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August 14 2007
PaRappa The Rapper - PSP Review
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Graphics are bright and colourful.
What is it with PaRappa the Rapper? I'll be honest and admit that I have never really understood all the excitement over the franchise. Actually it's not really a franchise, there have been a couple of games, but they are almost identical to each other, and even this release is just a rehash of the PSOne game with prettier visuals, and a couple of small additions. But itís been a while since I played the game, so I was keen to have another look just to see if my thoughts had been skewed over the years.

In the game you are PaRappa; a lovesick, paper-thin, gloriously animated hip-hop hound desperate to win the heart of the flower-creature Sunny Funny. Joe Chin Ė the super-rich, handsome local-dog-made-good Ė is showing off as usual, and all you have on your side are an odd-looking gang of friends and your skills with the mic. Will they be enough?

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Characters are also rather unique.
Wierd story, but the game isn't too unique. This is a rhythm based game. Your task is to hit a series of buttons in time with the music and lyrics. Initially I was looking closely at the timing bar at the top and trying to hit the notes at precisely the right moment, but it wasn't too long until I got into the 'groove' of the music and soon found that by listening and reacting to the beats of the music I performed much better.

New to this PSP version of the game is the ability to enter a 4-player battle using the PSP's Wi-Fi connectivity. It's fun, but hardly the most multi-player friendly title - you may as well just take it in turns battling for the highest scores. Thereís no chance to battle one-on-one next to each other on screen but rather each of the players scores (you can compete against 3 friends) will be shown on your screen Ė and thatís pretty much it. Disappointing to say the least.

Game Sharing is also supported so you can spread the fun to a friend - a nice touch, but you could just toss him your UMD for a while! Also new is the ability, through the PSP's infrastructure mode, to download and play 8 additional song remixes of some of the original tracks. I have to admit that while this is a nice addition I don't understand why these tracks couldn't simply be added onto the UMD disc - forcing people to connect online to download the songs is a bit harsh for those that aren't online, and thereby has to reduce the value of this game for those people.

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Another not-so-exciting screenshot.
So, do I like the game? Well itís got a nice vibe to it, and itís kind of laid back (although quite hard at times), and it looks unique but it still didnít make me a fan. Part of the problem is the knowledge that Sony simply havenít added anything of any real benefit to the game Ė you may as well buy the original PSOne title or, better still, hope that Sony put it on the Playstation Store as a downloadable game for about 1/8th the price in the coming year or so. Sony - If youíre going to recycle old games for current-gen systems you need to add some decent value in for gamers and not just recycle the same experiences.

Graphically PaRappa The Rapper is a carbon-copy of the original PSOne game with slight modifications to suit the PSP's wider screen. The colours are bright and animations entertaining however there isn't too many different scenes to look at in the game and there aren't pre-rendered cut-scenes nor anything new to get excited about.

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Time for another rap/battle/dance off.
Of course in any rhythm action game audio plays a major part in immersing you in the experience and for the most part this game does a good job. The raps are pretty catchy and the lyrics are pretty amusing at times too. Still one can't help feeling that this is simply a rehash of something we've already seen - actually - it is, which is the big problem with the title overall!

Sorry to say, but this simply isn't as entertaining as I hoped. Sure the colours are vibrant, the music is catchy but this is essentially the same game we've seen for the last decade with a couple of new tricks. PaRappa The Rapper could have been a reinvention for the series, and could have kicked off a new franchise on the PSP, but right now it's a waste of time and money. Pull out your PSOne copy, it's the same thing...

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSCertainly the most entertaining part are the colourful, albeit limited in quantity, graphics on offer.
SOUNDNo additional tracks are provided on the disc - poor.
GAMEPLAYButton mashing in time with music. Was it ever very good?
VALUEThe same as what we've had for a decade. At $49.95 this isn't great value when similar games are only $13.45 on the Playstation Store!
OVERALLPaRappa The Rapper fails miserbly. We've seen it all before, there's little new on the table and - to be honest - I don't think it was ever a brilliant game to begin with!

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