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PaRappa the Rapper review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Presentation still fresh
  • Strangely addictive gameplay
  • Downloadable songs
  • Can be incredibly frustrating
  • No new gameplay features
  • Should be compilation package

Don’t be fooled by the cutesy, sun-shiney graphics: PaRappa the Rapper will kick your ass - it’s as hard as nails. So hard, it’ll destroy your self-belief. Were you ever any good at games? Ever? Apparently not, you’ll think, as the option to try again pops up for, like, the thirteenth time. It’s hard in a way that makes your fingers freeze up (and not because of PSP’s iffy control layout) as your mind starts interpreting Triangle as Square and vice versa. You panic. You screw up. And there’s that nagging urge to keep going that brings out your inner psychotic obsessive. It’s a vicious circle.

PaRappa the Rapper is a ten-year-old PSone game given another outing in the smaller confines of PSP. It’s practically a straight, no-fancy-business port, with the only concession to its new home being some four-way wireless gaming and the inclusion of Gameshare functionality. It’s disappointing that the intervening decades have seen no new features or gameplay elements dreamt up. It is exactly the same game.



This means that the simple-to-grasp mechanic of hitting buttons in time to the music of the game is completely unaltered. For those who’ve never come across the game, each level consists of an amusing situation described via the medium of jaunty hip hop. One sees PaRappa having to endure a series of characters rapping about needing to evacuate their bowels - if he fails, he turns a nasty shade of purple and soils himself while another sees our hero learning to drive. It’s all very endearing, even ten years later, and enough to charm you into not smashing your PSP to bits after the umpteenth failure.

The real question is - why has PaRappa been released in this form? It would have been easier to understand a compilation release, with its spin-off title UmJammer Lammy included alongside, but as it stands, it’s a puzzling decision. Yes, the visuals look nice and the music sounds even better than it did the first time around, but considering the PSP is supposed to be a PSone emulating powerhouse, it seems like a bit of waste of time. You can download new songs to kick and punch to, though: cheers Sony - it’s like PaRappa from the future.

So PaRappa the Rapper’s PSP release is really for those gamers who missed out on it first time around and want to know what all the fuss was about. It’s quirky, fun and extremely hard in equal measure, but rubbish value for money and a slightly worrying sign of what the future could hold in store for Sony’s handheld.

More Info

Release date: Jul 17 2007 - PSP (US)
Jul 17 2007 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: SCEI
ESRB Rating:
Everyone

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