PaRappa the Rapper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Parappa the Rapper)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PaRappa the Rapper
JPPaRappacover.jpg
Japanese cover art
Developer(s)NanaOn-Sha
Japan Studio, epics (PSP/PS4)
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
Producer(s)Masaya Matsuura
Designer(s)Masaya Matsuura
Artist(s)Rodney Greenblat
Writer(s)Gabin Itou
Composer(s)Masaya Matsuura
Yoshihisa Suzuki
Platform(s)PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4
ReleasePlayStation
  • NA: 17 November 1997
PlayStation Portable
  • JP: 7 December 2006
  • EU: 6 July 2007
  • NA: 17 July 2007
  • AU: 9 August 2007
PlayStation 4 (Remastered)
Genre(s)Rhythm
Mode(s)Single-player

PaRappa the Rapper (パラッパラッパー, Parappa Rappā) is a rhythm game developed by NanaOn-Sha. It was published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation in 1996 in Japan and other countries in 1997. Created by music producer Masaya Matsuura in collaboration with artist Rodney Greenblat, the game features unique visual design and rap-based gameplay and is considered the first true rhythm game. It was ported to the PlayStation Portable in 2006. A remastered version of the original PlayStation game was released for PlayStation 4 in 2017 for the game's twentieth anniversary.

The game spawned two follow-up titles; a guitar-based spin-off titled Um Jammer Lammy, released in 1999 for the PlayStation, and a direct sequel, PaRappa the Rapper 2, released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. An anime television series based on the games aired in Japan between April 2001 and January 2002, with a short spin-off series airing from October 2016.

Gameplay[edit]

An example of gameplay in PaRappa the Rapper. The player must match the symbols on-screen with their button presses in accordance to the rhythm of the song.

PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm game in which the main character, Parappa, must make his way through each of the game's six stages by rapping. As the teacher raps, a bar at the top of the screen will appear, showing symbols that match up to the teacher's lyrics. The player must then make Parappa rap in response to the teacher by pressing the buttons with the correct timing to match the teacher's line. During gameplay, a "U Rappin'" meter determines the player's performance, ranking it as either Awful, Bad, Good or Cool. By consistently staying on beat, players will stay in the Good ranking area. If the player performs a bad line, a lower ranking will flash, and if the player performs badly twice in a row, he will drop to Bad, followed by Awful. To regain a higher ranking, the player must play well twice in a row to move up a rank. To clear a stage, the player must have a Good ranking by the end of the song. If the player ends the song on a Bad or Awful ranking, or drops below Awful ranking at any point in the song, they will fail the song and have to start over. After the game has been cleared once, the player can attempt to achieve a Cool ranking. This is achieved by freestyling in a manner different from the predetermined lyric. If the player performs a successfully impressive freestyle when the Cool rank is flashing, they will enter Cool mode. In this mode, the teacher will leave the stage, allowing the player to rap freely and earn some large points. If the freestyling fails to impress twice in a row, the teacher will return and gameplay will resume in the Good ranking. Ending the stage with a Cool rank often results in a special level ending, and clearing all stages on Cool Mode unlocks a bonus mode with characters Katy Kat and Sunny Funny.

Rank-changing aspects of a level are only apparent during the first of every two lines. If the player successfully times the first line of a pair, but fails on the second, the rank meter will not blink Bad or Awful. Likewise, once the game has been cleared, a Good play is only necessary on the first of every two lines to be able to get Cool mode on the second line.

Plot[edit]

The player takes on the role of PaRappa, a paper-thin rapping dog, who is trying to win the heart of a flower-like girl named Sunny Funny. However, he is intimidated by the presence of Joe Chin, a rich, narcissistic dog who goes overboard with his attempts to impress Sunny. To impress Sunny Funny, PaRappa learns to fight at a kung-fu dojo, and takes a driver's education course to get his license. However, when he crashes his dad's car, he has to earn money at a flea market to pay for it. When Sunny's birthday comes up, PaRappa has to get cake, but ends up ruining it after an encounter with Joe. He makes a new one by watching a cooking show and proceeds to eat a lot of it on the day. When spending some time alone with Sunny, he is suddenly overcome with the need to go to the bathroom and has to rap against his former teachers to get to the front of the queue. Then one night, PaRappa is invited to Club Fun, and asks Sunny to go with him, to which she agrees. PaRappa then raps on stage with everybody, rapping solo at the end of the song and expressing his feelings for Sunny.

