As a spiritual successor to Jet Set Radio, Hover. Revolt of Gamers brought free-roaming rebellion back in parkour style.
Best of all, a custom soundtrack littered with breakneck beats bangs it out of the park.
Japanese Composer Hideki Naganuma completed the original Jet Set Radio’s soundtrack alongside multiple musicians. In Hover, he has returned with 2 more tracks (Heaven Up and Never 4 Ever), leaving the rest of the game’s music to be composed by Cédric Menendez. Both artists created some stunning stuff and it’s great fun to listen to.
Here’s the rundown for each song on the game’s official soundtrack:
“Heaven Up” comes in with old-school “Hamster Dance” fun and fury (or is it ‘furry’?). It’s a punchy production, stepping in with sharp synth-work and tight, spirited harmony. With the addition of extremely high-pitched vocals, this opening track would almost qualify as nightcore.
In “Never 4 Ever,” we get a more choral treatment, hinging on high-flung soulful vocals. Studded synth harmony holds sway over this song’s happy vibe. Sharp slices of sonic spume carry you along an upbeat house beat and into a grumpy bass breakdown.
“Get Ready” rides a groove cascade of grimy sawtooth dimensions. An Arabic scale imparts exotic texture and tone to this futurist take on drum and bass bounce-house vibes. Riding the cusps of the mix’s waves, supersonic laser guns ignite the ears. Shots fired.
“Try Hard” is damp, drippy electro fizzle forged in a puddle of melting machine parts. Chords spark at your speakers, chains rattle like live wires and padded notes reverberate overhead. All the while, the dull churn of dying machinery marches on.
“Enter the City” is urban awesomesauce on fire with funky guitar and boiling bass. Records skip in time, timed by a break-beat rhythm as rhythmic voices get us going. We’re off in style.
“Wata’s Lounge” is supreme chill with low-key record distortion draped overtop. Hip hop vibes meld well into a laid-back pool of funk. Undeniably old school, this tune is cool.
Full-blown drum and bass power in “Drumbie” delivers an electrifying dose of dramatic dance tones. Drums fire off like machine guns glowing hot at a dystopian sunset, chiming notes span your surroundings and melancholic keys caress the song’s edges.
“Hi-Jump” furthers the drum and bass tang with a touch of choppy track chug. Grunge-guitar-level grit gives the main melody its might.
In “Furtive Ascension,” it’s up, up and away with deep, bass-driven drive. Keys pulse like a sonar over an airy expanse and it’s pretty hard not to dance.
A stuttering heartbeat rhythm ramps up “Inner Reflexion” but keeps the tempo turned low and slow. Tones are icy. Sonic stabs wound a brooding bass line. UFO whines and whistles shock the distance in shimmering ebullience. This track’s as enigmatic as it is enchanting.
“Greendy’s Trance” is as entrancing a dance track as can be. Deep, ducked bass bubbles to a boil with sparkly notes uniting in cymbal foam above. It’s liquid love.
“Never Give Up” dips down to minimalism with an intoxicating groove and enough chromatic chirps to chill the blood, just before popping scruffy square waves and fuzz-ball high-hats like caps from shaken sodas.
More dynamics crop up around every corner, coloring this tune in a different, more daring light than others on the soundtrack. Drum and bass returns with a second wind. Souped up sirens and synths set out an image of relentless speed and ardent rebellion throughout the latter half of this song. Sweet.
As if on authority of its own name, “Surpassing Oneself” goes above and beyond the intensity of previous D&B tracks in this collection with a dense percussive layer bled over by a crooning chorus of theremin-esque electron squeals. Arpeggios assail the senses, carving into the cortex and seizing control of your mind.
“Underground” opens into a shuffle step steeped in echoes and chirps. Crystal notes end up imbibed by a hardcore house sound here.
“Grind-E’s Secret Goal” splays to a grand chorus sweeping over space and spectrum. More D&B drum work saturates the senses throughout, phasing between dimensions in smooth, even waves. It’s an ocean of sound.
“Defy The Great Admin” dumps sporadic drums into a bucket of panned delay under the best D&B beat of the soundtrack. High above ground level shoot sonic synth arpeggios as stars, errant and endlessly energetic. It’s magnetic.
Rebirth of Jet Set Radio?
Whether Hover. Revolt of Gamers has successfully revived the beloved franchise of Jet Set Radio for future development remains to be seen. Whether the game’s soundtrack is stellar stuff is clear as day though. Check it out!