Hum the baseline once more?

The HD remake of the Dreamcast classic hit PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam stores yesterday to typical Sega half-arsed fanfare. For the few who may have been living under a rock, Jet Set Radio is a platformer in which you go around on rollerblades, spraying graffiti around a level, while trying to avoid the police and eventually the army all within a set time. Set in the fictional city of Tokyo-to, the game featured some of the best graphics that the Dreamcast could muster, and possibly one of the best soundtracks for a game ever. Its graphics were truly revolutionary on release, and the funky Shibuya-esque vibe really spiked my interest in Japan. 
 
As you can imagine I was keen to try out this release. Sure, I had been burned in the past with the poor release of Crazy Taxi which had its awesome punk soundtrack from Offspring and Bad replaced by a more generic rock and roll soundtrack, and lacked all the real life locations from the original. However, this was JSR, which like I said was the game along with Shenmue and Final Fantasy VII, that got me interested in all things Nippon. Problem is, I went to download this on Steam last night and it seems that it is not available in Japan which is ridiculous seeing as it is from and set in this bloody country? Instead, I was forced to check out on my friend's PS3. Get it together Steam. It would have been easier to download illegally?

Anyway, as someone who played the original to death, the new release comes across as visually stunning. The cel shading hasn't aged a bit and the colors look nice in HD. It also appears that nearly all songs from the original soundtrack are all there (Yappie Feet & Many Styles are missing) in its toe tapping glory, which is good news after the travesty that was Crazy Taxi HD.
 
Another HD remake fails to impress. Leave Shenmue alone?
 
 
One of the highlights of this release is the ability to use a manual camera. The original had times were it would  leave you in a difficult situation with the camera not keeping up with the gameplay but it seems that the new camera has failed to fix this issue. Add to that, that there is a lot of stuttering present (running at only 30fps), and you probably have little reason to pick up the re-release if you still have the original around. Still, it's good to see Sega taking a little more care with it's back-catalogue than rushed releases like Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure HD but for me, I'll stick with my old copy of De La JSR.

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