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Anonymous wrote:Jet Set Radio Future
Like many games, Jet Set Radio Future was critically acclaimed, but the sales weren’t as good as the game deserved. Some were lucky enough to get a free copy of the game, along with Sega GT 2002, when they bought their Xbox, but at the time, the game was definitely worth paying full price for.
JSRF is the sequel to the Dreamcast game Jet Set Radio and has some differences in its gameplay: levels no longer have a time limit and spraying graffiti has been greatly simplified. Rather than moving the controller’s analogue stick in directions specified on screen, all that is required is spraying a certain number of tags at the graffiti’s location, and this varies depending on the size of the tag.
You start the game as Yo-Yo, a teenager who wants to join a local gang called the GGs, and is mistaken for a pizza delivery boy by the gang’s leader, Corn. This leads onto a short tutorial, and if you need a recap of anything during the game you can visit the gang’s resident robot, Roboy. The garage, which is the gang’s main area, is the hub for the game, where you can switch characters, load or save your game, and change the background music for the game. From the garage you can access other levels, some of which lead on to other levels, but not all of them are available to visit from the start of the game.
The main plot of the game concerns the city of Tokyo, which has been heavily influenced by the Rokkaku Group. The group’s leader has become Mayor and has been oppressing the city’s citizens. As part of the GGs you have to fight back and retake areas of the city, facing rival gangs along the way.
Jet Set Radio Future is well known for its cel-shaded graphical style and its catchy soundtrack. Despite the game being six years old now, it still looks great and is a great example of how well cel-shading can be used in games. As for the soundtrack, it features mainly foreign artists as well as lesser known artists and is definitely one of the most memorable aspects of the game. Six years on, Jet Set Radio Future is still a great game. It looks great, sounds great, and plays great. If you haven’t played it, it’s still worth doing so. The game is also backwards compatible on the Xbox 360, and this includes the bundle version, so the only excuse you can have for not getting it is having neither console.
Hmmm. There's little real depth to this, and while there aren't any glaring grammatical faults, it just sort of fades into nothingness really. It doesn't really tell me an awful lot about the game (it's assumed the reader knows exactly how the original played) yet the section about the garage goes into unnecessary detail.
The writer needed to really think about what he or she would like to say about the game before starting this piece. As it stands it seems like a half-recalled memory typed out and spell-checked.
That said, the structure is generally pretty good - it starts with a bit of background, moves on to talk about the game and its plot, and has a decent para about the audiovisual side before offering a conclusion. It just doesn't really tell me WHY the game is so great.
I assume this is a first effort, in which case it's a good try, and shows promise. But it won't be getting a vote from me, sorry.
There's a lack of meat on the bones here. Parts of the piece are nice enough as an appetiser to the main course, but it never quite gets beyond that. It's kind of like an Amazon product description with a couple of opinions bolted onto it to make it a review.
That being said, there's potential for the future because the structure's sound and you're clearly a literate chap. So for next time I'd suggest that you drill down into exactly what makes the game great, rather than skipping around on the surface. Getting a nice balance between information and well-thought-out analysis of that information is the key to a good review, in my opinion. You're halfway there.
There's an opportunity in reviewing an old game to really go into detail about what you love about it, like an EDGE Time Extend. So it becomes more of an article, but the passion that comes across from doing it like that should carry it and make it a good read. There's no point telling us what the game's about, tell us how it makes you feel; point out all the little things that a normal review would not pick up on.