Showing posts with label Jet Grind Radio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jet Grind Radio. Show all posts

Celebrate 22 years of Jet Set Radio with some licensed merch

It's June 29 2022 as I write this...and that means only one thing: it's exactly 22 years since Jet Set Radio was first unleashed on the world. Yep, on June 29 2000 Beat, Gum and Corn et al erupted onto the scene, taking on Poison Jam, the Love Shockers and Noise Tanks while grooving on down to the soothing choons pumped out by pirate radio DJ Professor K.

You could celebrate this event by playing Jet Set Radio. You could also celebrate by playing Jet Grind Radio. Or you could fire up your Xbox and play Jet Set Radio Future...but that would be pointless considering this anniversary is reserved for the original Dreamcast title's Japanese release. Soz.

One other way you could show your support for the cel shaded graffiti spraying hooligans of Smilebit's magnum opus (no, it categorically is not 90 Minutes) is by heading over to the SEGA Shop and checking out some of the interesting merchandise they have on offer. 

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the TUBBZ 'cosplaying duck' thing they have for sale (seriously, what even is that?); but some of the other stuff emblazoned with JSR coolness is actually

There's a couple of wearable items in the form of an officially licensed t-shirt and hoody, and a nice pin set. The item that does it for me though is the licensed water bottle that mimics the look of the paint cans that you need to collect in the actual game. Indeed, the blurb on the site says:

"Getting up to mischief in Fukuoka will certainly leave you thirsty! Why not hydrate yourself with this incredible Jet Set Radio Spray Can Water Bottle? The design of this water bottle is based on Beat's trademark graffiti spray can."

Quite. So now you can answer the call of Tokyo-To (not to be confused with the Call of Cthulhu under any circumstances) by filling an officially licensed Jet Set Radio receptacle with Frosty Jack cider and getting seriously fresh while spraying celebratory graffiti all over the city of Milwaukee. Actually, don't do that. Head to the SEGA Store instead and see if any of this licenced guff takes your fancy.

You Can Now Access The Original Jet Grind Radio Website From Your Dreamcast

While the promise of online gaming was a big part of Sega's marketing campaign when trying to flog the Dreamcast to the masses, many games simply didn't have any online gameplay portion. That didn't stop certain games proudly displaying the fact that they offered 'online functions' on the packaging, though. Usually, what this meant was that high scores could be uploaded to a leader board; or that certain things could be downloaded from a dedicated portal to a VMU that added extra features. For example, ghost car times in racing games, or mini games that could be played on a VMU screen. Some games offered more than others in this area, and one of the best when it came to added online extras was the awesome Jet Grind Radio.
As detailed in this story over at Dreamcast Live, the Jet Grind Radio website has been resurrected in (almost) its entirety, meaning that you can once again hook your Dreamcast up to the internet and browse the various pages that could be accessed from the game's main menu. Hidden away in this treasure trove from yesteryear are a graffiti gallery and ranking page, along with a hints and tips section that actually corrects some of the information printed in the physical manual. This isn't the first time a game's bespoke website has been revived, as the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 sites were both brought back online recently too.

Unsung Dreamcast Heroes: Captain Onishima

In the first of a new series here at The Dreamcast Junkyard, we thought it was about time we took a deeper, more humanistic look at some of the unsung and lesser celebrated players in the great library of Dreamcast-related characters and creations. The personas we all know, but who we don't necessarily love. The title 'Unsung Dreamcast Heroes' is a bit of a misnomer because it won't exclusively feature protagonists - indeed, this inaugural instalment actually profiles an antagonist of sorts - but hopefully we'll do it justice by bringing some of the lesser-known but equally important supporting cast into the spotlight. Right then - on with the show!
Jet Set Radio is easily one of the Dreamcast's most iconic titles. The premise is a relatively simple one, involving gangs of youths on motorised roller blades tagging turf and trying to evade the cops in the process. However, the cel-shaded visuals mask a fairly deep and involving yarn in which some pretty sobering themes are covered. These include the corporate censorship of freedom of expression; and an almost Orwellian vision of a near-future dystopia where everything seems fine on the surface, but once the scab of uniformity is lifted a whole underclass of festering all-out gangland warfare is revealed. Maybe I'm reading way, way too far between the lines when it comes to Smilebit's seminal skate and graffiti 'em up, but the fact remains that the city of Milwaukee tried to get the game banned back in 2000 due to the negative connotations of spray painting gang tags on urban street furniture. This is all academic in the grand scheme of this article though. The reason I'm writing all of this is because we need to examine one central character in particular...

Digital Artists Create Jet Set Radio Tags For New York Yami-Ichi 'Internet Black Market'

The second self-styled Internet Yami-Ichi was held in New York on the 6th November 2016, and was a celebration of all things 'internet-ish.' For those not in the know, The Internet Yami-Ichi in NY2 was a sort of flea market where creators of predominantly digital art and crafts gathered to sell their wares, and to me at least looks like a really cool and intriguing concept. From the official website:

The Internet Yami-Ichi (Internet Black Market) is a flea market which deals "Internet-ish" things, face-to-face, in actual space. Both flea markets and the Internet are fanatical and chaotic mixes of the amazing and useless.  In the Internet Yami-Ichi both the wills and desires which brought us to create the Internet, and the wills and desires we picked up are salvaged to be shared in a social space.
Everything from art based on popular memes to the more bizarre aspects of internet folklore are on display for visitors to the free event to purchase, with many items created as one-offs solely for this gathering. The reason we're reporting on this event (apart from the fact that it sounds really cool) is that a collective of digital artists got together to create something truly special for Internet Yami-Ichi in NY2: a VMU full of bespoke graffiti tags for use in Jet Set Radio for the Dreamcast.

Jet Grind Radio Vs The City Of Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a city that not only boasts a brilliant name (although still not on a par with the small hamlet of Shitterton in Dorset, England), but it is also the largest settlement in the US state of Wisconsin. I have personally never been to either Wisconsin or Milwaukee (or the United States, for that matter), but I have no reason to doubt that they are lovely places to live, work and play. So lovely even, that once upon a time the city council decided to team up with an organisation called Keep America Beautiful in an effort to take down their common enemy. Was this common nemesis crime? Invading aliens? Zombies? No. Nothing as malevolent as those: it was a video game.
Milwaukee. Probably.
A video game that, at the time was set for imminent release on the Sega Dreamcast - Jet Grind/Set Radio. The story goes like this. Upon learning of the upcoming release of Sega's graffiti and rollerblading title, the Milwaukee Common Council passed a resolution petitioning Sega to cancel the release of the game, citing that the glamorisation of tagging walls and trying to evade cartoon cops would inevitably encourage the youth of the city to immediately rush out and start spraying every piece of street furniture and bus with the help of a neon curly arrow. As reported in the October 2000 issue of Dreamcast Magazine and on in September 2000, Suzanne Brier of the Milwaukee Common Council warned that Jet Grind Radio would "...lionize taggers as creative artists."
There are 9 million bicycles in Tokyo-To.