A long time ago on the system that took the worldby storm, the Playstation, a young dog learned how to rap and become cool with his many friends. PaRappa
was the dog's name and this really was one of the first games to get rhythm and the concept of pushing buttons in time with music right. Fast forward ten
years, and that puppy is back and ready for some more rapping, only this time it's on the PSP.
The storyline behind PaRappa the Rappa is that of a young rock star wishing to impress his father by mastering the art of rapping. In the crazy world
he lives in, PaRappa comes across many characters who teach him to rap such as a cooking chicken on television, a friendly police dog, and a dodgy frog
peddling wares on the beach. They all have a unique song and all become progressively more difficult to rap with. Each of the character's songs represents
something about the character and all are very catchy - so much so, that we found ourselves singing the songs while doing other work, which as well all know
can become annoying.
There are two primary difficulties in this game; easy and normal. In the easy mode the game is as you would expect - very easy to complete - but it only
gives you about a third of the game before it forces you to change it to the normal mode so you can see this basically as a tutorial level. At first you will
find the game incredibly difficult and frustrating and that is because it seems the PSP's timing is a little off. Normally you would press the icon as it passes the correct button, but in this one you seem to have to do it just before. It's quite stupid actually - we found ourselves seemingly making mistakes but scoring big points yet, when we did it right (or so we thought), we would fail the song.
One cool addition to the game is the wireless play. You and up to three other friends can take each other on in a rapping contest to see who is the best. The
game uses adhoc rather than infrastructure for its multiplayer, but infrastructure is supported in terms of being able to download new songs from Sony. Also,
for those who want to show others the game, it has a level which can be shared via the game sharing mode for demo play.
One thing which is really unique about this game is the visuals. The developers have carried on the paper like style from the PSX version but the LCD screen
really brings out the vibrant colours they have used and gives it a whole new lease of life. The six scenes featured throughout don't really connect together
but as you would expect the game becomes harder as you progress through and the music becomes catchier. The soundtrack to the game as mentioned before is
very catchy, so you shouldn't be surprised when you embarrass yourself as you're walking down the street singing songs such as "crack crack crack the egg
into the bowl".
PaRappa the Rappa is an excellent example of what a PSP game can be and is perfect for portable gaming. The unique style of the game paired with the
simple control system allows anyone to pick up and play it, while the higher levels really offer a challenge for long time gamers. There are a few problems
with it but overall, PaRappa the Rappa on PSP is a fun diversion for at least a few
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