Jet Set Radio Future (XBox)

by PaulEMoz

I'm sure, from reading this blog and seeing some of the game names mentioned, that some people must think I've never played videogames before in my life. I must have played thousands over the years, but there are just that many of them that it's more or less impossible to cover all the big names on every system.

I did come close to playing Jet Grind Radio once, but the copy I was going to play was scratched and didn't load at all. So Jet Set Radio Future is my first trip into the world of grafitti, tagging and weird gangs in the jazzed-up streets of Tokyo.

It's a very stylish game, this one. I love the look of it, and also the laid-back, chilled out feel you have while playing it. You never feel particularly rushed, except for any occasion where you get drawn into a race. Besides that, you just roam the streets, grinding and pulling tricks when you feel like it, and completing your objectives more or less at your leisure. It makes me wonder if skate took some inspiration from this series.

Whilst playing this, although I liked it a lot, I couldn't help but feel that the potential is there for it to get repetitive later on. The game does keep throwing different challenges at you to break up the grafitti-spraying, so if it keeps doing that then the problem might be alleviated. I'm hoping so, because after spending fifteen minutes at the beginning skating around bored because I hadn't figured out what I needed to do to kick the story along, I'm enjoying it a lot now that I've got an idea of what I'm doing.

I think a lot of this game is about feel. The world is impressively densely populated, so it feels right, and the skating feel is also spot-on. I like the quirkyness of it all, and the way you collect characters by defeating them or completing their challenges, rather than unlocking them. Jet Set Radio Future is a game that's taken me a long time to get hold of, but I'm happy that the effort is so far proving to have been worthwhile.