Some excellent news this week, that the EU PSN store now has Jet Set Radio available for download. A unique and ground breaking game (in terms of its cel-shaded graphics), it is regarded as one of the most important games on the short-lived Dreamcast console.. There is a great review from IGN here;
But how was it received during its initial release, for the Dreamcast, back in 2000? Funny you should ask, as here are the magazine scans of the review from DC-UK issue #16;
and here is the cover of that magazine;
here is the PAL cover & back of the game;
and this is the (superior and stranger IMO) Japanese cover art;
and while we are on the subject, here are 5 things you probably did not know about JSR;
And by the way, ‘Jet Set Radio’ sounds do much better than ‘Jet Grind Radio’ (which was what it was named in the USA, though I prefer the cover art to the PAL version);
Ridiculous, brave, innovative. Dreamcast had a memory card, but it was not just any memory card – it was the VM (visual memory). Although at its most basic it was a peripheral storahe unit / memory card for the Dreamcast, it was more than that. With its LED screen, some games utilised that functionality and there were mini-games that could be played on the tiny LED screen. I remember one for Sonic Adventure, but it was pretty unplayable, and pretty boring. A noble failure – here is a youtube vid of its history, both official and homebrew;
Not a lot needs to be said about this, other than;
if you were in the UK, near a Gamestation shop or numerous other indie gaming parlours in the late nineties, Japanese imports were the epitome of gaming coolness. Not only, if you had an import Dreamcast, could you play games months before your friends and colleagues, but also everyone outside of Europe has an Orange Dreamcast symbol, as opposed to the Blue one we had. It just looked cooler. Also, lots of Japanese writing down the side of the covers!
Here we are, in order – Biohazard 2 Value Plus, Typing of the Dead, Power Stone 2, Vampire Chronicle, Sengokuturb, Carrier, Illbleed, Zombie Revenge;
The Dreamcast had an ‘official’ magazine, much like the Playstation had an ‘official’ magazine – a mouthpiece for the brand, generally positive about the games reviewed, lots of PR about the hardwares place in the market etc….
One thing the Dreamcast had in common with the Playstation magazine was the use of cover mounted disks to preview forthcoming games – some were videos, others had playable sections. The fact you could play briefly on Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5 or Virtua Tennis made the Magazine more attractive for the electronic content rather than the printed page. The problem with the magazine was that there was a dearth of games being released and in development, meaning that unlike the equivalent Playstation magazines or multi format magazines (like C&VG), there was a relative lack of exciting content.
You can get the first issue of the Dreamcast official magazine here in PDF format;
Someone called ‘Dreamcast Museum’ on youtube has posted the first CD-ROM that came with the launch issue – lots of demos of launch games here (its broken up into 4 parts);
Here is a short wiki entry on the magazine;
There was an independent Dreamcast magazine for the UK market – look!
and the same guy has posted his complete Dreamcast collection on Flickr here;
Soul Calibur. The greatest console game of all time? Maybe. The best Dreamcast game? Again, probably. The best fighting game on a console? Yes – absolutley.
Oh, and by the way….the music was amazing…