I have incredibly fond memories of the Dreamcast era, and one of its standout games was Jet Set Radio. Indeed, I can quite vividly recall ditching a fair few uni lectures in order to play it.
Jet Set Radio is now available for iOS and Android, and the good news is that remains – in terms of looks, gameplay and sound – utterly fantastic.
For those unfamiliar with Jet Set Radio, we seriously need to have words. I’ll start by explaining the basics.
Essentially a group of gangs - including the GGs, Noise Tanks and Poison Jam - is fighting for control of Jet Set Radio’s fictional city of Tokyo-to, and rather than actually fight, they spray paint the heck out of stuff.
Meanwhile, Captain Onishima has vowed to crack down on Tokyo-to’s graffiti gangs, adopting increasingly insane tactics as Jet Set Radio progresses, including guns, SWAT teams, and missile-firing helicopters.
Jet Set Radio plays out over a series of fixed levels, and the aim in each is to skate up to landmarks indicated by red arrows and tag them. There are secondary items marked with green arrows, though it’s not necessary to spray them to finish the level. Simples.
Back in 2000, Jet Set Radio was one of the first games of its time to adopt cartoon-style “cel-shaded” graphics, with suitably vibrant colour schemes. It looks just as great today.
Another standout feature in Jet Set Radio was its soundtrack, including classics like Guitar Vader’s “Magical Girl”, and I'm happy to report that 29 of the Dreamcast’s 30 tracks make the leap to mobile. Excellent.
And that’s Jet Set Radio, one of the finest games of all time now available on the App Store and Google Play.
You know what I’m going to say next though, right?
The touch controls in Jet Set Radio prove bothersome at times, and in the grand scheme of things, I’d say they’re marginally worse than Grand Theft Auto III. Not because of the way they’ve been implemented; simply because Jet Set Radio demands more intricate manoeuvring. Far from crippling, but you’ll inevitably find yourself craving an analogue stick.
Is Jet Set Radio for iOS/Android worth buying? Absolutely, though it’s worth noting that’s it’s also available for the PS Vita, albeit for a few quid more.
- Looks great
- Sounds great
- Arguably one of the best games of all time
- The controls
Summary: When Jet Set Radio first appeared on the Dreamcast, Snake was considered the pinnacle of mobile gaming. Now you can grab Jet Set Radio on your mobile for £2.99. It truly is a glorious time to be alive.
iOS requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android requirements: Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above.