Development[edit]

The unique visual style is that of Rodney Greenblat, an American graphic artist who is popular in Japan. Similar to the Paper Mario series, all of the characters appear to be two-dimensional beings cut from paper while the surroundings are primarily three-dimensional.[5] On his website, Greenblat remembers that the idea to make the characters flat was Matsuura's idea, after creating a mock-up with characters from Greenblat's Dazzeloids CD-ROM.[6] The game's title is a word play referencing the flat characters; "PaRappa" is a variant of the Japanese word for "paper thin".[5] While the setting is a bright interpretation of an urban city, the characters range from anthropomorphic animals such as frogs, beetles, and dogs, to lively versions of normally inanimate objects including onions, and flowers.[citation needed] The game also is one of the first PlayStation games to use in-game motion capture in order to portray more realistic character movement for characters such as Parappa and the teachers.[7]

Matsuura went through multiple ideas while designing a music game for the PlayStation, such as having a game centered around singing or playing the guitar.[8] The game's soundtrack was made using samplers rather than MIDI synthesizers, which were common at the time. The lyrics were written in Japanese by Matsuura, and then translated by rapper Ryu Watabe while he was freestyling.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PS) 92/100[9]
(PSP) 67/100[10]
(PS4) 61/100[11]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comB-[12]
CVG7.0/10[13]
Eurogamer7/10[14]
Game Informer(PS) 8.25/10[15][16]
(PSP) 8/10[17]
GamePro(PS) 5/5 stars[18]
(PSP) 3.5/5 stars[19]
Game RevolutionC-[20]
GameSpot(PS) 8.5/10[21]
(PSP) 6.5/10[22]
(PS4) 6/10[23]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[24]
GamesRadar+3.5/5 stars[25]
GameTrailers6.5/10[26]
GameZone6.9/10[27]
IGN(PS) 9/10[28]
(PSP) 6.8/10[29]
OPM (US)5/5 stars[30]
PSM37.5/10[31]
The New York Times(favorable)[32]

PaRappa the Rapper received positive reviews. It sold 761,621 copies in Japan by 1997, making it the 7th best-selling game of the year in that region.[33] As of 26 December 2004, the original version of the game has sold 937,976 copies in Japan, while its PlayStation the Best re-release has sold 306,261 copies meaning it has sold nearly 1.4 million copies total.[34] IGN wrote that "while the words (lyrics) may seem a little strange (...), this just adds to the quirky nature of the game. The music is top-notch as well."[35]

At the first annual Interactive Achievement Awards in 1998, PaRappa the Rapper won the awards for "Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Design" and "Outstanding Achievement in Sound and Music", and was nominated for "Interactive Title of the Year".[36] In the final issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, the game was chosen as the 3rd best game of all time.[37]

PaRappa the Rapper Remastered received mixed or average reviews. It was praised for keeping the charm of the original game while improving on the graphical quality, but was criticised for only improving the graphics of the gameplay and not the cutscenes.[citation needed] Caitlin Cooke of Destructoid wrote that "The remastered version does not include a calibration setting. This works very much against PaRappa's favor as there’s an extremely noticeable lag throughout each of the levels, causing havoc when trying to hit the notes on time."[38]

Legacy[edit]

Sequels[edit]

PaRappa the Rapper was followed by a spin-off titled Um Jammer Lammy, which was released on 18 March 1999 in Japan.[39] The game featured a new cast of characters, multiplayer modes and focused on guitar play, but very similar game play. A bonus mode was included in which the entire game could be replayed with Parappa as the protagonist, complete with his own versions of the game's stages.[40] An arcade version of the game produced by Namco was also released. A direct sequel, PaRappa the Rapper 2, was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 in Japan and 2002 in North America and Europe.[41] A smartphone game is currently being developed by ForwardWorks.[42]

Ports[edit]

