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PaRappa the Rapper – PSP

PaRappa the Rapper – PSP

PaRappa the Rapper - PSPPlatform:  PlayStation Portable

Release Date (NA):  July 17th, 2007

Developer:  NanaOn-Sha

Publisher:  Sony Computer Entertainment

Genre:  Music and Rhythm

Nerd Rating:  5.5 out of 10

I clearly remember seeing the TV spots for PaRappa the Rapper way back, and I even have some fairly lucid recollections of actually playing it on PlayStation.  I only ever rented it, but there were short little tunes and lyrics that would stick around in my head for years.  I guess I must’ve been thinking about it at the right time, because one day when it it crossed my mind, I happen to be standing right in the middle of some used games and there was a copy of PaRappa the Rapper for only $5 for the PSP.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSP

Just one of PaRappa’s many motivation’s for rapping.

The PSP is a faithful port of the original, released with a few new features that made use of the PSP’s ad hoc wireless capabilities.  The premise is pretty simple and is like that of most rhythm games: push buttons in time with the beat.  Our protagonist is a little dog named PaRappa, who navigates young love through the use of rap and his catchphrase, “I gotta believe!” as he overcomes obstacles like his rival Joe Chin, making a seafood cake, and learning to drive to name a few.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSP

A little on the cheesy side…but mildly endearing in its own way.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSPPaRappa goes up against a different master for each stage.  The master raps, and then it’s the player’s turn to follow along, and depending on their performance, proceeds to the next line of the rap until completion.  Most of the music has a playful and jaunty quality to it, and the composers do an ample job of including diverse rhythms and instrumentation.  The soundtrack is fun to listen to and I imagine this was considered high quality material for a video game back in 1997.

Seems easy enough to rhythmically press buttons, right?  Well it should be, but it seems like the game is just a tad off.  In order to get really good scores, I felt like I was pressing the buttons a little earlier than necessary.  Adjusting in earlier rounds is easy enough, but nailing the later stages can be more difficult than they should be.  I don’t know if the button presses register slightly later or what, but it’s definitely a slightly broken aspect.  It makes it hard to simply follow the beat and freestyle and inadvertently places more emphasis on keeping a careful eye on the progress meter.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSP

This is a tough one, with a rhythm that’s difficult to latch onto.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSP

Last stage = tough.

PaRappa the Rapper is also super short, with only 6 stages.  I suspect this might’ve been due to technical limitations, but it wouldn’t hurt them to add in a few tracks for the remake.  And although loading times aren’t as atrocious as in some PSP titles, they’re still annoying.  The graphics and artwork are as  original as they ever were, though I don’t think they’ve been touched up at all from the original.

Not only does this PSP re-release not spruce up the existing 10-year old content, it doesn’t really add anything to the game either.  The closest we get is the ad hoc wireless mode that allows for some multiplayer action, as well as a (seemingly now defunct) method of downloading remixes of existing tracks from the game.  Sony had a great chance to breathe some new life into PaRappa and instead gives us a  straightforward and bland remake.

PaRappa the Rapper - PSP

This one really sticks in my head…

The original was a fresh approach to music and rhythm games with quirky artwork and a fun soundtrack.  The PSP remake retains these features, but they seem a little dated and Sony failed to give it much of an identity.  If you remember the original fondly or never experienced it in the first place, the PSP version of PaRappa the Rapper is an acceptable alternative, just be prepared to play around a little with the timing.  (If it wasn’t for this one strange issue I’d easily bump it up a point.)  It may not seem as original as it did back in ’97, but I still get a kick out of the goofy yet catchy songs (especially the driving one) and the outrageous storyline.  It holds up a bit better as a PS1 game than a PSP remake, but either way it’s worth playing at least once.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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One Comment

  1. Nerdberry
    Nerdberry says:

    I remember this game a lot except I was never one of the ones playing. I’m sure I played it but I can’t recall anything about it other than how cool I felt the game was. It was one of those kind of games that you would play all weekend and brag about in the cafeteria all week long. But I can’t remember shit else. Not a single tune.

    Despite your overall assessment, I feel that it was well worth the $5 I bet. I might have to get my hands on it


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