Parappa the Rapper 2 Review
If anybody reading this dares to tell me they've never heard, played, or seen the original Parappa the Rapper for the PSX, that's nothing more than a lie. Parappa the Rapper is arguably one of the most known Playstation games, right up there with Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. Its quirky appearance, with its paper-thin visuals, made it appealing and eye-catching. It was an irresistible game to dive into, and was every bit as easy to pick up and play. While it didn't break any new grounds, or set any standards, one thing's for sure: Parappa unlocked the floodgates, and proved that rhythm and beat titles stand a chance for success in the US. Critically, Parappa was a every bit of a success as it was on the charts. The game proved well for Sony, and while it took nearly 4 years for a full-fledged sequel, was the wait worth it?
Visually, there isn't much new in Parappa 2, aside from the fact that the game features three-dimensional background objects such as cars, chairs, couches, TVs, and etc. The detail is neither gruesome or outstanding, but 'deliberate' and simplistic. The characters are still flat, or "paper-thin" if you will. Basically, just don't expect anything new. The game gets a decent visual score for retaining its simplistic nature.
You can already see that this is a pretty short review, which is mainly due to the fact that there isn't much of anything new in the game. The gameplay still consists of you following a Simon-says pattern by timing and tapping buttons according to the rhythm of the game. This time around, the game let's you save your progress, instead of having you replay the game from the beginning every time. The feature isn't quite necessary as Parappa 2 is a reasonably short game. It lacks challenge (or is it that we've all become accustomed to this?), whereas the first didn't. And while there are more stages in the sequel, their challenge seems to be almost non-existent. The songs aren't as complex as they were in the first, and seem to be missing a degree of "catchiness". I for one want more of "in da' rain or in da' snow", and less "cut the lettuce...throw on the buns". Yes, there are a few of the songs that are catchy, but as for the rest I just don't think their lyrics will stick with me as lyrics like "kick, punch, it's all in the mind" or "all you ever need is to be nice and friendly", have. But, nobody said that this game isn't fun, because as far as I'm concerned it sure is! I had a good time playing the game through and when I completed that, I still had a multi-player mode or two to catch up with. Just because the single-player adventure is somewhat shot, doesn't mean the replay value is. Chances are, I'll come back to this game and replay it, or maybe do it with a friend in co-op mode.
To quickly give a run of the game's story, you need to know this: a clan of noodle loving maniacs have turned all of Parappa town's food into...you guessed it, noodles. It's up to Parappa to rap his way through the crisis and defeat the noodle gang. Recognizable characters such as Um Jammer Lammy and her band MilkCan, Chop Chop Master Onion, Moosesha, Sunny Funny, among others make appearances in Parappa 2. It should be noted that Parappa 2 has a practice-drill session right before every stage, to warm you up, a good addition. Despite a lack of challenge and innovation, it must be said that Parappa 2 is still a fun game. Give it a rental if you have to. Personally, I know I'll be coming back to it.
Everything in Parappa sounds fine and controls perfectly well. There's a ton of voice acting in the game, as the game features many cut-scenes in order to emphasize on the story. There's not much to mention, that hasn't already been said, as far the songs go, so I'll just slip into the conclusion. What can be said of Parappa the Rapper 2? With a little more challenge it could've surely earned its way up to the mid-8s. All-in-all, at least rent the game, I suggest giving it a shot.
1/24/2002 Arnold Katayev