Jet Set Radio: Well, At Least They Kept the Soundtrack

Sega drops the ball with their port of the Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio, but its original charm manages to make it worth the purchase.

Part of Sega’s Heritage Collection HD releases available on Playstation 3, XBOX 360, and PC, Jet Set Radio has been remade keeping almost its entire soundtrack, which if you’ve ever played the game, you’ll know it’s one of its best points.

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Sonic Adventure 2 being put on Steam made me weep with joy. Jet Set Radio’s release inspired me to embark on a series of pilgrimages to thank whichever god(s) is/are responsible for this amazing game being released in HD on the PC. Now I’m thinking about asking those gods for a ticket refund.

SA2 suffered from being almost a direct port of the 360 version. Jet Set Radio seems to be quite literally a direct port. In the launcher, it allows you to set up the buttons and some of the moves carry with it the label of RT (right trigger) and LT (left trigger.) Because of this, they made no effort to make it keyboard friendly.

I tried playing without a controller for 30 minutes before realizing there were just some maneuvers I wasn’t able to pull off. The second I plugged in the controller, the only difficulty I had came from the actual game itself and not from my inputs.

Luckily, the rest of the game feels exactly the same. Save for a song or two, the entire soundtrack is intact, including my favorite Guitar Vader songs “Super Brothers” and “Magical Girl.” The graphics are still charming in all their cel shaded glory. Most importantly, (assuming you’re using a controller) the gameplay is still the same smooth handling it ever was. 

All in all, Jet Set Radio is still just as amazing on the PC as it was on the Dreamcast. It just suffers from being a port that the developers put very little effort into. If Sega continues to release older games in HD, I hope they at least try to pass off the PC port as a separate entity from the 360 version, as it really should be made with a controller being an optional device and not something you need to be able to even get passed some of the most basic challenges in the game.

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Author
Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.