As I?fm sure most of you know; Parappa The Rapper was a huge innovating title on the PSOne. Unless you were living in a hole someplace, chances are you heard about, saw, or played this game. At the time of its release, Parappa was quite an impressive effort, something that was just about completely new, and had a fun-factor that pleased us all. With simplified graphics and a highly inventive idea, Sony made the game a hit, one of the few games that delivered on what gamers want most, originality. While highly creative and successful for its time, Parappa?fs indirect sequel Um Jammer Lammy was not as prosperous however. Mainly due to the fact that the music wasn?ft quite as catchy as the first title, and the idea wasn?ft well executed.
While the rock theme was somewhat new, overall I thought the game suffered by losing the gaming ?emagic?f the first title had. Well fast forward to 2 weeks ago, when we were delivered Parappa?fs official sequel, if you enjoyed the first two games (or fun music games in general), then this titles for you. If you?fre looking for something completely new, then I?fd have to say pass it up because it takes the genre that the original created way back when, not more than a few steps forward.
Parappa The Rappa 2 is setup in the same format as the first title; so much of it has that familiar feeling. As in any music genre type game, the premise of the game is that you?fre supposed to try to get every coordinating button push on beat. The first Parappa took this to a new level by using words. While PTR2 doesn?ft add a particularly large amount of new things, you get a set of new characters to add to your old crew, along with an abundance of hilarious storyline moments, songs, and cut scenes this time around. The best part however is that the music on this sequel closely resembles the good vibed fun songs of the first title.
There are 8 stages for you to rap through, making this journey, while fun, is fairly short. The story this time is a little more kooky then the last. Parappa?fs town has been mysteriously infected by noodles, everything food source has turned into exactly that, noodles. And since your loving character has already won a life-time of noodles from the previous competition, he?fs annoyed by the phenomenon, and insults his ?esignificant other?f (sunny flower) because she served him a noodle based dinner. He then proceeds to walk out on her. I?fm sure you can guess what comes next, he now wants to win her back (sound familiar) by learning to act more mature. Once again the storyline is driven by his love for sunny, just as in the first game. While not completely evolutionary, it ends up being a hilarious voyage. The first stage closely resembles the original Chop Chop Master Onion song, fast paced, and light hearted this time however its located in the noodle serving burger joint. You then continue on to play through and additional 7 stages, ranging from every spectrum of hip hop based music. You get everything from the speedily paced ones to the love rock old school jams. In the end it becomes a fun plot line.
The graphics in Parappa the Rappa 2 look like a high resolution version of the last title. Your characters, environments, and the objects within them are all 2D sprites that are thin as paper. While its not an especially high-powered graphical engine, its by no means poor, just what you?fd call different. It is what they meant it to be, it has that enjoyable cartoon-like affect we all know. The theme of the game is meant to be this way, while it will be criticized just as the first title was for its kid-like graphics, its more about the humor and gameplay than anything.
The gameplay ends up being the just about the same as the last, but a few modes (though not highly inventive ones) have been added to Parappa?fs palette. Monkey-See, Monkey-Do is what you?fd could consider the basis of the game. The rating system from the last title is still in place. Depending on how well executed your replication, button coordinating skills are, you will receive a ranking of cool, good, bad, or awful. Just as in the last title, if you failed to rise above awful on the next phrase, you are given a game over.
Once you?fve beaten the game (which really shouldn?ft take more than 2 hours), you are given a battle mode, which entails you battling another opponent or the computer in a head to head. While the game is short, this mode will end up sucking you in (note: playing this repeatedly WILL get songs stuck in your head for weeks at a time). Battle mode is great, and the best addition to the game I?fve seen since the original, you can play this anytime and it?fll always bring your positivity level up a notch (not to mention its fun to whoop up on your friends). The other mode that has been implemented in PTR2, is a ?epractice?f mode, good for those beginners. Before each level the player is given a practice version before the actual level is actually set into play, so that they can get the groove of the music and tempo down right. All in all nothing too special, but ends up being lots of fun anyway.
So the good vibe?fn Parappa The Rappa that we?fve all come to know an love, has been updated for your PS2. If you were a fan of the first title, I recommend you picking this one up (jeez, I sound like reading rainbow now :-/). This sequel is truly fun game; I think they?fve captured the magic that they had in the first title, and the songs are just as catchy (thanks in part to the classic hip hop group de la soul). A fun journey that wont necessarily amaze you with its graphics, but will with its crazy humor, rockin?f songs and a round of good hearted characters that will please you for days. Though I enjoyed the game to such a great extent, I?fd have to say this title is definitely a renter. With a price tag that is the same as any other new game on the market, so its hard to clearly say whether its worth the buy, but to each his/her own right? The fun is there and waiting, if you?fre brave enough, try taking this one on you won?ft regret it.