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PaRappa the Rapper

パラッパラッパー

Developer: NanaOn-Sha Publisher: SCE
06 December 1996
PaRappa the Rapper [パラッパラッパー] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.30 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
329 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,480 All-time
#50 for 1996
The paper-thin dog PaRappa must rap his way through six colorful stages to win the heart of his favorite flower-faced girl.
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Releases 7
1996 NanaOn-Sha SCE  
CD-ROM
JP
1997 NanaOn-Sha SCE  
CD-ROM
XEU
1997 NanaOn-Sha SCE  
CD-ROM
XNA 7 11719 41832 0 SCUS-94183
Show all 7 releases
2007 NanaOn-Sha SCE  
Disc
XNA 7 11719 87022 7
PaRappa the Rapper Remastered
2017 NanaOn-Sha Japan Studio  
Download
2017 NanaOn-Sha Japan Studio  
Blu-ray
JP 4 948872 320221 PCJS 50018
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Title
NanaOn-Sha's PaRappa the Rapper leverages rap battles as the foundation for its timing-driven gameplay. On the surface, this new method is actually incredibly simple: Input commands corresponding to a bar as it overlaps buttons shown on-screen. The surrounding elements are what really propels the experience. First in the hidden freestyle/improv system, which grants a bonus to players who deliver creative 'remixes' of the buttons required. The second (and best) aspect is found in the cartoony, exaggerated and occasionally surreal episodes that take place in-between levels. While brief, these cutscenes managed to pack an amazing cast, a predominant sense of optimism, and a simple-yet-sweet storyline into a parade of ever more bizarre scenarios, culminating with a celebratory, oddly heartwarming final act. Each of their six stages are joined by catchy hip-hop numbers whose featured characters (MC's?) spout insanely quirky one-liners - as nonsensical as they are quotable. It isn't the first time that a video game was carried by its OST, but here the soundtrack became the main focus.

Thus their forte is clearly not in the gameplay, that is largely incapable of rewarding even the most precise of inputs. Sometimes, that judgment window seems to completely ignore one's commands and simply penalizes on a whim. Even with the leniency of improvising, or the sparse amount of notes, their gameplay stands as one huge paradox: A format that demands some precision while being completely unpredictable in itself. One beneficiary of all this - however, is their absurdist stance, as the general randomness (whether calculating note timing or judging freestyles) encourages players to experiment and/or goof around as much as possible. If the botched mechanics run counter to their aesthetic, the playstyle it promotes is at least very similar in spirit.

Despite inventing rhythm gaming as a borderline-unplayable mess, NanaOn-Sha achieved a level of charm, personality, humor and inspiration in just two hours that would take a whole series for other devs to convey.
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Blah_Blee 2022-08-03T23:17:55Z
2022-08-03T23:17:55Z
7.5 /10
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One of the strangest things about this game to me is the way that I enjoy it quite a bit despite it being a rhythm game with a fundamentally broken sense of rhythm. Under almost any other circumstance I could see myself being irredeemably pissed off with the mechanics being such a pain to work around, but the charm that Parappa the Rapper has is so undeniably potent that I can’t help but enjoy this game quite a lot, with the prospect of completing a level and seeing what new, wacky ideas are up ahead being something that drove me to try my best to learn how the game ticked just to push me that bit further forward. Not only is the artstyle an absolutely wonderful decision to immediately establish a distinct vibe, but everything’s got this really goofy sense of humour about it, with all the characters poorly rapping about random dumb nonsense ranging from karate lessons to needing to go to the bathroom really badly and having this really basic story about Parappa being in love with someone being taken to absurd heights with the absurdist humour that’s used throughout. It's all very easy to follow despite the ridiculous stuff going on, and they way it’s handled feels simultaneously super silly, yet earnest, giving the catchphrase “I gotta believe” a surprising amount of sincerity, with this warmth being something that makes experiencing as much of this weird little world as possible feel like a reward in its own right.

It's a shame then, that actually playing the game is such an annoying experience. On one hand I really must commend the ambition here, essentially being a catalyst for kickstarting the wave of modern rhythm games that would eventually follow, but on the other, the gameplay itself just feels so clunky. The timing required for your inputs both feels needlessly precise but also not quite on beat at any point, making even the most simple of sequences feel way harder than they really should, made all the worse by the indicator across the top of the screen feeling entirely mismatched to your timing a majority of the time. Other bits and pieces like the finicky, unreliable way in which the freestyle mechanic works and the little to no feedback received from button presses beyond Parappa’s voicelines (which half the time can be deemed wrong even when they sound spot on) just make the prospect of actually playing through a lot of this game again a very tough sell, even if it’s made far easier by its length being around an hour, if not less. While I’m all for short games I also feel that this could have stood to have another 2 – 3 songs to play through just for there to be a bit more meat to the game, but even so, it’s a nice little time.

