The question of “What makes a SEGA game a SEGA game?” is often debated amongst fans of the company. Some believe it is as simple as looking at the package and spotting the SEGA logo, others believe that there is a magical mix of various elements that give that true “SEGA feel”. While I’ll admit that I believe any game funded by and owned by the company qualifies, I can’t help but feeling that some games have a certain je ne sais quoi (or is that je ne sega quoi?) that elevates them to another level.
Jet Set Radio is one of those games. It is a game that oozes style, featuring unique characters that are adventurous and edgy. The game puts a unique spin on established concepts, and pays tribute to the company’s arcade past by featuring fast paced gameplay. Most importantly of all, the game carries on the grand SEGA tradition of memorable music – so much so that I’d argue that Jet Set Radio is one of the greatest SEGA soundtracks of all time.
As mentioned in yesterday’s retrospective, Hideki Naganuma was the man responsible for a bulk of the game’s soundtrack. To truly appreciate just how much Naganuma’s music contributes to the game, all one needs to do is turn the in-game music down to zero and try playing the game. Hear that? It’s Jet Set Radio without any of the funky oxygen that keeps the world of Tokyo-to alive. In anticipation of this week, we reached out to Naganuma and asked for his favorite track from the original game, and he was quick to reply:
Of course he couldn’t pick just one, and can we blame him? “That’s Enough” and “Sneakman” are a great pair, representing Jet Set Radio music at two extremes. “That’s Enough” is a mellow tune perfect for a relaxing skate, while “Sneakman” is a fast paced tune which wouldn’t be out of place in a chase scene. So crank up your speakers, or throw on some hilariously large headphones, and enjoy Naganuma’s favorite tunes!