakers - Deavid Soul
- On the Bowl (A Fargus Remix) - Deavid Soul
- Up-Set Attack - Deavid Soul
- Yappie Feet - Deavid Soul
- Funky Radio - B.B. Rights
- Mischievous Boy - Castle Logical
- Yellow Beam - F. Fields
- 'Bout the City - Reps
- Everybody Jump Around - Richard Jacques
- Electric Tooth Brush - Toronto
- Dunny Boy Williamson Show - Deavid Soul (Japanese Version Only)
- Just Got Wicked - Cold (North American Version Only)
- Slow - Professional Murder Music (North American Version Only)
- Dragula - Rob Zombie (North American Version Only)
- Improvise - Jurassic 5 (North American and European Versions Only)
- Patrol Knob - Mixmaster Mike (North American and European Versions Only)
- Recipe for the Perfect Afro - Feature Cast (European Version Only)
- Many Styles - O.B. One (European Version Only)
- Funky Plucker - Semi Detached (European Version Only)