Written by Jon Scarr
It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since PaRappa The Rapper first debuted on the PlayStation. Widely credited with establishing the music and rhythm game genre that gamers all around the world have come to love; PaRappa The Rapper comes to a whole new generation of gamers on the PlayStation 4. Read more in our review of PaRappa The Rapper Remastered.
In this iconic, character-based music and hip-hope game, PaRappa attempts to rap his way into the heart of his dreamy love interest, Sunny Funny. PaRappa The Rapper Remastered updates the classic game with crisp high res graphics providing smoother textures, high quality sound, new control features, and best of all trophy support.
Can a game that is remembered for its unique graphic design of its paper-thin characters, its quirky soundtrack, and its bizarre plot still hold up today?
PaRappa The Rapper is one of the most memorable music and rhythm games of all time. For me it was the nonsensical story of a rapping dog that caught my attention all those years ago on the PlayStation. There literally was nothing at the time that you could compare the game to.
If you haven’t played the PlayStation original or are new to the series, let me give you a little background on the game’s plot without giving too much away. PaRappa is struggling with his wish to became an adult, and to complicate things he is in love with his friend Sunny Funny.
Intimidated by his rival, Joe Chin, who goes overboard with trying to impress Sunny—PaRappa tries to win Sunny’s heart. In hopes of impressing her, PaRappa learns to fight at a Kung-Fu Dojo and take a driver’s education course to get his license.
PaRappa will have you laughing at the situations he gets himself into and the perfectly complimented onscreen zany dialogue that ensues. Even if you haven’t played PaRappa, there is a good chance that you have heard one of the many lines from the game’s catchy songs.
Even after 20 years, PaRappa The Rapper is every bit entertaining as it was when it first launched.
In addition to PaRappa The Rapper’s unique plot, its addictive rhythm, timing, and coordination-based gameplay will keep you hooked and offer up a good challenge. You progress though the different stages by rap-battling against other characters.
From a moose who is your driver’s ed teacher to a kung-fu onion, you must press the required buttons as they appear in a bar at the top of the screen that match up to the teacher’s lyrics. The game Think of PaRappa The Rapper is somewhat similar to the classic game of Simon Says.
Your performance is reflected by the U rappin’ metre that runs ranges from Awful to Bad to Good to Cool. By consistently staying on beat, you’ll stay in the Good ranking area. To clear a stage, you must have a Good ranking by the end of the song.
Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? There’s a timing thing in PaRappa that’s difficult to master, so even though PaRappa offers, at best, an hour or two of gameplay, you’ll find yourself replaying to get a higher score.
When comparing to the PlayStation or PSP releases, PaRappa The Rapper Remastered is vastly superior visually and audio wise. The game has been reformatted for 16:9 TVs and rendered in 1080p or 4K for PlayStation 4 Pro owners.
I was disappointed to see that the short animated sequences were left just as they were on the PlayStation. To be honest, the video looks rough by today’s standards and the large border around the video that accompanies it doesn’t help.
Sony added two new control schemes that utilize the DUALSHOCK 4’s features. The first new control scheme is dubbed “Feel the Beat”. It uses the rumble in the DUALSHOCK 4 to generate a beat that helps you “feel” when you need to press the corresponding button.
There is also a “See the Beat” option that enlarges your input on-screen to allow you to understand when and where you timing is off. Considering the accuracy that is required fro this game, I feel that both of these new control schemes will help newcomers immensely.
Noticeably absent from the game was any type of additional content. Being the 20th anniversary for such an iconic character, I thought Sony would have added some additional content such as behind-the-scenes or concept art.
Aside from a few small edits that had to be made to dialogue due to trademark issues, Sony has done a great job of sprucing up this version of the game. PaRappa The Rapper Remastered plays and sounds just like I remembered, which is a huge plus for any rhythm game remaster.
Here a few tips and tricks to help get you started in the game:
PaRappa The Remastered is an excellent re-release of a PlayStation classic that both new and old fans will love. PaRappa’s crisp visuals and remastered audio sweeten the deal that warrants a purchase even if you own the PlayStation or PSP versions of the game.
I would have liked to seen some extras added to the package but given the budget price point of the game, I can overlook it. PaRappa The Rapper Remastered still has the same memorable characters, excellent music, and zany charm it had when it first released. If you have never gotten a chance to check it out, you are in for a treat.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment America
Genre: Music and Rhythm
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
About the Author: Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.