Even if SEGA isn’t working on Jet Set Radio right now, fans still have a spiritual successor to look forward to. The upcoming Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, developed by Team Reptile, continues in the same vein with new features and improvements.
Taking heavy inspiration from the JSR series, this game essentially picks up right where SEGA left off. It has all-new gameplay styles and a brand-new setting, but also the same rebellious attitude and cel-shaded graphics we know and love.
The prospect of a Jet Set Radio successor is enticing enough, especially for long-time fans. But Bomb Rush Cyberfunk includes several additional features that make this a great title for veterans and newcomers alike. Before the game launches this August, let’s talk about the five features we’re most looking forward to in Team Reptile’s upcoming funky skater.
1. Shredding it up
Not that there’s a ton of competition, but Jet Set Radio is the definitive inline skating gaming franchise. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk had some big shoes to fill to match what long-time fans expect. Thankfully, not only does it fill those shoes well, but it polishes them up for the modern day.
You take control of the various members of the Bomb Rush street gang. They’re one of several running around New Amsterdam, spending their days skating, dancing, blasting tunes, fighting other gangs, and taking down corrupt police officers and military officials. All in a day’s work on the streets.
The inline skating is back in full force, with plenty of ramps, gaps, and rails to hit throughout the city. Just like in Jet Set Radio, you’ve got a score and combo meter that you can build up by performing tricks and stringing moves together. Learning the best ways to get around — including finding shortcuts and transition areas AND knowing how to bridge tricks together — is essential.
One of the best ways to do that is using your booster pack. This lets you get a burst of speed on the ground. You can also use it to blast yourself to a higher level, opening up the levels for more advanced platforming and tricks.
2. New ways to play
While inline skating is obviously represented, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk introduces new features for getting around in different ways. You can still strap on your rollerblades, for example, but you can also take them off and walk around whenever you want.
In addition, you’ve got two different sets of gear to ride around on. You can hop on a BMX to pop some wheelies and front flips. Alternatively, you can pick up a skateboard and unleash your inner Tony Hawk.
Each method of play has its own trick set and maneuverability options. To get the most out of exploring New Amsterdam, you’ll have to learn when to use each bit of equipment and know how to get the best speed and combo potential out of them.
3. Bright lights, big city
The setting of New Amsterdam is a grand utopian (or dystopian?) playground for the street gangs to skate around in. With five distinct districts to visit and plenty of daring spots to shred, it really is a skater’s paradise.
Compared to the settings of Jet Set Radio, New Amsterdam isn’t as linear and level-based. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk opens up the level design quite a bit, with a large amount of territory to explore and faces to meet. It’s built around the skating gameplay, giving you plenty of opportunity to build up your combo meter.
You’ll have to grow the Bomb Rush gang as you head to new parts of the city, however. Starting with just a small ragtag group, you’ll meet several characters along the way. You can persuade them to join your crew if you manage to impress them. That’s the key to becoming the ruler of the city.
4. Protect your territory
In Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, you’re not just some street punks looking to cause havoc. You take control of the Bomb Rush gang that’s trying to give the streets back to the people. But there’s plenty of rival gangs vying for control of the city as well. As if that weren’t enough, the authorities of New Amsterdam are breathing down your neck and ready to take you down.
While traveling through each of the five boroughs, you’ll earn reputation points (or REP) by tagging graffiti spots, doing cool tricks, completing missions, and taking on rival crews. Your ultimate goal is to expand your territory by taking over key parts of the city, which enables you to take on the leaders in a Crew Battle.
Just like Jet Set Radio, the game is all about defining your own style and bringing it to the max. The freeform skating gameplay and multiple gameplay styles let you carve out your own path through the streets of New Amsterdam.
5. Ain’t nothing but a funky beat
If you’re unfamiliar with the Jet Set Radio series, you may be confused about why we’re listing the music as a feature. But fans will attest to this fact: the music is an essential part of any JSR game. (Even not-quite-official ones like this.)
That’s why it’s important that Team Reptile enlisted the help of Hideki Naganuma for the soundtrack. Naganuma’s soundtracks for the Jet Set Radio series are undoubtedly iconic. The fact that he’s composing songs for Bomb Rush Cyberfunk gives it that level of authenticity that might otherwise be missing.
It wasn’t an unexpected collaboration, to be fair. Naganuma previously composed a track for Team Reptile’s Lethal League Blaze, which captured the visual style of Jet Set Radio perfectly. And there are plenty of other artists contributing songs to the Bomb Rush Cyberfunk soundtrack, so you’ve got plenty of tunes to jam to.
Speaking of visuals, that’s another aspect where the JSR influence can clearly be seen. Even with its HD resolution and higher-quality lighting and shadows, it retains the cel-shaded look that fans expect. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a Jet Set Radio high-definition fan project at first glance, but it’s clear from the gameplay that it’s much more than that.
Hit the streets in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk this August
We’ve been excited to dive into Bomb Rush Cyberfunk since it was announced back in 2020. Thankfully, the wait is almost over, as the game is set to launch this summer.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is developed and published by Team Reptile. It will launch on August 18, 2023 for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive. Versions for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S will come later, but a date for these hasn’t been announced yet.
What features are you most looking forward to in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk? Let us know!