Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: The Official Dreamcast Magazine previews Jet Grind Radio


Jet Set Radio Week rolls onwards! Today’s feature dusts off a classic issue of the Official Dreamcast Magazine (ODCM), which was published in the United States from June 1999 (the premiere Issue 0) to March 2001 (the final issue 12). Issue 6, which we’re shining the spotlight on today, released in the summer of 2000 and was a much anticipated issue as it featured an extensive preview of the upcoming Jet Set Radio – which was retitled Jet Grind Radio for the US market at the time the magazine went to print.

The author of the preview, Francesca Reyes (former Editor-In-Chief of the Official Xbox Magazine), is a name SEGAbits readers may remember. Francesca, as well as former ODCM Editor-In-Chief Simon Cox and former Gamespot Editor-In-Cheif Ricardo Torres, joined us for our 50th podcast to celebrate the Dreamcast’s birthday and talk about the history of the magazine. For the preview, Francesca not only flew out to Japan to go hands on with the game, but she also met with SEGA’s ragtag Smilebit team! After the break, let’s crack open this classic issue and see what this wacky cel shaded graffiti game is all about.

Click the pages to enlarge


Reading-Over-Your-Shoulder Observations:

  • Francesca kicks off the preview by writing what we’re all thinking: Jet Set Radio is a far more sensible title for the game
  • ODCM’s Simon Cox grew up on BBC docs and Black Adder
  • Francesca’s interview with Smilebit took place at SEGA’s HQ in Haneda, you can see what the building looks like here
  • ODCM’s preview took place at the Tokyo Game Show
  • Ryuta Ueda joined SEGA because he loved the design of Sonic the Hedgehog, but soon learned that most of SEGA’s designs were anime or manga-like, a fact that disappointed Ueda


Reading-Over-Your-Shoulder Observations:

    • Smilebit claimed that Jet Set Radio utilized a lot of the Dreamcast’s technical potential, noting the game’s realistic real-time shadows
    • Smilebit also claims that the Playstation 2 couldn’t handle the game’s many textures due to its weak memory

  • Francesca references FOX’s caught-on-camera specials, which were popular trash TV at the time, with the cheeky mention that Jet Set Radio‘s plot sounds like “When Cops Attack Skaters”
  • Francesca notes that narcissistic folks will enjoy the ability to put their own faces in the game, and then references a fighting game article in the same issue which features a photo shoot of a bloody and bruised Simon Cox (how much abuse can one boss take!?)
  • The character section on page 4 of the preview assigns the name “Corn” to the GG’s stocking capped member, however in the finalized Western release of the game Corn’s name was changed to Tab – it wasn’t until Jet Set Radio Future that the Corn name appeared in all regions


Tomorrow we’ll focus on ODCM’s demo of Jet Grind Radio in the first episode of SEGAbits Plays, a new live streaming series at SEGA Channel Retro. Catch it live Thursday at 8:30pm Eastern, 5:30pm Pacific and archived on Saturday at the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

This installment of Classic SEGA Magazine Corner was posted with with the staff’s permission


3 responses to “Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: The Official Dreamcast Magazine previews Jet Grind Radio

  1. Fernandeath says:

    It feels good to read those retro magazines, they makes us travel back to our ‘good old times’…

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