The SEGA Dreamcast was (and is) an amazing games console. Released in late '99, the Dreamcast was the first sixth generation console to hit market and, for the first time really, brought arcade level 3D gaming to the home. Sadly, the shadow of the forthcoming Playstation 2 from Sony and the ease with which its copy protection could be circumvented doomed the console to a short market life. The Dreamcast enjoys a cult following of gamers who today enjoy its catalog of over 325 high-quality titles. Of those 325, one of the very best is SEGA's Jet Grind Radio.

Jet Grind Radio (known as Jet Set Radio outside of North America) was announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 1999 and cause quite a stir with its distinctive, visually impressive cel-shaded rendering.  Gameplay is unique and at times frantic.  The player starts out in the role of Beat, a 17-year-old "rudie" who is leader of the GG's, a skate gang.

The city of Tokyo-To is broken up into multiple portions, each of which is controlled by a different gang of inline skating graffiti artists. You control a gang called the GGs, and you must protect your turf from being sprayed up by rival gangs and venture into the other sections of the city to mark up your rivals' turfs. The game is tied together by Jet Set Radio, a pirate radio station run by DJ Professor K. K appears between levels to advance the plot, similar to Lynne Thigpen's role as the radio DJ in the classic gang film, The Warriors. Unfortunately, Professor K never wishes your clique luck as they bop all the way back to Coney.

Each level gives you a time limit, a life meter, and a ton of areas that must be tagged before you can proceed. You'll encounter resistance in the form of gangs tagging over your tags and various levels of response from law enforcement officials. The law starts out small - a ragtag bunch of keystone cops who run after you with nightsticks. But as you move forward, the law gets more and more severe. Eventually, you'll face tear gas-launching cops in full riot gear, tanks, or find yourself surrounded by gunship helicopters that launch skater-seeking missiles in your direction. You also have to deal with the ever-present Officer Onishima, a roughneck cop with a gigantic pistol and a bad case of five o'clock shadow. Should you get caught in Onishima's sights, he'll chase after you, firing off rounds that will send you flying to the ground.

Gamespot gave Jet Grind Radio an Editor's Choice 9.0 rating.  And based on Kotaku's recent Comic-Con report, it seems that this beloved title may soon make its way to the iPhone.

At the fan convention last week, Kotaku heard indication that SEGA is planning on bringing back the franchise.  Rumor has it that it will be landing on the Wii, but a few additional details show hope of an iPhone conversion.

SEGA recently filed a new Jet Grind Radio trademark application with the USPTO.  Within are references to "game programs for use with mobile phones," "game programs for use with hand-held game machines," and "downloadable game programs."  Add to this the fact that SEGA of America president Simon Jeffery recently expressed his opinion that the iPhone is basically the next Dreamcast and that the company has many titles currently in development for the iPhone platform.


YouTube video of Dreamcast version

The chances of this title gracing the App Store in the future seem pretty solid.  Gamespot's review of the Dreamcast original indicates that "Jet Grind Radio is one of those 'something for everyone' games that really make a perfect addition to the Dreamcast library."  Its standing in the iPhone library would certainly be no different. Our fingers are certainly crossed.

  • http://www.lockergnome.com/digged Matt McCarty

    Wow, now this would be amazing.

    Seriously this made my day.

  • http://www.lockergnome.com/digged Matt McCarty

    Wow, now this would be amazing.

    Seriously this made my day.

  • Sky Blue

    Man, this post wanted to make me watch The Warriors again.

    "Come out to pplllllayyy-aaayyy"

  • Sky Blue

    Man, this post wanted to make me watch The Warriors again.

    "Come out to pplllllayyy-aaayyy"

  • Adisah Scarlett

    Sold.

  • Adisah Scarlett

    Sold.

  • http://www.jido-genshi.com genshi

    I used to love playing this on my Dreamcast. This should translate well on the iPhone (using both the accelerometer to move the character and touch to do the gestures for tagging.) Very exciting if this makes it to the iPhone!

  • http://www.jido-genshi.com genshi

    I used to love playing this on my Dreamcast. This should translate well on the iPhone (using both the accelerometer to move the character and touch to do the gestures for tagging.) Very exciting if this makes it to the iPhone!

  • Constable Odo

    Now that game is just plain weird. Did the skater get any points for bumping into the redheaded girl a couple of times?

    I can just see this game being called impossible to play with only using accelerometers.

  • Constable Odo

    Now that game is just plain weird. Did the skater get any points for bumping into the redheaded girl a couple of times?

    I can just see this game being called impossible to play with only using accelerometers.

  • Finch

    Awesome, I love Jet Grind Radio.

    As for controls, I have no doubt that it will be completely weird with accelerometer controls.

    What I also think is that perhaps accelerometer controls aren't bad, we just aren't used to them. most of us here are gamers and probably have been for a long time, we are used to game pads with buttons, its like second nature to us. Same with Mouse & Keyboard, ever tried to get a non gamer to play Quake? they usually cant even look straight and hate it because "its too hard to control"

    I personally suck at accelerometer controlled iphone games, where's the neutral position? there's no tactile feedback. When you think about it, doesn't a mouse not have a neutral position and no tactile feedback. We just have such great muscle memory from using them for so long that its like second nature.

    I'm certainly not disagreeing with you on the problem of accelerometer controls, but im just wondering if its something that will take time to become comfortable with instead of just plain inferior.

  • Finch

    Awesome, I love Jet Grind Radio.

    As for controls, I have no doubt that it will be completely weird with accelerometer controls.

