Written By: Jerome Davis
Sega is breathing life back into “Jet Set Radio”, sparking excitement among fans. The provided image is an intriguing screenshot from the highly anticipated new Jet Set Radio game.

You’re goddamn right. Sega is finally making another Jet Set radio!

After what seemed like an endless hiatus, Sega has finally decided to give its fans what they’ve been clamoring for. Fans, as well as other development studios, were so enamored with the franchise that this year saw the release and success of Bombrush Cyberfunk, a clear spiritual successor to the Xbox exclusive Jet Set Radio Future. Perhaps Sega took notice, or perhaps the game was already in the works, but the Game Awards 2023 saw the reveal of a multi-game trailer featuring nothing but upcoming versions of Sega classics. Most notably, we can see a new Jet Set Radio game featuring some similarities with the beloved Jet Set Radio Future, including the iconic characters Professor K and Beat, as well as plenty of exciting new features to uncover.

The first notable difference is the graphical style. While the original game did a stupendous job with its futuristic, stylized cel-shading, the current version boasts a different, equally charming, colorful, and stylized art style. In the image below, we can observe that the level design, character design, and gameplay mechanics seem quite similar. Each features a character freely roaming through a city with a multitude of options to reach various spots within the level. Just like in JSRF, players could climb and grind to high spots and hard-to-reach areas, creating a sense of boundless exploration. This freedom seems to return in the new Jet Set Radio, as we can witness Beat climbing to the top of a lighting fixture and effortlessly grinding on power lines.

Sega is bringing back the beloved cult game “Jet Set Radio” alongside four other classic franchises, injecting new life into these cherished titles for a new generation to enjoy.

Colorful trails and effects accompany various actions, such as grinding and spray painting graffiti. Despite the trailer’s brevity, Sega managed to convey a sense of open exploration. It remains to be seen whether the gameplay will live up to our nostalgic memories while also providing modern tweaks and quality-of-life improvements. For example, in the original Jet Set Radio, the framerate and visual quality suffered slightly during boost dashes. Although we didn’t witness an exact return of the dash in the new trailer, there was an instance of Beat launching himself from a lighting fixture, suggesting a similar method of travel may make a comeback.

“The concept of games like Jet Set radio is Advanced.”

Sega has announced that the new Jet Set Radio will not be outsourced, and instead, the franchise’s original creators will work on it internally. This decision is a breath of fresh air, as fans can rest assured that newcomers won’t tamper with the cult classic franchise. Shuji Utsumi, Sega’s Co-Chief Operating Officer and head of Sega of America, confirmed this news in an interview with The Washington Post. “The concept of games like Jet Set Radio is advanced. The original creators are involved again, and it’s the right time now. It’s a good time when people can appreciate all kinds of concepts.”

The Official Sega trailer featured Professor K, returning and hopefully bringing stupendous tunes. Can Sega recreate the musical magic from it’s prior games?

However, a crucial question arises: what about the music? Ask any Jet Set Radio fan, and you’ll hear nearly unanimous praise for the game’s original soundtrack. The tracks were so unbelievably catchy that I’ve been listening to many of them my entire life since hearing them in the game. Cibo Matto, Scapegoat Wax, The Latch Brothers, Bran Van 3000, Hideki Naganuma, and more – the talent was impressively vast, and reproducing that unique retro JSRF vibe may prove challenging in today’s industry. However, Bombrush Cyberfunk demonstrated that it is possible to create hits that capture that nostalgic JSRF essence even today. Nonetheless, the original still reigns supreme in the minds of many fans. Whatever becomes of the new Jet Set Radio, you can bet your ass we will be covering every aspect and delivering you the latest updates.

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