Jet Grind Radio: 2003
Developer: Vicarious Visions, Inc.
Dreamcast cult classic Jet Grind Radio’s adaptation to the Game Boy Advance takes the concept of the original game and distills it for the capabilities of the handheld, with somewhat simplified gameplay and the levels adapted from cel-shaded 3D to isometric 2D.
The story is the same as in the original game: in the near-future metropolis of Tokyo-to, the player controls members of the teen gang the GG’s, who are in a turf war with rival gangs and must also avoid the law in the form of Captain Onishima and his forces. Players must skate through fifteen distinct levels, collecting spray cans and spraying graffiti at certain spots within a time limit while avoiding the cops.
Most of the original game’s levels have been transposed to the isometric viewpoint (two have been combined into one), even though some of the interactivity is lost (like traffic or sprayers from rival gangs). The graphics engine used is similar to that in developer Vicarious Visions’s earlier entries in the Tony Hawk series.
Progressing through the game unlocks several unique mini-games that can be played by up to four players via link cable: Throw Down and Tricky can be played in teams. Tricky is a run for a high score by performing tricks and stunts, Throw Down asks players to knock each other over and spray the other’s backs for points. Turf Wars asks players to tag designated areas, while Killer Crush is a two-player race for a tagging spot.
Like the original, the GBA version features a Create-A-Graffiti mode. A unique feature is Jet Set Radio DJ Professor K as an unlockable playable character. The game features cut-down loops of six of the original game’s signature music tracks.