I heard about the original PaRappaTheRapper game for the Playstation 2, and read the reviews. It was a unique game with innovative 2D graphics and a rapping dog and I wasn’t interested. But I was interested when I heard the sequel was going to be released a few years later.
Parappa’s gameplay is simple. The boom box, named boxy box raps first, and you mimic the rhythm by hitting the correct buttons at the right times as icons scroll across the top of the screen in rhythm with the beat. You mimic the computer’s rap and receive points when done correctly. There are four overall ratings, awful, bad, good, and cool. You go from good to bad when you do a phrase poorly. Get another poor phrase and you’re down to poor. Get below awful and the game is over. If you really get into the flow you’ll ascend to cool. There is a picture of a PS2 controller which helps you to follow the flow of the rap. The songs and the graphics make this game so much fun. The story is amusing and its fun to play. The songs are infectious. They’re great to listen to and play along with. They are so catchy you will find yourself bobbing your head or tapping your feet as you play.
The only problem I found with the game is the rap songs are not that difficult and Parappa is too lenient. The game’s concept is to hit certain buttons in a certain order at the right time. It’s basic, but you still expect some difficulty. Once or twice I’d hit the wrong button and the command was still accepted. The rap masters introduce themselves at the beginning of each level and then tell you to come up with your own flow. You can freestyle here and there and they let you alter the rhythm of the words slightly as long as it keeps the beat and still sound good.
One of the most unique aspects of this game is its graphics. They consist of a different 2D flat effect. NanaonSha did the flat look before Paper Mario ever existed. All of the characters are outlined with bold lines and a cartoon look to them. It’s like an animated film rendered in graffiti art, which compliments the whole hip-hop concept of the game. The developers added all sorts of neat little graphics twists as well, such as a world map that allows the player to go from stage to stage. The world map changes depending on what time of day you are playing. It’s not so much an important feature, but it is a feature that is not included in any other games.
There is versus mode where the first and second player is able to phrase from a specific stage they choose to battle. They simply trade off doing that phrase until one person’s score is higher than other. This allows for a lot of variation in the game. Much like single player mode, the player is encouraged to alter the line and improvise inside the assigned line. Do a good job and the phrase is permanently changed and your opponent has to complete whatever altercations you make. You can find yourself tripping over your own changes. It is a game of hip-hop horse. It’s great to play against the computer or a friend.
Worth the money if you like this type of game. It’s easy, and short. It can be finished in 2 hours. It is one of those special games where you can go back and play months later and still enjoy it. This is a different type of game that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you like dancing games like Space Channel 5 or singing games like American Idol, you will like this game. It is worth a look. It is rated E for everyone.