Beat will be part of Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
How long do you think it’s been since the last Jet Set Radio game? 10 years? 15 years? Try 20-ish. Jet Set Radio Future was released on Xbox in 2002, and marked the end of the series proper. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t gotten truck loads of Jet Set Radio cameo appearances! And we don’t even have time to talk about the myriad games that Jet Set Radio inspired, like Sunset Overdrive and Hover: Revolt of Gamers.
Since then a few characters [mostly Beat] have carried on the legacy with random Sega appearances. That includes a major showing in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (which included playable characters and even a track), and now, there’s a Jet Set Radio cameo in the upcoming Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania.
Confirmed on YouTube, Beat will be entering the fray as a character, which will be “free and unlockable on all platforms through normal gameplay.” What could have been an extremely annoying Microsoft-only tie-in is actually incredibly simplistic! I especially appreciate that he skates in his little ball: great attention to detail. Plus, his bananas are reskinned into spray paint cans.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania seems like a much more concerted effort than Sega’s previous re-release for the series, especially given that they’re combining three games into one. A Jet Set Radio cameo only helps their cause.
But back to Jet Set Radio itself. Sega, buddy, pal. You see the warm reception to the series even still, right? A brand new Jet Set Radio game with a modern soundtrack and an open world [reined in and not Ubisoft-bloated] setting would sell itself. You can sell all new merch and put the soundtrack on Spotify to kick up a new marketing campaign. Do some viral “Jet Set Radio Station” voicework with DJ Professor K. Get to it!