I never got to experience the original Jet Grind Radio on the Dreamcast, which is just one of the many under-rated and undiscovered classics from that era. Attempts to experience the game through emulation have ended in failure.
But, I did get to experience the sequel: Jet Set Radio Future."In futuristic Tokyo, a group of teenage skaters (groups collectively referred to as Rudies) called the GGs vie for control of the many districts of Tokyo against many rival groups. A mega corporate enterprise (the Rokkaku Group) has taken over the many districts of the city and their leader is now the mayor of Tokyo. It is oppressing the people, taking away freedom of speech and expression, and is forcing other gang members to give up their territory using the corrupt police force of Tokyo.
The game begins with the player in control of a character called Yoyo, who has to complete a set of basic training exercise to prove himself worthy of joining the GGs. After these challenges are completed, the game is interrupted by a pirate radio broadcast by 'DJ Professor K' who fills the player in on the turmoil within Tokyo. After this cutscene, the player is released into Tokyo itself, where they pursue their mission to 'bury Tokyo in graffiti' and fight the authoritarian Rokkaku Police."
Christmas, 2003: My brother and I had just finished opening our gifts from our mother when her then-boyfriend-turned-husband-now-second-ex went into her room and returned with a large wrapped box with both of our names on it. As soon as the paper was off my jaw dropped, brother screamed and the camera flash went off.
It was a brand new XBOX, with two controllers and four games on two disks a Star Wars/Tetris dual pack, and the SEGA bundle pack. However, we were not allowed to play the T-Rated games as I was only seven and brother was only three. I wouldn't experience JSRF for another two-three years.
Skip forward to Summer, 2006. I was ten, brother just turned seven. We were bored out of our minds and had just finished losing the last of our hundred-some lives in PacMan World 2 in the SECOND LAST LEVEL. We were frustrated, but still wanted to play video games. The weather was crap and the cable was out, so the XBOX was all we had.
"Hey, let's play this one," I said, holding up the SEGA bundle pack. The cover of the game I wanted to play was facing towards me.
"Nah, I don't wanna race cars no more," brother whined.
I noticed my mistake, and turned the pack around, "No, let's play the other one!"
He looked at it, and of course he pointed out the rating to me. Being the older and superior older sister with my superior older sister logic ("I'm a pre-teen now, I can handle it!") I popped in the disk, grabbed the primary controller, and selected the game.
Blah blah blah, after all the screens and such, plus a little brother panic attack later (he saw the no-graffiti sign and freaked) we were hit with The Concept of Love.
Man, were we ever, in more ways than one.
Our eyes were glued to the screen as the characters skated all over the place: grinding, jumping, skating
And the music, amazing. The Concept of Love remains my favorite song to this day and always brings me back to the day I decided to play a game we were forbidden to play, not like mom really cared.
We played, and I went head-over-heels for Yoyo and Beat (jeez, young fangirl love), while bro couldn't get his eyes off of Gum's cleavage or Rhyth's bra. As for characters we played as, I tended to stick with the girls while bro would fight tooth-and-nail to play as my two favorite guys (more in multi-player mode, because he would pick either of them to piss me off when I decided I wanted to play as them). The game was fantastic and for us it posed enough of a challenge to keep us occupied for hours (tagging the cops, running from Hayashi, the Golden Rhinos, the Fortified Residential Zone
). Our weekends at mom's were well spent trying to stop Rokkaku's reign.
That game managed to teach me to stay away from drugs. Man, that final level was trippy! What the hell did they take when they designed that final level? First time I ever had a "WTFH?!" moment when playing a game. Also the first and only time I ever shouted that out loud. Cue grounding for swearing and shouting.
Now, it's been six years since I first played it, and nearly five since I last played the game. Hopefully, that will be changing soon as I am planning on getting a credit card specifically to purchase the game from eBay (my friend is supplying the XBOX). I can't wait to hold that controller in my hands again, boot it up and hear the music once again.
Happy 10th, Jet Set Radio Future. Still a great game, still a great experience. We don't want, we NEED another sequel.
xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxOMG! This just popped up in my YouTube subscriptions!! --> [link]
Please tell me SEGA's not trolling... Please tell me this is real... I NEED AN XBOX, NAOPLZ.