Which Version of Jet Set Radio is the BEST?

In the latest edition of my weekly article series for SEGAbits, I compared three regional versions of Jet Set Radio to find out which version was the best. Those unacquainted with the US, European and Japanese versions of Jet Set Radio may be thinking: “whats the big deal? A ton of Dreamcast titles were released in three regions.” Well, unlike most Dreamcast games, Jet Set Radio had rather notable differences between regional releases. Each version features unique graffiti tags, unique songs, different stages, different character names and voices and even different titles. Of the three, which is the best? That’s what we’ll try to decide today, by comparing five aspects of the games and choosing a winner! 

Check out my full article over at SEGAbits!


  1. The European version! It has the correct name and the best music etc etc.

  2. where's dela jet set radio?? it should've been in there as its the most complete version of all versions

  3. In the article I noted that given the high price and the fact that the only real difference is replacing the voice acting, I deemed the European version as the best version. I'd rather pay $10 for the PAL version than $100+ for De La just to have different voice actors.

    The ideal pairing is the PAL and original Japanese version, as you get all the additions with the PAL release and the best new music at a great price and you get the original voice acting, story, gameplay progression and interactive credits with the Japanese version.

  4. I didn't know they had different stages. What's the reasoning behind that?

  5. The US and UK versions had the Grind City stages because at the time SEGA's goal was to create games with worldwide appeal (take a look at Sonic Adventure 2 having a heavy US influence while still being a Japanese franchise, and PSO being pushed as a worldwide experience)

    You can learn more about how the JP dev team viewed the new stages in this interview excerpt:

    "Europe didn’t escape changes, either. While the name stayed intact, several changes were made to the game itself. Kikuchi said that the town in which the game takes place was very Japanese, and indeed it is. Playing the game immediately brings to mind the Tokyo fashion and shopping Mecca of Shibuya, a place that any Japanese player would instantly be familiar with, just as any British gamer would be familiar with Piccadilly Circus. In an attempt to help give non-Japanese players that same sense of familiarity, Kikuchi and his team added American-style environments modelled after New York’s Times Square and the south Bronx. They also made small changes to the story, like changing the nationality of two of the characters to American.
    These additional levels also created a marketing opportunity for Sega at home. The company was able to repackage JSR, complete with new levels, and sell the game to the Japanese audience again as De La Jet Set Radio. The most notable change would have been obvious only to those who beat the game. In the original Japanese ending, the credit roll was interactive; players could skate around, tag, and play with the names of the developers – all, of course, written in Japanese. Since localising that level would have required rebuilding it from the ground up, this time with every credited individual’s name written in English, the sequence was cut in its entirety."

  6. Thanks for the clarification Barry, a very interesting post and article

  7. The game will always be JET SET RADIO for me. Like the Megadrive wasd - and not the "Genesis". I mean, the sequel was Jet Set Radio Future in the end, not "Grind Future", right?

    Since the Pal release had the little aditions the US port had, it will always be my favorite version for this game :P