With Jet Set Radio Future, Smilebit has surpassed itself and its original, seminal game with an exhilarating, addictive masterpiece of awe-inspiring visuals, nerve-shattering special effects, and a feverish mix of spine-cracking music - but JSRF is much more than just an adrenalin-soaked thrill ride.
JSRF's gameplay is similar to the original's as you roam from turf to turf, covering each district with graffiti and struggling against an oppressive police regime and rival gangs until your tribe has free reign over Tokyo. Like its prequel, JSRF has an amazing graffiti editor that enables you to create your own tags. The controls have been tightened and are more elegant and responsive, while functions are more intuitively mapped out. Although the learning curve will be steep for first-time players, JSRF eases you in by teaching basic manoeuvres and tricks, and then steadily increases the difficulty level until you develop quick, surgeon-like reflexes and precision. You'll need these skills to conquer the game's immense, ingeniously designed levels, from the satanic, subterranean lair of the Poison Jam gang to the tortuous Sky Dinosaurian Square level. Each area is laden with suspended lines, corkscrew rails, serpentine pipes, and massive billboards that you'll need to grind, surf, and shred in flawless, breakneck succession in order to reach your goals.
JSRF's audacious character designs, brilliant cel-shaded animation, amazing lighting, and delirious camerawork will burst your retinas, while Tokyo's hypnotically beautiful cityscape stretches as far as the eye can see with absolutely no fog. DJ Professor K spins another robust compilation of electronica, hip-hop, funk, and pop. The sounds seep into your bones, and combine with the visuals to produce a sublime effect.
JSRF also boasts new cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes, which are a blast and run without a single frame stutter. JSRF is one of the most supreme gameplaying experiences you're likely to have this year, and single-handedly justifies the purchase of Microsoft's mechanical monster.