PaRappa the Rapper was released for PlayStation Portable in Japan in December 2006 and in North America and Europe in July 2007 for the game's tenth anniversary.[43] The port, developed by Japan Studio and epics, features ad hoc multiplayer mode for up to four players and the ability to download remixed versions of the existing songs.[22] In conjunction with the PSP release, Sony, for a limited time, freely released the soundtrack.[44] In a 2008 Famitsu interview, Masaya Matsuura revealed that a brand new song created for the PSP release, "Believe in Yourself," was cut due to development time constraints.[45]

A remaster of the game by SIE Japan Studio for PlayStation 4 was released on April 4, 2017. The port features graphics of up to 4K resolution, and includes all the downloadable songs from the PSP version. A playable demo was released on December 3, 2016, celebrating the game's 20th anniversary.[46] Homebrew developers found that the PS4 port was actually the PlayStation Portable version running inside an emulator and with high resolution textures.[47]

Appearances in other games[edit]

Parappa appears as a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in November 2012.[48] His play style revolves around using his Karate taught to him by Master Onion as well as moves inspired by his love of music and skateboarding.[49]

Rodney Greenblat, the man responsible for PaRappa's art style, was asked about PaRappa being a playable fighter in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Greenblat was happy to see Parappa return to video games, but he was not happy to see him in a violent game. "I’m very happy that Parappa is making a bit of a comeback, but not so happy about him being in a weapon filled battle game. Actually the Battle Royale game is fun, and I have to do what I can to get Parappa back in the game scene. My hope is that Sony realizes the golden true potential of Parappa and asks me to design some new games. I’ve learned a lot, and I think Parappa could be great again," said Greenblat.[50]

In popular culture[edit]

The game was featured as a challenge on the video game-based show GamesMaster in 1998,[51] as well as being the subject of three sketches in the Adult Swim television show Robot Chicken.[52]

Other media[edit]

