Simply Static Reception So Far
Today marks the re-release of Jet Set Radio for members of Sony’s Playstation Plus service. The rest of the world should start seeing the game beginning next week.
With the release, three reviews have been issued so far. One, from the Official XBOX Magazine‘s Francesca Reyes, is quite positive, awarding the HD re-release a 9 out of 10:
Amid endless waves of grumbly-faced shooters, Jet Set’s intoxicating cocktail of idealized youth culture, ridiculously joyful absurdism, and tough-love gameplay feels like a much-needed shot in the arm. It’s quirky enough to turn off the unadventurous, but for the rest of us, it’s every bit as relevant as it was in 2000.
Two other reviews, however, were not so kind. The first, from Polygon’s Arthur Gies, criticized the game’s control mechanics and poor camera, awarding jus a 5 out of 10:
I exceeded the limits of my patience with Jet Set Radio HD after about six hours. I had played the same level seven times, instructed to follow a rival gang in order to tag their backs and chase them off my gang’s turf. After an hour of chasing, and missing grinds, and being knocked over by the faster skaters, and colliding with level geometry — and watching giant pieces of the stage disappear and reappear in the distance — I had almost taken the other team out, only to miss a grind. I watched my jump sail past the rail and I rolled into the level exit. My skater was recovering, and refused to respond to my inputs. As I exited the level without completing it, I had to let my controller go — at high velocity, in the direction of the floor 10 feet away. That wasn’t where I stopped playing, but at that point, I was finished with Jet Set Radio HD.
The second, from Game Informer’s Matt Hegelson, had the same complaints but a better score of 6.5 out of 10:
While the premise – explore the environment and tag graffiti spots – is solid, the moment-to-moment gameplay isn’t enjoyable. Your skater controls like a tank on ice skates. This lack of fine control is exacerbated by camera problems and the barely controlled chaos of the rampaging cops and urban traffic. Too often, you fall off a ledge just to be hit and carried off by a bus or run into an off-camera police officer. Grinding on rails is automatic, so you’re magnetically attached to the rail until you choose to jump off, which takes away the feeling daring and creativity that you get from coming up with lines in Tony Hawk. The graffiti tagging, which has you tracing movements with the analog stick, sometimes doesn’t register correctly, leaving you standing there as the police close in. The trick system is shallow and isn’t compelling in its own right.
If you’ve played the re-release already, afford your comments below.