Jet Set Radio

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For the video game series, see Jet Set Radio (series).
Jet Set Radio
European Dreamcast cover art
Developer(s) Smilebit
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Masayoshi Kikuchi
Producer(s) Osamu Sato
Series Jet Set Radio
Platform(s) Dreamcast, Java ME, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Vita,[1] iOS,[2] Android[2]
Release date(s) Dreamcast
  • JP June 29, 2000
  • NA October 30, 2000[3]
  • EU November 24, 2000
De La Jet Set Radio
  • JP January 1, 2001
Java ME
Typing Jet
  • JP June 22, 2001
Game Boy Advance
  • NA June 26, 2003
  • EU February 20, 2004
PlayStation 3 (PSN)
  • NA September 18, 2012
  • EU September 19, 2012
  • JP February 20, 2013
  • WW September 19, 2012
Xbox 360 (XBLA)
  • NA September 19, 2012
  • EU September 19, 2012
  • JP February 20, 2013
PlayStation Vita
  • JP February 20, 2013
iOS, Android
  • WW November 29, 2012
  • JP December 20, 2012 (iOS)
  • JP January 30, 2013 (Android)
Genre(s) Platform, Action, Sports
Mode(s) Single-player

Jet Set Radio (ジェットセットラジオ Jetto Setto Rajio?, called Jet Grind Radio in North America) is a video game for the Dreamcast, developed by Smilebit and published by Sega on June 29, 2000 in Japan, October 30, 2000 in North America and November 24, 2000 in Europe. A version of the game by Vicarious Visions was released by THQ for Game Boy Advance on June 26, 2003 in North America and February 20, 2004 in Europe. A HD version of the game by Blit Software was released for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Windows in September 2012.[6] Its sequel, Jet Set Radio Future was released in 2002 for the Xbox after Sega became a software-based company. The game is also known for spearheading the use of cel-shaded graphics in video games.


Jet Set Radio sees the player character as a member of a rebellious gang called The GGs as they fight to gain control of Tokyo-to (an approximation of modern-day central Tokyo) whilst dealing with rival gangs and the police. The player character rides using inline skates and is able to jump, grind (slide) on rails and skitch on the back of cars. The most common goal in the game is to spray over other gangs' graffiti with the player's own, which requires the player to collect spray paint cans littered across the stage. Small graffiti can be sprayed over by tapping the spray button whilst passing near them, and can be performed whilst jumping or grinding. Larger pieces of graffiti, however, require the player to follow a series of gestures using the analogue stick in order to spray over. Other missions include showdowns with rival gangs, such as following them along a certain route. At certain times, the police will be called in to chase after the player, often sending troops to slow down the player and firing weapons at them. Players will take damage from gunfire, as well as from falling from too great a height, but can be recovered by collecting health spray cans.

Development and history[edit]

Jet Set Radio was announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 1999 and generated a prodigious amount of press attention due to its use of the then revolutionary rendering technique, cel-shading. Now commonplace in game design, cel-shading allows for a "cartoon-like" appearance of 3D rendered objects.[7] Jet Set Radio was released in Japan on June 29, 2000. The graffiti featured in the game was the work of a variety of artists. Most notably graffiti artist Eric Haze, who provided a number of pieces used in the game by the player, the game's logo, and other incidental art. Other graffiti contributors include Edge, Uecho, Enas, Higuchin, Chikpon, and K-Chap.

The U.S. release, re-titled Jet Grind Radio because of trademark issues, contained two new maps, various new songs, and other in-game content designed to increase the game's appeal to Western audiences. This version also allowed the user to connect to the Internet via SegaNet and download user-created graffiti tags, or upload tags of their own, as some could also be used to promote other Sega games. Sales of the game were relatively low, but it has gone on to achieve a cult following in the gaming community.

On February 22, 2012, Sega announced on their YouTube channel and blog with a video titled "Guess who's back?" that Jet Set Radio will be the next in their planned line-up of Dreamcast re-releases for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, and a Microsoft Windows version was also confirmed later on the blog.[8] The game was released in mid-September 2012 (November 2012 for the PlayStation Vita version) and retains the title of Jet Set Radio in North America.[9]


The game begins in Shibuya-cho, and is introduced by Professor K, the DJ of a pirate radio station based in Tokyo-to, who explains the basics of life in Tokyo-to for a "rudie", the term he uses to refer to young people who roam the streets spraying and skating, as a means of self-expression.

