Rejoice, Dreamcast fans! Just one week after word got out that Seaman, the bizarre man-fish pet-sim/conversation game, is being revived for Nintendo’s 3DS comes news of the next Dreamcast classic bound for downloadable platforms. Long-rumored, and teased in a trailer released by Sega just last week, Jet Set Radio makes its triumphant return this Summer on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
It’s almost hard to imagine now, but when Jet Set Radio first landed on Dreamcast back in 2000, its cell-shaded graphics were completely fresh, and a genuine revelation. Impossibly bright, crisp and stylish, Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in North America) looked more like animation than a video game.
But it wasn’t just the forward looking — and soon to be endlessly copied — visual style that made Jet Set Radio stand out. The game featured an eclectic, up-to-the-minute electronic soundtrack that proved to be nearly as influential as its visuals. The audio landscape of SSX, for example, certainly owes a debt of gratitude to Jet Set Radio.
You can hear a bit of the game’s audio legacy in the teaser trailer released last week.
For those not lucky enough to have played Jet Set Radio (or its Xbox sequel, Jet Set Radio Future) the first time around, the game takes elements of stunt-based extreme sports titles (especially the Tony Hawk series, which is also on its way to XBLA/PSN), adds an emphasis on platforming, and tops the whole thing with a cool graffiti tagging mechanic — which is how protagonists Beat, Gum, and the rest of the GGs liberate Tokyo-to from the “overbearing, corporate-controlled police force” that controls it.
Take a look at some images from the upcoming re-release that show just how good Jet Set Radio looks in wide-screen high-def.
In honor of the game’s celebration of graffiti art, Sega is sponsoring a contest for US and UK fans, giving them a chance to design new tags that will appear in the game. From the Jet Set Radio Graffiti Art Contest website:
“This is your chance to become a part of videogame history! We’re looking for 18 winning pieces of graffiti to add to the game. So break out your favorite graphics program, flex that artistic muscle of yours, and take a shot at winning this fabulous Jet Set Radio prize pack — including two digital copies of the game for either the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system or the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, a Jet Set Radio branded hoodie, a Jet Set Radio branded beverage shaker, and the EtÃ³n Rukus Solar — Portable Blue Tooth Sound System with Solar Panel!”
Time to get designing, Ranters!
As one of the last remaining Dreamcast classics to be updated for modern consoles, Jet Set Radio should be a real treat. The game’s stylish world, last seen in Sega and Sonic All-Stars Racing (and hopefully set to be included in that game’s upcoming sequel), looks as enticing as ever, while JSR’s killer soundtrack is practically worth the price of admission on its own.
Are you looking forward to the Jet Set Radio re-release? What other Dreamcast games would you like to see ported to current consoles? (Hint: Phantasy Star Online. The first one. Only.) Let us know in the comments below.
Jet Set Radio releases this Summer on XBLA, PSN, and PC.
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Source: Sega Blog