JET GRIND RADIO, for Sega Dreamcast, $60. Rating: NNN
Winner for best game at this year's E3 video game summit, Jet Grind Radio takes place in that magical world of rollerblading, breakdancing street punks who spray graffiti and terrorize citizens.
With the clock ticking, you race around, jump over cars and grind down rails to try to vandalize as many walls as possible.
Waste too much time and the authorities call in the cops, who try to curtail your graffiti career by beating you with billy clubs and firing tear gas at you.
Raps terribly Somewhere in the middle of this is a dreadlocked DJ who plays records and raps terribly but seems to have no real connection to the game beyond being annoying.
Considerably more interesting is Jet Grind Radio's cool, hiphop-influenced soundtrack and the cartoon backgrounds that take full advantage of Dreamcast's graphic power.
Getting past each stage before time runs out and the cops bring the beatdown is a struggle and can be oddly addictive, even if the entire premise of the game sounds absurd. Just keep the breakdancing graffiti action indoors -- when Jet Grind Radio was launched with a party in San Francisco, the mayor launched a protest, fearing that gangs of spray paint-wielding punks would take over the city.
SITE OF THE WEEK
Sure, Bush is dumb as a post and Gore's as animated as an easy chair, but where do the potential leaders of the only remaining superpower stand on the issues of the day? As Americans get ready to vote, check out this handy chart to see how different Gush and Bore, plus the other wannabes, really are from each other. Perhaps a similar Day/Chretien grid is in order.