It’s fifteen years later and we’re still trying to understand the concept of love. That’s right, on this date SEGA and Smilebit’s Jet Set Radio Future released in Japan to Microsoft’s Xbox! Just a few days later, on February 25th, the game hit the Americas (thankfully not retitled Jet Grind Radio Future) and then on March 14th those in Europe got to see what those in Japan and the Americas were raving about.
Jet Set Radio Future was a dramatic shift for the franchise for a number of reasons. As the first direct sequel (the Game Boy Advance game was more of a downgraded – but still highly enjoyable – remake), JSRF looked and played very differently. The entire universe had a new art style, characters were very different both in look and allegiance, and the game played less like an arcade game and more like an open world adventure. But hey, what can you expect? It was the future!
Aside from the cell shaded graphics, which were lovely then and still are now, the music was another standout. Old favorites Hideki Naganuma, Richard Jacques and Deavid Soul returned along with newcomers like The Latch Brothers. Classic tunes from the original game returned with fresh and funky remixes, like Naganuma’s “Let Mom Sleep” remixed by Jacques and Guitar Vader’s “I Love Love You” remixed by Naganuma. New classics were introduced like Naganuma’s “Fly Like a Butterfly” and Jacques’ “What About the Future”.
The game was and is a true delight, and even fifteen years on you will still encounter gamers who just recently discovered the game and love it just as much as those who played it on release (for three days straight in my case). So let’s all raise our spray cans and toast Jet Set Radio Future on 15 years!
Want to learn more about Jet Set Radio Future? Check out these features:
- A look back at the development of the original Jet Set Radio and a franchise retrospective
- A complete history of those mysterious musicians The Latch Brothers
- The merchandise of Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future
- The music of JSRF – Singing a tune that’s unique and familiar
- Smilebit – A SEGA Retrospective