PaRappa The Rapper Review

In case you didnít know, PaRappa the Rapper is the second coming of a game first released ten years ago in an age when PlayStations came without a numeral after their name. As far as I know it hasnít really been updated for this decade, though, and you get a mere six short levels of gameplay. In fact, more of the game is devoted to the cutscenes played between the levels than to the play itself. If youíre not a PaRappa fan of old, itís hard to recommend paying as much for this short, quirky rhythm game as you would for a full-fledged PSP game.

The game tells the story of a teenaged dog that uses the power of rap to woo a girl that he is sweet on. To win her heart he must overcome a number of obstacles typically faced by teenaged Romeos Ė he needs to get a job, learn to drive, and so forth. The story is told through cartoon-like cutscenes with characters that have a paper cutout look to them that give the game a certain amount of charm. Itís definitely not your typical video game in this regard, but once you eventually get around to the point where you are actually playing the game that charm will begin to wear off.

The music that the various trainers use to teach PaRappa things like how to drive a car are all fun and light tunes, but all that you do is repeat the button presses that you see scrolling across the top of the screen as they rap. The button sequences never vary for a song, so you lose a lot of the challenge on each subsequent play. In fact, you could waltz through the game in less than half an hour if the game wasnít so sensitive to the timing of the button presses. I have to think that the game is deliberately finicky just to prevent you from becoming bored with it in less than an hour. The problem is worse when you begin to face long sequences of button presses as the exact timing is hard discern when the button icons appear to overlap as they scroll across the screen. This is sure to frustrate some players enough that theyíll lose their motivation to finish the game even though it only takes six songs to do so.

The game has additional content in the form of multiplayer play and song downloads, but multiplayer is merely Ad-Hoc solo play in which you compare high scores at the end. The downloadable songs consist of remixes of the songs already in the game, so weíll just have to wait and see if enough additional content becomes available to actually extend the life of the game.

PaRappa the Rapper does have a certain amount of silly charm to it, but thatís not really enough to make up for the lack of gameplay Ė especially when you take into account the fact that the gameplay can be pretty frustrating at times. If youíre nostalgic for the game or intrigued by its concept, then rent it for an afternoon and youíll probably get your fill before the disc is due back.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 65%. Old school is not always the best school.


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