Video game console
Jet Grind Radio's gameplay has some of the feel of Crazy Taxi. As you skate, you see little floating arrows that indicate where you should go (and where you should be tagging). Also, like in Crazy Taxi, the pace of the game is absolutely nonstop. There is moving traffic in the street, and nearly everything can be jumped, hopped, or ground. Underscoring all of this action is a DJ at the local hip-hop station, who spins cool tunes while you tear up Little Tokyoto.
The game starts out with a training course that's designed to bring you up to speed. Pay good attention to this section; it teaches you the basics, and you're tested on one of the lessons right away. Learning how to hop over obstacles while keeping a rail grind going is particularly helpful.
After graduating into the real game, you have the option of going it cool or easing up and figuring out how to do the flips, splits, and other midair antics that make this game so much fun. Once your skating skills are set, you'll learn the spray-can side of things. You pick up cans of paint as you maneuver around (keep your eyes open--some cans are placed in those hard-to-reach places, so that you'll have to catch serious air to get them). After securing your fill, use the left trigger and the analog to spray as you pass by areas that have been indicated by the arrows.
The game's tunes are right on schedule. Much of the Japanese soundtrack has been retained, with new tunes rounding out the selection. The new playlist additions give the game that special flavor that U.S. audiences crave: Jurassic 5, Mix Master Mike, and Rob Zombie, to name a few.
Much about Jet Grind Radio has "classic" stamped on it; but, of course, liking it or not liking it will be up to the individual. With its fresh characters, cool design, great music and audio, and high replayability, Jet Grind Radio is likely to lodge itself into the library of many a Dreamcast owner. --Todd Mowatt