Fabulous Fanart Week 4
Colour, bombast and fun. These three words are what make Jet Set Radio what it is, and why it’s so loved. It’s a game about the positive power of art, it’s a game about funk, it’s a game about personality and it’s a game about expression.
Very few games take their influences and stylistic choices to the extent that Jet Set Radio did. SEGA looked at the world of graffiti and in it they saw something wonderful, vibrant and cool, then they took this inspiration and poured it into every element of JSR. From the loading screens to the credits it drips with style and care and the enthusiasm is so clear that you can’t help but be infected with it. The bold colours, elaborate composition and exaggerated features of graffiti are celebrated at every opportunity. Realism is abandoned for cartoon saturation and colour theory, creating the world from incredible palettes that clash and complement perfectly. Characters are designed with a mixture of playfulness and rebellion, giving them immediate appeal and personality before they ever enter the (thin) storyline. Even the user interface has the ubiquitous warped graffiti font style.
Adding to the stunning visuals is the famous soundtrack. It’s a fantastic blend of electro and funk with a dollop of extra charm that propels the game into the entertainment stratosphere. This is music to dance to, music to smile to.
The whole package is a level of artistic coherence and focus you don’t find very often. Everything in the game complements the bright, sunshine joy that it wants to give the player. It’s not a perfect game but that doesn’t matter, it’s an inspiring one. Any issues with the controls or the camera are easily forgiven when you’re handed such an individual experience, one that just exudes joy.
This is what I want to celebrate today. Forget the bad, JSR is a visual masterpiece that will continue to inspire people with it’s vibrancy and fun. These four pieces all cry out with that inspiration will give you a taste of the cheer that will be on offer this summer. A big thank you to all the artists for letting me use their work, check out their deviantart pages for more good stuff, they're linked below each one!