Jet Set Radio is a Sega classic, and much like Crazy Taxi, it has now come to iOS. It’s a rather unique game as you roller blade around the city marking your turf with graffiti. The game is set-up with a series of levels where you need to spray paint all of the given targets in a level. You play as a particular street gang, and you’re trying to spray paint over other crews’ marks as well as avoid the police. The levels are nice, and action packed with various tricks, grinds, and flips along the way.
There are three main regions to play in, and there are different playable characters to unlock as you go. In each level, you need to collect spray paint to be able to tag the targets, and there are a lot of hidden areas to explore. The 3D environments are quite intricate, and the graphics have been updated for the retina display, though they’re still not the sharpest. The levels do play relatively the same, but it’s nice to face the cops who can knock you down, and hold on as you try to escape. Rival gang members are also on the course as you’re trying to paint over their graffiti, so you may need to redo a couple of targets.
The game itself is a known quantity, so the big question is how well it translates to iOS. I’m sorry to say that the answer is not very well beginning with the virtual controls. The game shoe horns in the Dreamcast controls, and they’re not very intuitive or precise on the touch screen. There are swipe gestures to perform the spray painting, but the game doesn’t recognize your actions as well as it could. The on-screen joystick isn’t very good, and the game’s camera angle is problematic quite often, even with the button to align the camera.
Jet Set Radio ($4.99, Universal) is a poor port to iOS that isn’t made to be touched, and is more of a hassle to play than anything else. The game itself isn’t all that great as the levels are relatively rudimentary, and repetitive, so Jet Set Radio is one to steer clear of.