It's been over 20 years since fans have heard from the world of Jet Set Radio. Sure, the franchise has made small appearances, like in Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, but SEGA seems to have mostly put the franchise on ice. Enter Dutch indie studio Team Reptile, which brings us Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, a spiritual successor to the Jet Set Radio games.
At a glance, you’d be excused for mistaking it for a long-lost sequel to 2002’s Jet Set Radio Future. From the cel-shaded graphics to the game’s sense of style, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk takes more than a little inspiration from SEGA's series. And that’s not a bad thing. Bomb Rush knows exactly what it is, and prefers to refine what has come before, rather than reinvent the wheel.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk stars Faux, a prominent skater and graffiti artist who loses his head during a police escape. He's rescued by the Bomb Rush Gang, who bring him back to life with a robot head. Faux, now known as Red, joins the gang with the goal to become “All City” and challenge DJ Cypher’s gang to win his old head back. As absurd of a premise as this is, it works surprisingly well, fitting the game’s over-the-top style perfectly.
After receiving your objective, the goal is to explore the world, challenging each of the region’s gangs, and earning REP. You’ll be doing tricks, combos, and graffiti, all while listening to an incredible soundtrack. And with tons of optional collectibles and challenges in each hub, there's plenty of content here to digest. It's an unrivalled sense of fun that feels Tony Hawk-like at times, just as long as you avoid the lacklustre, button-mashing combat segments.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is no doubt a worthy successor to Jet Set Radio. That’s not to say the game is perfect; there are some notable issues, such as falling through the floor on occasion, as well as the aforementioned poor combat sections. But those issues don’t detract from this still being one of the most fun games released this year.