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Home » Game

Jet Set Radio

Submitted by on February 27, 2013 – 1:01 pmNo Comment

Jet Set Radio gameJet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio was more than one of the Dreamcast’s best games. Jet Set Radio was emblematic of the system, exhibiting a joyful atmosphere, bright color scheme and arcade-style gameplay that all seemed unique to the last Sega hardware. The game will forever be associated with its Dreamcast home.

Uncoupling the game from the Dreamcast, however, does nothing to diminish the unforgettable atmosphere that developer Smilebit created. In fact, the association is strong enough that in playing the new HD version, I forget that I’m playing a new version on new hardware. It’s just Jet Set Radio, looking how I always remembered it looking anyway.

It’s still the most upbeat game about teenagers being shot at by tanks in response to minor acts of vandalism.

What’s new this time around? The graphics are the major update. The game now displays in widescreen, and the polygons have all been re-rendered in HD. Cel-shaded games take to upscaling especially well, as they’re already designed to be composed of simple, smooth shapes and flat colors. Just making the outlines smoother makes the already-beautiful game look even better.

The textures aren’t any better, though, so when you’re looking at a closeup of a face, or skating into that one weird part of Shibuya-cho where the background is a flat “matte painting,” you will definitely notice some unsightly blurriness. It’s a little disappointing to have the eye drawn to shortcomings when the game as a whole still looks amazing, but then I thought it looked amazing in 2000 when everything was in that lower resolution.

The framerate, while not a consistent 60FPS, is now much smoother than it was before, and not subject to frustrating slowdown. To be honest, I didn’t remember there being slowdown in the Dreamcast game until I went back and replayed it, but it was present. And now it isn’t, which is certainly a plus.

The other welcome change is the addition of manual camera controls, thanks to modern controllers bearing one more analog stick than the Dreamcast had. Back then, the only control over the unwieldy camera was a single recentering button, whereas now you can move the camera however you see fit. This is wonderful on its own, and, as I’ll explain in the next section, allows you to fix one of the biggest problems in the original Jet Set Radio.

Perhaps most surprising, Sega treated this budget-priced re-release like a deluxe anthology, bundling an original short documentary that includes interviews with director Masayoshi Kikuchi, art director Ryuta Ueda, composer Hideki Naganuma, and graffiti artist Eric Haze. Other unlockable bonus material includes music from Jet Set Radio Future, playable from within the bonus menu.

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