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Jet Grind Radio
Grade: B+
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Posted: 2001/1/3
Rating: Teen (13+)



screenshotIt's not often that a game comes along that's both completely original and fun, but that's Jet Grind Radio. You control a skater who must vandalize certain parts of the city while avoiding the police. The "cell-shaded" cartoon style graphics are unlike anything I've ever seen in a video game, and it looks fantastic.

In addition to the stunning visuals, the fashionable hip-hop music and sound effects really give this game an edge. The controls are simple but effective. Spray-painting involves moving the analog joystick around in the various motions. These motions seem excessive at times, but it's exciting trying to finish your "art" while the cops are heading your way.

One major thing that annoyed me about this game is the camera work. Some levels have cramped areas, and you'll really struggle to get a good angle. And that's no fun when the police are beating you with clubs like Rodney King (I'm not kidding!). Jet Grind is unlike any other game out there. It's far from perfect, but it deserves a look. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

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1 player 

If you like this game, try: Jet Moto 2 (Playstation)
RBI Baseball 2 (NES)
Qix (Lynx)
Route 16 (Arcadia 2001)
Ray Crisis (Playstation)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Grade: C+
Publisher: Capcom (2000)
Posted: 2024/1/30
Rating: Teen

screenshotWhen I first reviewed JoJo's Bizarre Adventure I just didn't quite "get" it. Later I learned it's based on a comic book series that's been running since 1987! Never heard of it! I may not know the characters or their stories, but this is a Capcom fighting game, so it can't be bad, or can it?

This disc contains two versions of the game: JoJo's Venture and the expanded JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The fighters are colorful anime characters rendered with a comic book flair. Most of the dudes in this game look like male models, sashaying around in their colorful outfits. There's also an old Indiana Jones guy and a cute "I Dream of Jeannie" babe. A bird and a little yapping dog are also playable characters, believe it or not.

I can't get over the art style of this game. The stages may depict ordinary places like a hotel room, jail cell, or empty street, yet the lighting and attention to detail make them riveting to behold. The music is excellent too and I like the fact that the voices are Japanese.

The controls feature light/medium/heavy attacks along with a mysterious "stand" toggle button. What is the stand? Well each character has some kind of ghostly alter ego that fights beside him when called upon. This might be in the form of a bird-man, dog, robot, ghost, or a shape-changing monster. Another button is labeled "chouhatsu" and I had to look that up to learn it means taunt.

The frenetic battles are punctuated by screen-sized images and dazzling special effects. The problem I have with this game is similar to my issue with Darkstalkers (Playstation, 1996). There's a heck of a lot of shape-changing attacks that feel cheap and hard to anticipate. The lady named Midler causes Cadillacs to literally sprout up from under your feet. Between the multiple characters, apparitions, explosions, and abundant eye candy, it's easy to lose track of what's going on!

Don't bother consulting the manual, because that won't help at all. That said, I love the style of this crazy game. There are several modes of play including arcade, story, and survival modes. The story boasts a slick comic-book presentation and even has a side-scrolling bonus stage. Casual gamers will find themselves bewildered, but fans of the series should bump up the grade by a letter. © Copyright 2024 The Video Game Critic.

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Recommended: story
High score: 217400
1 or 2 players 

If you like this game, try: Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge (Saturn)
Capcom Fighting Evolution (Playstation 2)
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (Playstation 2)
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360)
Skullgirls 2nd Encore (Japan) (Playstation 4)


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