I’d also say that the music in this is another reason why it manages to work pretty well despite the clunky gameplay, as it is some of the best that the PS1 has to offer, with each track having a really distinct vibe and making use of some really cool drum patterns interspersing with various other bits of instrumentation to craft a wide range of imagery, my favourite of which being the 3rd and 5th stage where it brings in a certain psychedelia to it all to further cement the more surreal elements at play. Overall, this is one of those games that perfectly represents that the idea of perfect gameplay really isn’t everything, because despite my complaints about almost every aspect of how the game plays, I still found this a fun time thanks to how amazingly it was all presented. Truly an iconic game for a reason, and one that really should not be missed, especially since, as mentioned, it’s like an hour long, even if you don’t really vibe with it, you’re not losing much time.
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Kempokid 2022-05-24T09:08:30Z
2022-05-24T09:08:30Z
3.5
1
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A surreal stoner blur of a game with enough character to make up for its obvious shortcomings. First of all its an hour long (like, what the fuck?), but most damningly of all the rhythm sections barely work...half the time when I feel like I got a line wrong and was off-rhythm, the game will give me a 'cool' rating. And then when I feel like I hit it right on beat, it'll be 'awful'. Eventually you realize that you're supposed to hit a bit after the icon moves over the note on the bar, but even once you get a handle on it, it never feels intiuitive.

The vibrant visuals, uniquely psychedelic style and genuinely funny humour make it worth playing, though, especially considering its not any kind of time investment. I love the rasta lizard (the skunk over here will bring you luck), and the fucking moose policeman, especially his reappearance in stage 5 (did you check the toilets on the left?). Parappa the Rapper is a unique though very very flawed precursor to the rhythm genre that I would nevertheless recommend. How many other games star rapping pandas, after all?
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Stoo99 2018-01-14T23:21:51Z
2018-01-14T23:21:51Z
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Catalog

Kmarksman パラッパラッパー 2022-09-25T01:38:55Z
2022-09-25T01:38:55Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Degaperez パラッパラッパー 2022-09-24T15:47:50Z
2022-09-24T15:47:50Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
B1nary_En1gma パラッパラッパー 2022-09-24T11:14:57Z
PS1 • JP
2022-09-24T11:14:57Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
willwokbir PaRappa the Rapper 2022-09-19T10:17:16Z
PS4
2022-09-19T10:17:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
willwokbir PaRappa the Rapper 2022-09-19T10:16:56Z
PS1 • XEU
2022-09-19T10:16:56Z
7 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sebastian_swag パラッパラッパー 2022-09-17T22:35:48Z
2022-09-17T22:35:48Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
roemanlaporte パラッパラッパー 2022-09-10T14:34:11Z
2022-09-10T14:34:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
grayymann パラッパラッパー 2022-09-08T01:46:44Z
2022-09-08T01:46:44Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BennyBone パラッパラッパー 2022-09-01T18:20:40Z
2022-09-01T18:20:40Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vladkick パラッパラッパー 2022-08-30T00:32:48Z
2022-08-30T00:32:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
emulated
SneedDeck PaRappa the Rapper 2022-08-29T19:42:20Z
PS1 • XNA
2022-08-29T19:42:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BoosterRaccoon パラッパラッパー 2022-08-21T23:00:37Z
2022-08-21T23:00:37Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x CD-ROM
Franchises
Also known as
  • Parappa Rappā
  • PaRappa the Rapper
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Previous comments (5) Loading...
  • Aurochz 2021-06-20 21:28:01.550556+00
    Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind...
    reply
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  • DJ_Vortivask 2021-06-21 18:17:49.269532+00
    An amazing soundtrack, an amazing artstyle, a horrid gamplay.
    reply
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  • Pastellix 2021-07-21 14:11:44.75773+00
    What I've always found interesting about the Parappa trilogy is that each game has its own style of humour despite all being absurdist. The warmth Parappa 1 has definitely puts it above Um Jammer Lammy and Parappa 2 for me, even if UJL is the best from a quality standpoint.
    reply
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  • Skeletor_Lord 2021-10-22 23:50:18.470451+00
    I thlammed my penith in the car door
    reply
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  • ivoliveira 2021-11-05 02:12:08.731546+00
    the most original/fun PS1 game or what?
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  • Biskit 2021-12-30 05:23:19.854492+00
    epic
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  • GalacticHole 2022-03-02 15:32:17.798463+00
    hard agree with the sentiment that basically everything about this game is amazing and fun except for actually playing it
    reply
    • cryo 2022-03-26 19:14:30.499634+00
      you wouldnt get it....
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  • cryo 2022-03-30 18:31:49.908954+00
    thats the new super stretch limo 900! the maximum speed is tuned up to four hundred sixty three thousand two hundred and bluhdedhebluhdefruhenebluhdde
    reply
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