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PaRappa, a rapping dog, has the hots for a girl with a flower for a head called Sunny Funny. The trouble is, she’s already going out with someone - a rich, narcissistic jock called Joe Chin. Undeterred, PaRappa embarks on a musical quest with his friends PJ Berri and Katy Kat to win her affections.
We’re describing PaRappa the Rapper, one of the best rhythm-action games ever made, ported directly from PSone and squeezed into a tiny UMD. Sure, we’d have liked some new songs, but it’s been ages since we’ve played this and it’s just as compelling - and unforgivingly difficult - as it was in 1998.
The music’s fantastic. Chop Chop Master Onion’s infamous rap (“Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind!”) is a blast, as is Prince Fleaswallow’s slow-burning reggae number, where PaRappa uses hip-hop to sell junk at a flea market. If your rapping stinks and your timing goes off the music slows down and your instructor starts to lose faith in you, but earn a “cool” ranking and they’ll often jet, leaving you to rap on your own. So in that respect it’s more than just a Dance Dance Revolution-style button-masher, as the levels can change depending on your performance.
But it’s too short. Why didn’t they throw in PaRappa the Rapper 2? Or even guitar-based spin-off Um Jammer Lammy? Probably because they want to release them all on their own and make more money. This means, though, that you’ll spit your way through the six songs on offer in less than an hour, and, although there’s incentive to beat your high score, it’s disastrously limited.