Many individuals that have deemed themselves as gamers since the early 2000’s will know all about the classic games of the original Xbox. Of course, the first Halo game was released for the original console as was the initial Fable game, but one other title that resonated with a number of players and undoubtably provided many hours of gameplay memories is that of Jet Set Radio Future.
The game was an original Xbox exclusive and was perhaps the most successful installment in the Jet Set Radio series of video games. Given the abbreviation of JSRF, the title allowed players to take hold of many different and unique characters that were unlocked throughout the story of the game. The common theme of each avatar was that they were undeniably talented roller skaters. The art design was rather advanced for the Xbox as it reflected a 3D version of a comic book meshed with Japanese anime.
The setting of JSRF took place in a futuristic version of Tokyo where their gang of skaters were considered the rebels in the eyes of the corporate world. Players could make use of spray cans by using them to tag graffiti amongst the certain areas of the city. Users also had the ability to customize their very own graffiti tag that could then be displayed wherever the designated paint had been applied. The inclusion of numerous challenges putting the ultimate skating skills to the test proved to provide hours of fun with the gaming experience.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the game was the storyline. Before attempting any of the additional challenges that could unlock bonus items and characters, players had their hands full with an in-depth story involving the struggle between the artistic community of skaters and the head of the corporate world known as the Rokkaku Group. Whilst taking control of the skaters, users will also compete head on with rival in-line skating groups by covering up their graffiti tags and numerous stunt challenges and races.
Another distinct characteristic that made JSRF so interesting was the many different characters one would take control of throughout the game. Many “boss-like” figures were actually available to unlock as playable characters either by beating them and having them join your crew or by completing some unspoken challenges to acquire the hidden characters. The methods for unlocking the hidden characters were usually found in cheat sheet booklets or online. But each avatar that players took hold of were very distinct and came with their own personality and set of skills. Names like Yo-Yo, Boogie, Soda and Gum are amongst some of the more favorable characters, showcasing the vibrants traits of each individual.
The soundtrack of the game also proved to be a hit amongst the players. Featuring a number of genres generating from electro-pop/hip-hop influences, gamers often found themselves jamming along to the tunes their skater may be dancing to.
As one reminisces on old Xbox memories with Jet Set Radio Future, it can only be desired that the franchise will make a reappearance before long. Perhaps in an HD remake or a fully rebooted sequel, only time will tell. The original disc can be played on the Xbox 360 system so if one is longing for a sense of nostalgia, all they need is to pop in the game and go. A video featuring many of the playable characters can be viewed below.
Opinion by Cody Collier