The city is split into three parts—Shibuya-cho, Benten-cho, and Kogane-cho, each of which corresponds to a different time of day: Shibuya-cho, a daytime district resembling parts of the real-life Dogenzaka, Hachiko Crossing and Udagawacho; Benten, a nocturnal entertainment district which appears to be jointly inspired by Shinjuku, Akihabara, and Ikebukuro; and Kogane, a sunset-lit dockyard (described in the English version of the game as a "residential area"). In each of these areas, the player will encounter a rival gang - the Love Shockers in Shibuya, the Noise Tanks in Benten, and Poison Jam in Kogane - that attempts to usurp the GG's home turf. The player starts off forming a skate gang which also resides in Shibuya-cho, and thus forms a rivalry between the gangs in the area. After completing a set of menial challenges, designed to introduce the player to the control system, Gum and Tab join the gang forming the first 3 members of the GG's. The player starts out as Beat, a 17-year-old rudie who ran away from home like many other Japanese rudies. Beat was first shunned from gang to gang over and over again until he decided to start his own gang. Beat is the leader and founder of the GG's, short for "Graffiti Gang/Gangsters". The player first starts out spraying a little graffiti in Shibuya-Cho looking to recruit members. First Gum joins, then Tab. Then, as the game starts diving into its further plot, many other willing "rudies" decide to join your graffiti gang. But they don't offer to join you as simply as possible. All of the new soon-to-be rudies challenge you to a set of three challenges. These challenges are to test your speed and graffiti skills, giving you a high score based on your performance.

The initial stage is set in a Shibuya bus station, in which the player has to "tag" various parts of the bus station, as well as spray over existing tags, so as to gain the area as part of their territory. While tagging these places, the player is pursued by cops and their leader, Captain Onishima. The police, the S.W.A.T team, and Goji Rokkaku's Golden Rhinos are yet another obstacle to avoid while defeating rival gangs. Also, Professor K narrates specific parts of the game via his eponymous pirate radio station called Jet Set Radio.

Other gangs which feature in the game as opponents are the Noise Tanks, who appear to be semi-cyborg otaku, Poison Jam, brutish thugs who wear fish costumes, and the Love Shockers, an all-girl gang made up of jilted lovers. Once the protagonist defeats each gang they hand over their belongings and grant the area to the graffiti gang that dethroned them. Plus, after defeating a rival gang, they might offer the player a "treat".


The upbeat Jet Set Radio soundtrack includes an eclectic array of original and licensed songs combining the musical genres of J-pop, hip hop, funk, electronic dance music, rock music, acid jazz, trip hop, and in the North American version, metal. All but three of the tracks from the combined worldwide soundtrack have been kept in the HD port, with "Yappie Feet", "Dunny Boy Williamson Show" and "Many Styles" being omitted due to licensing issues.[6][10] The Game Boy Advance versions features shorter samples of six of the game's songs.

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Funky Radio"   B.B. Rights  
2. "Mischievous Boy"   Castle Logical  
3. "Dunny Boy Williamson Show" (Japanese version only) Deavid Soul  
4. "Miller Ball Breakers"   Deavid Soul  
5. "On the Bowl (A. Fargus Remix)"   Deavid Soul  
6. "Up-Set Attack"   Deavid Soul  
7. "Yappie Feet" (Dreamcast version only) Deavid Soul  
8. "Yellow Bream"   F-Fields  
9. "Magical Girl"   Guitar Vader  
10. "Super Brothers"   Guitar Vader  
11. "Grace and Glory"   Hideki Naganuma  
12. "Humming the Bassline"   Hideki Naganuma  
13. "Let Mom Sleep"   Hideki Naganuma  
14. "Moody's Shuffle"   Hideki Naganuma  
15. "Rock It On"   Hideki Naganuma  
16. "Sneakman"   Hideki Naganuma  
17. "Sweet Soul Brother"   Hideki Naganuma  
18. "That's Enough"   Hideki Naganuma  
19. "OK House"   Idol Taxi  
20. "'Bout the City"   Reps  
21. "Everybody Jump Around"   Richard Jacques  
22. "Electric Tooth Brush"   Toronto  
23. "Just Got Wicked" (North American version only) Cold  
24. "Recipe for the Perfect Afro" (PAL version only) Feature Cast  
25. "Improvise" (North American and PAL versions only) Jurassic 5  
26. "Patrol Knob" (North American and PAL versions only) Mix Master Mike  
27. "Many Styles" (PAL version only) O.B. One  
28. "Slow" (North American version only) Professional Murder Music  
29. "Dragula (Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare Mix)" (North American version only) Rob Zombie  
30. "Funky Plucker" (PAL version only) Semi Detached  

Alternative versions[edit]

Game Boy Advance version[edit]

A version of Jet Set Radio was released for the Game Boy Advance system in 2003, created by Vicarious Visions, the developers of the numerous Tony Hawk Pro Skater GBA games; and published by THQ. It featured an isometric perspective similar to the GBA Tony Hawk games and, despite the hardware limitations, cartoony graphics were designed to emulate the look of cel-shaded graphics, despite the smaller resolution. Music is reduced to 30 to 45 second samples. The levels ranged from exact duplicates to reminiscent counterparts of the original Jet Set Radio.

Typing Jet[edit]

There was a version for mobile phones titled Typing Jet released in summer of 2001 exclusively in Japan.[11]

De La Jet Set Radio[edit]

After the public reported several bugs in the original Japanese version of Jet Set Radio, Sega decided to re-release it under the name of De La Jet Set Radio ("Deluxe" Jet Set Radio). This version was only sold in Japan via Dreamcast Direct (later renamed Sega Direct) making it one of the more rare Dreamcast titles available. The gameplay in this version was easier to pick up and included the added music from the PAL and North American versions, including the two levels only included in these two versions. The text featured in the game is localized in the main language of the player's Dreamcast, unlike the original Japanese version, which means that if the player's Dreamcast system is set to English language, the text in the game will be in English. The same goes for Japanese, German, French and Spanish. However, the voices remain Japanese in this version regardless of what language the Dreamcast is set to.

