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    dkirschner's Jet Set Radio (PC)

    [May 24, 2016 10:53:56 AM]
    I picked up Jet Set Radio in a Humble Bundle along with a Sega Classics collection that I'm excited to play some of (it has Golden Axe!). I missed most things Dreamcast back in the day, though I do remember playing a lot of Typing of the Dead with friends. Jet Set Radio has been something I've always wanted to play just from hearing its name over and over and seeing its cool cel-shaded graphics.

    Upon playing the first time, I was surprised to find out that it was a roller blading game and I immediately drew parallels to Tony Hawk. But the skating is way simpler. You just push up to go forward, hold RT for a short speed burst, press A to jump, and LT to tag with spray paint (on Xbox controller). I think that's all the controls, very simple. So...a simplified skating game where you spray paint graffiti. Cool.

    I took to the story right away. Your gang's turf is being contested by rival gangs in Tokyo-to, and you go around covering up their graffiti and drawing your own while avoiding the (annoying) authorities. It's got a heavy tone of youth and anti-corporate resistance, which is cool. The main bad guys are a corporation, and the titular Jet Set Radio is a pirate radio station run by DJ Professor K (I'm Professor K too, but no DJ...!).

    Like I said, the game is really simple. This is good because I could pick up and play quickly, but bad because it started to feel real repetitive and dull and frustrating after a while. I played for two two-hour sessions; the first I enjoyed, the second not so much. You collect a cast of stylish characters who want to join your gang, and you've got to beat them in races to get them. This happens periodically. Then you just go to the city map and select missions to complete, which are all basically the same thing. Most of them involve skating around an area and tagging all the marked spots within the time limit. You pick up spray paint bottles, health bottles (for when the authorities shoot you and stuff), and just go to town finding tag markers and tagging.

    The authorities get really irritating sometimes. It starts out with this one guy with a gun (you just shoot roller bladers in the street?!), then expands to police, then riot police, and finally helicopters that shoot homing missiles, and probably some more I haven't seen yet. If you have a long tag (they vary from one step to like 12 steps to tag), you'll be constantly interrupted and injured if the authorities are there, so you often have to do the level a few times and strategize an order in which to tag. Usually start with the easy-to-get-to tags and save the hard-to-reach tags for when the authorities come (because they can't reach them either!).

    Yesterday I played an awful new type of mission where you have to tag other gang members, like physically skate behind them and spray them. There are three gang members in these missions, and they generally stick together. You've got to tag each of them 10 times in the time limit, and they follow a route that you can learn. This is where I realized (as some of the regular tagging missions had become difficult too) that the difficulty is not in my lack of finesse or skill, but just in crappy controls and collision physics that stop and sometimes injure your character if you simply touch an object. To tag the other gang members, you must get RIGHT behind them, which 9/10 times meant I would touch them, which caused my character to cry out and stop or fall down and take damage, which meant I then had to catch back up to them. And usually I wouldn't even get a tag out of it because you have to be SO close and can only tag when an icon appears. This led to my strategy of getting really close and spamming RT so that when the icon came up I'd at least get one tag before I inevitably ran into them and fell down.

    Anyway, I feel I've seen all there is to see here, and I've got the gist of Jet Set Radio. Cool game, I understand why it's so popular, got some enjoyment out of it, but better things to play!
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    dkirschner's Jet Set Radio (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Sunday 1 May, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Monday 23 May, 2016

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Holds up! Simple and fun skating, grinding, spray painting, and avoiding cops. ------------ Gets frustrating with control and physics issues.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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