Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 01/23/02 | Genre: Music
The original Parappa the Rapper was probably one of the craziest concepts ever conceived. In the original Playstation title, you controlled Parappa, a "rapping dog." Later, Sony introduced Un Jammer Lammy, a title that was so difficult that few played past the first few levels. Trying to please fans of the original title, Sony has delivered Parappa the Rapper 2 for Playstation 2 owners. While it does not completely satisfy your "rapping" needs, it is a fun ride... while it lasts.
Parappa the Rapper 2 is the continuing saga of that hip dog, Parappa. This time, he is on a quest to become a man and prove to Sunny (his love interest) that he is not a baby. However, along the way, on his quest to become a man, Parappa will have to stop his town from being turned into a big bowl of noodles. The evil Noodle Syndicate has devised a plan to turn all the food in your town to noodles. How would you like to be eating an ice cream cone and have it turn into a bunch of noodles? If you are anything like Parappa, you would do your best to rap your way to the answer and rid the world of this "evil noodle group" forever.
If you have played Un Jammer Lammy or Parappa the Rapper before, you will already be familiar with the gameplay of Parappa the Rapper 2. In the single player mode, the player will copy what the rap instructor says by hitting the corresponding button at the correct time. A new addition to the gameplay in Parappa 2 are the Evaluation Meters. After rapping passed the first few levels, a blue, orange, and purple meter will appear at the bottom of your screen. The Blue will show you how close you are to matching the phrase of the teacher you are rapping with, the Orange meter measures your free-style skills, while the Purple measures your "rappin' funkiness." While you can ignore these evaluation meters and just concentrate on going through the game, you will miss out on a lot of replay value that way. However, if you want to max out the Orange or Purple meters, expect to log in a few hours of practice time.
Another useful feature Sony has provided players in Parappa the Rapper 2 is a reference sheet on the back of the instruction manual. Players can place this on top of their televisions and it will display the controller so you can see where the buttons are you need to hit. This will be very useful to those of you who aren't quite used to the layout of the PS2 Dual Shock 2.
Graphically, Sony kept the same feel of the original Parappa, while smoothing out the graphical engine. While it certainly isn't a technical marvel, the engine is colorful, fun, and entertaining. In each of the stages, you will face off against another "rapping teacher" while trying to ultimately get rid of the Noodle Syndicate. There is a mix of old and new characters in Parappa 2, including Chop Chop Master Onion. However, this time around, he is teaching you to love kick, love punch, and love chop! So how does love kicks, punches, and chops relate to the Noodle Syndicate story? They really don't have anything in common with each other. It just goes to show you that in the world of Parappa the Rapper, anything can happen.
Besides the single player mode, players will be able to participate in a 2 Player Versus mode and a Versus Computer Mode. These modes are much more challenging than the single player but have a lot of repetitive raps in them.
Overall, Parappa the Rapper 2 is a great title but falls short of being great. Within an hour, you can get passed the single player mode and unless you are a "rapping fool," you will probably find little to keep your interest after a few days of play. If only Sony made the game a little bit longer and a little bit harder we might have another must have PS2 title. However, we can always keep our fingers crossed that Parappa the Rapper 3 will satisfy our gripes.