LORD KRUNK REVIEWS: JetSet Radio Future
When looking through the "Rating Avatars" game on these forums, I have come to a shocking discovery.
Most people don't know where my avatar comes from.
In order to remedy this, I have tossed aside my review of the Star Wars: Battlefront series (temporarily) in order to write this review, to allow you to bear witness to one of my favourite console games ever.
And so, without further ado, I give you:
Now you know where my avatar comes from.
It is the year 2024, and Tokyo's corporate superpower, Gouji Rokakku, has been elected Mayor. With his newfound power, he has bought the police force, established a business monopoly throughout the city, and built an empire dedicated to himself.
The one thing that stands in his way of complete dominance is the Rudies, a series of youth gangs on skates, leaving their marks of freedom throughout the city. In retaliation, Rokakku has commanded his police/army/air force/assassins to take them down on sight.
But the freedom fighters still survive in the Tokyo underworld, and with the help of DJ Professor K and his pirate radio network, Jet Set Radio, your gang, the GGs, strive to take down Rokakku with the most powerful weapon known to man.
JetSet Radio Future (JSRF for short) is a game like no other, where you can defy gravity, 'stick it to the man' and leave your calling card wherever you go.
Think of a lighthearted GTA, and then cross it with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.
Graffiti is a major element in the game, because it is the sole thing you use. Wherever you go, you will find 'tag areas,' where you spray your mark on the streets. This is generally to progress throughout the game, and make your presence known.
You can also use the collectible spray cans to give you a 'boost,' where your skates act as jet engines to propel you in the direction you are facing, which is a really handy feature when you are racing or trying to reach 'hard to reach' areas.
Graffiti is also used in rather bizarre situations, such as boss battles and the like. How do take down a wave of police? Knock them over and tag their faces, of course! How do you destroy an array of army vehicles? Tag them, of course!
Anyway, enough of my rambling.
There are many things I enjoy about JSRF. For starters, the use of Cel Shading executed brilliantly, and the animated feel really captures the spirit of the game.
(Is it really that bad that when I someone says 'Japan', I immediately think of anime?)
The game in itself is not very realistic; the best term for the physics that I can think of is 'floaty'. Not that this is unwelcome. The fact that you can survive kilometer-long leaps of faith of skyscrapers is pretty cool, and extremely fun to do. You can get air off pretty much anything, and flying around the urban wastelands of Tokyo is truly an experience.
The story is comprised of a series of 'chapters' that begin and conclude with a news report from DJ Professor K. This is an excellent way to tell a story, especially in one where there is extremely little speech.
There is also a lot of replay value in the game, and a lot of choice. There are heaps of unlockables, such as graffiti souls (which allow you to obtain new playable characters and graffiti art); you can go on a personal vendetta on the bland, tagging the streets; you can use a special feature to create your own graffiti to put on the streets, or you can simply skate to your heart's content.
Think I can't wallride those billboards? Just watch me.
I have a few nitpicks with the game, however.
The soundtrack, while used well (You are listening to Jet Set Radio), is quite good, but some of the songs are just downright bad. I really wish that they had included an option to skip a song, because I would have gladly used it on several occasions.
The game also starts off pretty normally, but the further it goes, the more strange it gets. I mean, your HQ is probably the biggest and coolest (and most inefficient) garage in existence, but it's still pretty realistic. You eventually get to an industrialised area with house stacked on top of each other. Well, it's fun. Then you go to the most epic theme park since Jurassic Park, and while amazingly fun, you begin to wonder.
And finally, there is the strangest final boss level since the Meat Circus in Psychonauts.
Not that this is a bad thing, it's just a bit strange to go from one extreme to another in a single game.
Lastly, I would have to mention that the camera can be a bit evil at times, going behind walls at the worst moment.
All in all, JetSet Radio Future is a worthy Investment, and an experience that I will probably try again once I complete this review. Good luck finding it though; you might get lucky with the downloadable Xbox games off Live, but other than that, keep an eye out for it.
And now, I will leave you with the start-up screen; enjoy the irony.