Re-release by Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP
PaRappa is a dog that wears hip-hop clothes: a red ski cap, blue T-shirt, baggy pants and red tennis shoes.
Replay Value: 6.0
Overall Score: 8.5 out of 10.0
Pros: The game kicked off the rhythm game craze, and it’s still great. This re-release is loaded with fun and funny music and graphics.
Cons: A fairly short game that many players will beat in a day, and it probably won’t be one they’ll want to replay.
O.K., they’re not really hip-hop clothes, but they’re sort of hip-hop. They’re Tokyo hip-hop; after all, PaRappa the Rapper is a Japanese game about American rapping.
PaRappa is in love with Sunny Funny, a sunflower. To woo Sunny, PaRappa decides to take martial arts, earn a driver’s license, make lots of money and bake the fanciest cake ever.
To meet these goals, PaRappa needs skills—skills that he builds through rap music.
GAMEPLAY YOU GOTTA BELIEVE
In the Chop Chop Dojo (school), PaRappa tries to learn martial arts from a sensei (teacher) with an onion for a head. You get a brief animation of PaRappa going in for lessons, then Master Chop Chop goes into his rap. He shows off moves to a rap song, then PaRappa must copy the moves and rhythm.
At this point, PaRappa the Rapper will remind you of Dance Dance Revolution or other rhythm games. Words and buttons appear on the screen. Press the right button in time to the music, and PaRappa moves up to the next stage of courting Sunny.
You can also get fancy and “freestyle,” meaning you hit all the right buttons at all the right times but also add in moves of your own. Do this, and PaRappa will overpower the lowly Master Chop Chop.
On the other hand, if you don’t match the buttons to the beat, PaRappa’s clumsiness will match your own. Pretty soon he’s tripping over his own feet and messing up the dojo.
Just remember: PaRappa’s motto in life is “You Gotta Believe.” It’s a good motto for both you and him. If at first you don’t get it, try again—and again.
BOSSES AND LEVELS
Helping PaRappa meet his goals are four of the wackiest game characters ever.
Master Chop Chop comes first. His simple karate moves play well to the beat.
Remember, PaRappa’s goal in life is to win the heart of Sunny Funny, the sunflower girl. But there’s another guy after her, and he has money and a fancy car. To try and compete, PaRappa next goes after his driver’s license.
Enter Mooselini—a bossy driving teacher who is a moose. Follow her moose-ical—er, musical instructions to the beat, and you’ll get a driver’s license. Miss her beat, however, and Mooselini gets nasty.
In the flea market, Master Prince Flea Swallow will teach you how to turn junk into jingle.
Next, PaRappa decides that he needs to give Sunny a gift. But he has more moths than money in his pockets. PaRappa goes to a flea market where he learns how to make money selling junk from Master Prince Flea Swallow—a Reggae-singing frog who has mastered the art of buying low and selling high.
If you catch the Master Prince’s notes, everything around you turns to money. Miss a beat, and you end up destroying his booth.
Cheap Cheap, a TV chef, will help you bake a fancy cake to impress Sunny Funny.
The last boss is Cheap Cheap, a chicken that also happens to be a TV chef. If you can “crack, crack, crack the eggs into the bowl” well enough to make this fowl teacher happy, you will end up with a cake for Sunny.
But the game is not over. After winning a date with Sunny, PaRappa has an urgent need to visit a restroom. When he finds it, who should be lined up and waiting their turn but all your old friends—Chop Chop, Mooselini, Master Prince and Cheap Cheap.
PaRappa and his former instructors rap for the right to go first. Get ready for some laughs.
THE OLD, THE NEW
In 1997, PaRappa the Rapper stuff appeared in Japan — lunchboxes, shirts, hats, toys. The coolest was a toaster with changeable plates that burned the faces of PaRappa characters into toast.
(Courtesy of GreggMan.com)
For the most part, PaRappa the Rapper is a re-release of a game that first came out for PlayStation in 1997. The sound and visuals of the game are the same. This is a good thing because the music and graphics in PaRappa the Rapper were perfect just the way they were.
According to Sony, the word “Parappa” means “paper thin,” which describes PaRappa and all his friends. They are two-dimensional paper creatures in a brightly colored, happy 3D world.
The music in the game is also bright and happy. It doesn’t sound like the rap you hear on the radio. But the tunes are toe-tapping and the rhythm game is fun.
The game now has extras, including a multi-player function that lets players compete with each other for top scores. Sony has also created remixes of all of the songs. To get these, first download them, then unlock them by beating the original mixes.
These updates may sound small, but they are enough. PaRappa the Rapper is a game that can stand on its own two feet…er, paws.
But PaRappa the Rapper is not a game with a lot of replay value. Once you beat the original songs, you won’t find yourself going back to play again and again. This is a game you beat and leave behind.
It’s also a game you remember with a smile.
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