At In Memoriam, we regularly look back at a lost series that has left a hole in our hearts. An IP that deserved more than it got or just a series of games that left us wanting more regardless of whether they were comprehensive or not. This is a series from the heart, the broken heart.
Today we turn our attention to a series that has left a lasting impression on the gaming world, although it is not as famous as some others: Jet Set Radio. It all started in 2000, with the release of Jet Set Radio for the Sega Dreamcast (a console that probably deserved a similar retrospective). It was a game that not only offered a unique style, but also a new way to experience gaming.
Jet Set Radio is developed by Smilebit, a subsidiary of Sega. The game put players in the shoes of a group of young skateboarders known as the GGs, as they spray graffiti in Tokyo to mark their territory and fight rival gangs. But this was no ordinary skiing adventure; It was infused with a unique visual style that brought scion shading to the general public for the first time. Many developers over the years have cited Jet Set Radio as a major source of inspiration, not least Insomniac Games when creating Sunset Overdrive.
What really sets Jet Set Radio apart is the soundtrack. The game featured an eclectic mix of music genres, from Japanese pop to hip-hop, which perfectly matched the rebellious vibe of the game. Songs were used not only to enhance the atmosphere, but to influence the gameplay as well. The music set the pace for skating and sprayed graffiti, making you feel like you were dancing on wheels as you slid down the streets.
The game was full of memorable characters, such as Beat, Gum, and Tab, each with their own personality and style. And then there was Professor K, the DJ who was the voice of the Tokyo underground scene and walked you through the story through his radio shows.
The success of Jet Set Radio led to a sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, which was released on Xbox in 2002. This sequel retained the essence of the original game, but expanded the world and introduced new possibilities for skating. It also retained the signature style and soundtrack that made the series so special.
Unfortunately, despite its following and the dedication of its fans, the Jet Set Radio franchise did not last. There were rumors and desires for a third part, but so far no official announcement has been made.
Despite this, Jet Set Radio lives on in the memories of those who operated it. It was a game that brought innovation to the gaming world, both visually and musically. He reminded us that games can not only entertain, but also inspire and be art.