A 30-episode anime television series based on the game franchise, produced by J.C. Staff and Production I.G, aired in Japan between April 14, 2001 and January 14, 2002.[53] A new anime series was announced.[54] A short anime series by Doga Kobo, titled PJ Berri no Mogu Mogu Munya Munya (PJベリーのもぐもぐむにゃむにゃ, PJ Berri's Munching Mumbling), began airing in October 2016 as part of the #Hi Paul variety show, following a pilot episode which aired on August 18, 2016.[55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Games Guide". Computer Trade Weekly. No. 656. United Kingdom. 22 September 1997. p. 24.
  2. ^ Computer and Video Games issue 193, page 17, EMAP Images, December 1997
  3. ^ Accordino, Nick. "PaRappa, Patapon & LocoRoco Remasters Coming to PS4". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment America. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  4. ^ PS.Blog Staff. "誕生20周年の『パラッパラッパー』がPS4®で発売決定! 最初のステージが遊べる無料体験版を12月5日に配信!" (in Japanese). Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b "NG Alphas: PaRappa the Rapper". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 84.
  6. ^ Greenblat, Rodney Alan. "Parappa the Rapper". Whimsyload. Retrieved 3 July 2014. When I went to meet Matsuura’s team, they had already made a crude animation demo of the rap-music-simon-says-game using my characters from my 1993 CD-ROM Dazzeloids. Matsuura’s animation people loved the flatness of my work, and thought of creating flat characters who move around in a 3D world.
  7. ^ "Interview About Parappa". www.whimsyload.com. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  8. ^ a b "Translated PaRappa the Rapper Developer Interview". shmuplations.com. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  9. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  10. ^ "PaRappa The Rapper for PSP reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  11. ^ "PaRappa The Rapper for PlayStation 4 reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. ^ Suttner, Nick (17 July 2007). "PaRappa the Rapper Review (PSP)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  13. ^ "PlayStation Review: PaRappa the Rapper". Computer and Video Games. 15 August 2001. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  14. ^ McCarthy, Dave (11 June 2007). "PSP Roundup Review - Page 1". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  15. ^ "GI Magazine - October 1997 - Reviews". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 21 January 1998. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  16. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper Review". Game Informer: 56. October 1997.
  17. ^ Helgeson, Matt (July 2007). "Parappa the Rapper". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Review: PaRappa the Rappa for PlayStation". GamePro. 4 May 2005. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Review: PaRappa the Rapper (PSP)". GamePro. 30 July 2007. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  20. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper review for the PSP". Game Revolution. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  21. ^ Horwitz, Jer (18 February 1998). "PaRappa the Rapper Review for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  22. ^ a b Navarro, Alex (18 July 2007). "PaRappa the Rapper PSP review". GameSpot. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  23. ^ Clark, Justin (3 April 2017). "PaRappa the Rapper Remastered Review for PlayStation 4". GameSpot. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  24. ^ "GameSpy: Parappa the Rapper (PSP)". GameSpy. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  25. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper PSP Review". GamesRadar. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  26. ^ "PaRappa The Rapper - Review". GameTrailers. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  27. ^ Grabowski, Dakota (23 July 2007). "PaRappa the Rapper Review - PSP". GameZone. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  28. ^ "PaRappa The Rapper Review (PS)". IGN. 18 November 1997. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  29. ^ Roper, Chris (19 July 2007). "PaRappa the Rapper Review (PSP)". IGN. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  30. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  31. ^ Kelly, Andrew (18 May 2007). "PSP Review: PaRappa the Rapper Review". PSM3. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  32. ^ Herold, Charles (19 July 2007). "In Tennis or Rap, Play With Perfection, or Just Have Fun". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
  33. ^ "1997 Top 30 Best Selling Japanese Console Games". The-MagicBox.com. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  34. ^ "Sony PS1 Japanese Ranking". Japan-GameCharts.com. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  35. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper Review". IGN. 18 November 1997. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  36. ^ Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. "AIAS ANNUAL AWARDS > 1ST ANNUAL AWARDS". Interactive.org. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  37. ^ Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 108, page 28, Future Publishing, March 2004
  38. ^ Cooke, Caitlin (3 April 2017). "Review: PaRappa the Rapper Remastered". Destructoid. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  39. ^ "Um Jammer Lammy Release Information for PlayStation - GameFAQs". GameFAQs. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  40. ^ "IGN: Um Jammer Lammy". IGN. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  41. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper 2 Release Information for PlayStation 2 - GameFAQs". GameFAQs. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  42. ^ プレイステーション公式 [@PlayStation_jp] (7 December 2016). "「どこでもいっしょ」「パラッパラッパー」「ぼくのなつやすみ」の3つのシリーズを順次スマートフォン向けに展開!詳細は後日発表します。#ForwardWorks" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ "Pirates, Xbox 360 Elite, Nancy Drew, Sega and PaRappa!". Kidzworld. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  44. ^ Yoon, Andrew (23 July 2007). "PSP Fanboy presents: PaRappa the Rapper soundtrack". PSP Fanboy. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  45. ^ Okuhara, Keisuke (21 April 2008). "Masaya Matsuura: Creator Interview". Famitsu. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  46. ^ "Three Japanese PlayStation classics, Parappa The Rapper, Patapon and LocoRoco, are getting high res remasters". Kotaku UK. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  47. ^ "Hackers find "official," usable PSP emulator hidden in PS4's PaRappa". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  48. ^ Luke Plunkett (27 April 2012). "Sony Confirms New PS3 Fighting Game, Complete With Stupid Name". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  49. ^ Omar Kendall (26 April 2012). "See PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in Action". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  50. ^ "Rodney Greenblat chats PaRappa, UmJammer Lammy, PlayStation All-Stars, and Nintendo". Dromble. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  51. ^ TV.com. "Gamesmaster: Series 7: Show 2". TV.com. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  52. ^ Martin, Andrew (January 23, 2013). "50 Cent and PaRappa the Rapper on "Robot Chicken"". Complex. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  53. ^ "Parappa Rappa - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  54. ^ Baseel, Casey (August 11, 2016). "Rhyme-buster PaRappa the Rapper is ready to bust his way back onto TV with brand-new anime series". Rocket News 24.
  55. ^ "PaRappa the Rapper Gets New TV Anime Shorts". Retrieved 16 October 2017.

External links[edit]