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Sony Japan




1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

October 1997

Setting the Scene

It's here at last. The game that sold 750,000 copies in Japan. That means Parappa the Rapper sold more copies than Resident Evil in the land of the rising sun.

I have read many previews concerning Parappa since it was released in Japan over six months ago but each description has somehow led me to believe that the gameplay was confusing.

The fact is that Parappa the Rapper is simplicity in it's purest form. Five minutes play is all it takes to understand the rules. After only a few hours play you cannot get those catchy tunes out of your head. Then your hooked.

This isn't going to be a very long review because there isn't that much quantity to the game, but what is there in abundance is sheer quality.

So what's it all about? Rap on.


There is no other game on the Playstation, or any system come to think of it, that compares to Parappa the Rapper. It is one of a kind and could possibly go down in video games history as a classic.

Someone, someday will take this idea and expand on it, but any game that bares the slightest comparison will always be regarded as a 'Parappa clone'.

No genre exists where Parappa could comfortably fit into therefore we will simply label it a 'Rappin' game'.

If anyone remembers the old 'Simon' game where you sat with an electronic pad on your knee and repeated a given sequence, then you are half way there to understanding the concept of Parappa the Rapper.


The graphical content matches the genre. It's unique. Although the game is set in a three dimensional polygon world... the characters are wafer thin. Face front, and they come to life, walking in front and behind of the props. Turn to the side, and they appear as thin as a piece of paper, bending and rippling like the cardboard cut-outs they really are. This looks strange at first but this soon becomes accepted as part of the humorous aspect of the game. So why have the characters been designed in such a way? Well, apparently the word 'Parappa' means 'paper thin' in Japanese. Fair enough.

As the game progresses, the story of Parappa unfolds using some splendid rendered scenes. The animation is first class allowing the bright, colorful and detailed characters to come to life.

Sounds and Effects

There are many styles of music used in Parappa. The opening level features a Kung-Foo theme that blasts out a hip-hop-scratch sound while other levels portray rap versions of reggae numbers and funky chicken tunes before reaching the pinnacle of your career, performing live on stage with the king of rap music. Each tune implants itself firmly in your brain and you cannot get them out of your mind. Superb.


Parappa is a young pup who is pining for the heart of a pretty little flower called Sunny Funny. If he wins her undying love then goodness knows what he will do with her, as dogs normally cock their legs up at flowers and pee all over them. However, Parappa's determination leads him to the assumption that he must believe in himself to succeed.

The first level sees Parappa confronted by a bunch of thugs who wish to take Sunny Funny out the back and touch her petals. Luckily, Superhero Joe Chin turns up to sort out these bullies but this leaves Parappa a little jealous so he decides to learn how to fight.
Enter Chop Chop Master Onion, who is a martial arts expert.
This is where you take over the control of little Parappa as he begins his quest to become Master Rapper.

Playing the game is simple.
The four symbols on your Playstation control pad (square, triangle, cross and circle) and the two shoulder buttons (R1, L1) each represent a different action for Parappa. The triangle makes him kick, the circle - punch, the cross - chop, the square - block, the L1 - duck and the R1 - turn.
Now all you must do is follow Chop Chop's action's in time with the music.
To further help out, Chop Chop will repeat each action out loud to help with your timing. Also the relevant symbols appear at the top of the screen on a music bar and are highlighted at the precise time you should press them. Now all you need is a little bit of rhythm.
Doesn't that sound simple?

The game has a fairly easy learning curve with single actions spaced out before moving onto more difficult combinations such as chop, kick, block (X, T, S), therefore you will need to remember where each symbol is on the joypad without looking, but that won't be a problem to most of you out there.

Your rapping is marked throughout each level from 'U rappin' cool' to 'U rappin' awful' while your rhythm is scored on a points basis. If you are still struggling to complete a song then the first three levels may be practised on an easy setting where your rapping is not judged too harshly.

By the time you reach level four you should be firmly in the groove so things will speed up a little.

After Joe Chin parades his flash automobile in front of Sunny Funny, Parappa believes he must learn how to drive and sets out to pass his driving test. This leads to a rap with his driving instructor, Mooselini. Other levels include a neat reggae rap with Prince Fleaswallow, the frog who works at the local market and Cheap Cheap the Chicken teaches Parappa how to bake a cake for Sunny's birthday.

The fifth level has Parappa moving to the vibes of all four masters in a competition to decide who goes to the toilet first (?) before your ultimate task... rapping freestyle on stage with MC King Kong Mushi.

Value for Money

Owning a copy of Parappa will undoubtedly cause a few family arguments over who's turn it is to play the game. It will instantly appeal to the kids with it's cute cartoon characters and fun storyline, while the hip-hop catchy rap tunes will surely grab the attention of the teenagers.
For older members of the family the temptation to 'give it a go' will prove impossible to resist and I can see this one being loaded in once the kids are all in bed.
During a party the hi-fi will be switched off and Parappa will take centre stage as intoxicated adults prove once and for all that liquor drastically affects your reactions. It may even take the place of the breathalyzer. Imagine that, cop cars fitted with a Playstation.

As far as value for money is concerned be warned, the game is not that long. It won't take you months to complete the game as the first three levels will be completed fairly quickly while the final three levels will be cracked within a few days. However, if Sony set the price low enough then I would recommend that no Playstation collection would be complete without a copy of Parappa the Rapper.





Parappa is unique in both form and content. The amusing storyline, catchy tunes and the 'just one more go' gameplay combine to make it the perfect party game. I understand that a music single from the game is soon to be released in Japan, while work is already well advanced on Parappa 2. Enjoy the tasty experience now before it is shoved so far down your throat that it will eventually make you vomit.











I very much doubt that you will play this game for very long before completing all of the levels, however, I dont think that this game tries to be anything other than a great party game that everyone in the family can play.








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