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Parappa the Rapper

Developer: NanaOn-Sha | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 10/31/97 | Genre: Music

The concept of Parappa the Rapper is easy to understand. Parappa wants to impress Sunny Funny, the girl he likes. To do this, he must train under several rap masters to hone his skills. As the masters bust out the raps, the player presses buttons in time to the rhythm. It may sound simplistic on paper, but so does Pac-Man. The game is full of colorful characters, and the simple concept masks a very rich and rewarding game experience.

The first thing you notice about Parappa the Rapper is the graphics. They are cartoony and colorful and almost reminiscent of the construction paper cutouts of South Park. The strange graphical style helps to draw the player into the game world. The choice to depict Parappa's world in 2D, rather than the now-popular 3D graphics, is just the first sign of this game's innovation.

Parappa the Rapper is a game filled with some of the best game music you will ever hear. The songs and raps are extremely catchy. It's the kind of game where you really don't have any need to buy the soundtrack, because every song is firmly embedded in your mind. Buy this game, and I guarantee that you will be saying "Kick, punch, it's all in the mind" for weeks. It makes me wonder why so few games take full advantage of their soundtracks.

Another thing that helps to give Parappa the Rapper such a unique feel is the character design. Throughout the game, Parappa will learn from such characters as Chop-Chop Master Onion, a kung fu master with an onion for a head, and Mr. Prince Fleaswallow, a frog who works at a flea market. After so many games in which the main character might as well be named "Tough Guy With a Gun", the characters that populate the world of Parappa the Rapper are a breath of fresh air.

In conclusion, Parappa the Rapper is a game that can be played and enjoyed by anyone. Although with only six levels it is a very short game, the sheer fun factor ensures that the replay value is very high. Innovative videogames are in short supply these days, and that is what makes Parappa the Rapper such a joy to play. This is the kind of game that we need more of.

By Ben Lockwood - 08/01/00
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Screenshots for Parappa the Rapper

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