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Review: Jet Grind Radio
(IDG) -- Skate or die! Graffiti rules the streets in Jet Grind Radio for Dreamcast. Set in the future where a totalitarian police force keeps order and limits free expression, Jet Grind Radio has you try to free the people through graffiti art. Your mission is to skate through each level, graffiti on specified locations to spread your gang's notoriety, and eventually break the grip the police and government have on society.
You spread your gang's message by tagging designated locations on walls, vehicles, and the like, erasing rival gang graffiti, and placing fresh tags in virgin spots. There are a number of pre-made tags to pick from, and you can customize your own. In order to be able to tag, you have to collect cans of spray paint that are lying around each level, and some of them are quite tough to get to, requiring jumps between tricky rail grinds. Small tags merely require the press of a button, while you have to perform combo moves with the analog stick for bigger ones.
Of course, the law is out to get you and the cops will use just about anything including helicopters, teargas, and motorcycles to stop you. You also have to dodge cars and buses, so look both ways before you cross the street! Each level has a countdown timer, and you have to tag over every designated spot to clear the level.
Although you can pull off tricks in the game and you can grind 'till your heart's content, Jet Grind Radio isn't a stunt-oriented game like Tony Hawk. Still, the tricks and grinds are fun, and each level has a lot of places to launch for big air and long edges to grind on. You'll definitely boost your score by ripping some tricks, but the main objective is to tag all the spots.
The graphics in Jet Grind are one of a kind. The characters and environments have a highly stylized look that's both convincing and fun to look at. Buildings, cars, people, and all kinds of other objects populate highly detailed environments that encourage (and require) serious exploration. To compliment the visuals, Jet Grind Radio also has a kicking soundtrack with funky beats mixed by a few different DJs. Jet Grind Radio is one of the best looking (and sounding) games to come out for any system this year. It's a refreshing change from the usual.
Jet Grind Radio is a unique and fun action game. The excellent graphics and unique look back the solid gameplay. It's certainly one of the best games for the Dreamcast this year. The simple, but challenging gameplay will suck you in. Do yourself a favor and grab Jet Grind.
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