    What I also think is that perhaps accelerometer controls aren't bad, we just aren't used to them. most of us here are gamers and probably have been for a long time, we are used to game pads with buttons, its like second nature to us. Same with Mouse & Keyboard, ever tried to get a non gamer to play Quake? they usually cant even look straight and hate it because "its too hard to control"

    I personally suck at accelerometer controlled iphone games, where's the neutral position? there's no tactile feedback. When you think about it, doesn't a mouse not have a neutral position and no tactile feedback. We just have such great muscle memory from using them for so long that its like second nature.

    I'm certainly not disagreeing with you on the problem of accelerometer controls, but im just wondering if its something that will take time to become comfortable with instead of just plain inferior.

  • mikeadams

    using finger swipes to tag would work pretty awesome, like the force unleashed iPhone video demo. If it plays alright I won't mind shelling out 9.99 for it.

  • mikeadams

    using finger swipes to tag would work pretty awesome, like the force unleashed iPhone video demo. If it plays alright I won't mind shelling out 9.99 for it.

  • sebimeyer

    utterly and completely awesome.

    give me kelly slater's pro surfer while your at it.

  • sebimeyer

    utterly and completely awesome.

    give me kelly slater's pro surfer while your at it.

  • toal

    wow full dreamcast games for iphones, wowwwwwwwwwwwww, da future

  • toal

    wow full dreamcast games for iphones, wowwwwwwwwwwwww, da future

  • TingTing

    this can easily be done using accelerometers for moving around. and then touching to jump and paint. cool cool!

  • http://none TingTing

    this can easily be done using accelerometers for moving around. and then touching to jump and paint. cool cool!

  • polyplay

    I bought the DC version the day it came out. I agree, though, that the controls are the biggest obstacle to the game. A big element of the series is grinding on rails and building edges, linking combos and using precise movements to get away from the police.

    Aside from the accelerometer being used to control the game, which I think would be as problematic as it sounds, the only other reasonable method I can think would be feasible would be finger swipes in the direction you want to skate, plus a button to jump, and grinding would happen automatically, like in the SSX series.

    If they can work out the control issues, I would be ecstatic.

  • polyplay

    I bought the DC version the day it came out. I agree, though, that the controls are the biggest obstacle to the game. A big element of the series is grinding on rails and building edges, linking combos and using precise movements to get away from the police.

    Aside from the accelerometer being used to control the game, which I think would be as problematic as it sounds, the only other reasonable method I can think would be feasible would be finger swipes in the direction you want to skate, plus a button to jump, and grinding would happen automatically, like in the SSX series.

    If they can work out the control issues, I would be ecstatic.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Considering that the tagging in this game was gesture-based already, and that getting the gestures just right was really annoying on a joystick, I have high hopes for an iPhone version working out well.

    Meanwhile, I think it's time to dust off my old Dreamcast...

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Considering that the tagging in this game was gesture-based already, and that getting the gestures just right was really annoying on a joystick, I have high hopes for an iPhone version working out well.

    Meanwhile, I think it's time to dust off my old Dreamcast...

  • RonCarr

    Anyone remember the version that came free with the original Xbox? Was it not called Jet Set Radio Future?

  • RonCarr

    Anyone remember the version that came free with the original Xbox? Was it not called Jet Set Radio Future?

  • pinchies

    Would buy twice!!

  • pinchies

    Would buy twice!!

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @RonCarr: Indeed, it was.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @RonCarr: Indeed, it was.

  • muskratboy

    man, i love me some dreamcast.

    now they just gotta come out with that sweet snowboarding game for the iphone. you can evaluate any platform by the quality of their snowboarding games, i tell ya.

  • muskratboy

    man, i love me some dreamcast.

    now they just gotta come out with that sweet snowboarding game for the iphone. you can evaluate any platform by the quality of their snowboarding games, i tell ya.

  • Jay

    Hopefully this is true but god... PLEASE port Rez to the iPhone.. THAT would be amazing!

  • Jay

    Hopefully this is true but god... PLEASE port Rez to the iPhone.. THAT would be amazing!

  • Skip

    I've recently been playing JSRF on my 360. Awesome game. I hope they get the controls right...Super Monkey Ball anyone?

    I agree, Rez would rock.

  • Skip

    I've recently been playing JSRF on my 360. Awesome game. I hope they get the controls right...Super Monkey Ball anyone?

    I agree, Rez would rock.

  • Rex

    Well, since it's SEGA who would be selling this game on the App Store if it came out for iPhone/iPod touch, it's definitely going to be more than $7.99 at best. And because this game looks like it would be pretty amazing on the iPhone/iPod touch (as long as they get the controls right, of course) I had better start saving up for when it finally comes out...

  • Rex

    Well, since it's SEGA who would be selling this game on the App Store if it came out for iPhone/iPod touch, it's definitely going to be more than $7.99 at best. And because this game looks like it would be pretty amazing on the iPhone/iPod touch (as long as they get the controls right, of course) I had better start saving up for when it finally comes out...

  • http://bharmon.wordpress.com Barry

    I bought the US, UK and JP versions of JSR/JGR and own both US releases of JSRF, so yes I will buy an iPhone JSR on day one. I Love Katamari made me realize how awesome 3D console-like gameplay on an iPhone can be.

    ps - It's pretty hilarious that you used a video of the most secret of hidden characters being played as a sample of JGR. lol

  • http://bharmon.wordpress.com Barry

    I bought the US, UK and JP versions of JSR/JGR and own both US releases of JSRF, so yes I will buy an iPhone JSR on day one. I Love Katamari made me realize how awesome 3D console-like gameplay on an iPhone can be.

    ps - It's pretty hilarious that you used a video of the most secret of hidden characters being played as a sample of JGR. lol

  • DJ Lazer

    JET GRIND RADIO!!!!

    I can't wait for this on the iphone!!!

  • DJ Lazer

    JET GRIND RADIO!!!!

    I can't wait for this on the iphone!!!