HD version[edit]

A high-definition port of the game was released in 2012 for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows. In association with the announcement of the HD version, Sega ran a promotional contest to allow players to submit their own artwork to be used as graffiti within the game.[9][12] Additional features include widescreen HD graphics, online leaderboards and a new camera system. The game was released on PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 on September 18, 2012 (members of PlayStation Plus could purchase the game from September 11, 2012), on Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Windows on September 19, 2012, PlayStation Vita on November 20, 2012,[13] and November 29, 2012 for iOS and Android devices.


Jet Set Radio
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 91.90%[14]
Metacritic 94/100[15]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 9/10[16]
Famitsu 32/40[17]
GameSpot 9.0/10[18]
GamesRadar 4/5[19]
IGN 9.6/10[20]

The game was received very well from online sources and magazines.[21] Many have praised the style of the game as the matching soundtrack with up-tempo music. Critics also applauded the simplistic "pick-up and play" arcade-style gameplay.[22] Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast version of the game a 32 out of 40.[17] The lowest review according to Game Rankings was a 3.5 out of 5 from Independent Gamer.[23] IGN gave the game a 9.6 rating but criticized the camera control, saying, "You'll spend at least a week wondering why all games don't look this good. Then you will spend at least a month wondering why the camera didn't get fixed during localization."[20] Eurogamer scored the HD version 9/10, writing that "The skating's still great, the city's still a joy to explore, and the soundtrack's still one of the very best ever put together."[16] GamesRadar gave the HD version a 4/5, stating "Its varied missions will keep you coming back for more and the added treat of hearing its eclectic soundtrack makes playing them all the more fun."[19]

In 2009, an early antagonist in the game, Captain Onishima, was ranked 95th in IGN's "Top 100 Videogame Villains" list.[24]

IGN gave the Game Boy Advance version a score of 8.6. Official Nintendo Magazine gave it 76% praising the game for "being faithful to the original".


  • E3 2000 Game Critics Awards: Winner for Best Console Game, runner-up for Best in Show
  • 2001 Game Developers Choice Awards: Winner of Excellence in Visual Arts and Game Innovation Spotlights awards, nominated for Game of the Year
  • 4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (2001): nominated for Game Design, Game of the Year, Console Game of the Year, Console Innovation, Original Music Composition, Sound Design, and Visual Engineering

Sequel and related titles[edit]

Jet Set Radio Future[edit]

Main article: Jet Set Radio Future

The sequel to Jet Set Radio, which is called Jet Set Radio Future was developed for the Xbox and released in Japan on February 22, 2002, in North America on February 25, 2002 (under the title JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future) and in Europe on March 14, 2002 as a launch game for the console. The game's style and cel-shaded graphics remained faithful to the original, although somewhat improved to take advantage of the Xbox hardware.

Appearances in other games[edit]

Two of Jet Set Radio‍ '​s characters, Beat and Gum, are playable characters in the sports title Sega Superstars Tennis. A tennis court is based on the game, with other characters from the game watching the match. Beat also features as a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, taking his looks from Jet Set Radio Future, where his All-Star move is speeding through the track on his skates, spraying graffiti on his foes. There are several race tracks based on the game as well. Beat and Gum also appear in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but retain their designs from the original game; a stage based on Jet Set Radio is included, as well as a returning JSRF track from the original game. Two of the songs from Jet Set Radio Future, "The Concept of Love" and "Teknopathic", were remixed for the arcade game Ollie King. Goji Rokkaku makes a cameo in Yakuza. The world of Jet Set Radio also features prominently in an episode of Hi sCoool! SeHa Girls.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Jet Set Radio Related Games". GameSpot. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Clumsyorchid (November 13, 2012). "Dates Confirmed for Jet Set Radio on Vita & Mobile!". SEGA Blog. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  5. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (November 13, 2012). "Jet Set Radio HD coming to Vita, iOS and Android this month". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "TGS: Sega Shows Jet Grind Radio". September 1999. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Yin-Poole, Wesley (2012-02-28). "Jet Set Radio HD out this summer on PC, PSN and XBLA". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Jet Set Radio Graffiti Contest". SEGA Corporation. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Donlan, Christian, Jet Set Radio Review, Eurogamer, 12 September 2012.
  17. ^ a b ドリームキャスト - JET SET RADIO (ジェットセットラジオ). Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.42. 30 June 2006.
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Saldana, Giancarlo, Jet Set Radio HD review, GamesRadar, September 11, 2012.
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ "Game Developers Choice Online Awards". 
  22. ^ Hopton, Adam. "Top 10 Dreamcast Games". Trendy Gamers. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Jet Grind Radio Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  24. ^